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Windows 7: Unable to format hdd

27 Nov 2011   #1
Pot8ohead

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Unable to format hdd

Hi all, I recently installed a new, bigger, hard drive into my computer. I successfully installed Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) onto the new drive, partitioned it and copied all of the data I wanted to save from my old drive onto the new. The last thing I want to do is format the old drive. Using Disk Management, I successfully removed all of the partitions from the old drive and it now shows as 1 (almost) 500 gig drive. When I attempt to format it, though, I get the message "Windows cannot format the system partition on this disk." After doing a quick search of the web, I found a site suggesting a way to fix this is, by using the "diskpart" command at the command prompt, to set the partition to inactive. I gave that a shot, rebooted the computer and only received a boot failure message (non system disk inserted or something to that effect). I managed to change that particular partition back to active and am now able to boot up the computer once more, but I'm still back to being unable to format the old drive. In Disk Management, the new drive's properties are as follows: "Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition." The old drive shows as only "System, Active, Primary Partition." What can I do to be able to format that old drive and, if I need to, set the new drive (or Windows installation partition) to "System"? Thanks in advance. Pot8ohead


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Nov 2011   #2
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

make your windows partition active.
make partition inactive on old disk, just the way you did earlier.
Now start your pc. you may have to perform a startup repair (maybe 3 times)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #3
Pot8ohead

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kaktussoft View Post
make your windows partition active.
make partition inactive on old disk, just the way you did earlier.
Now start your pc. you may have to perform a startup repair (maybe 3 times)
Thanks for the quick response. The new Windows partition is already set to active, but I'll try setting the old one to inactive again and using startup repair instead of just changing settings back again. I was a little leery of messing around too much the first time around.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Nov 2011   #4
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

just do a startup repair maybe 3 times. If it doesn't work ... post error message
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #6
Pot8ohead

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

[QUOTE=theog;1676162]Can you post a screen shot of Disk management?
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...en-forums.html

-diskmgmt-ss.jpg

I tried Kaktussoft's suggestion, but didn't get any further than I did initially. The startup repair utility attempted to fix the problem three times. The first time, there was a file missing (never thought to write down the name of it & can't remember for sure now), something to do with the boot record or some such thing. Bootmgr, maybe? Anyhow, it said that problem was successfully repaired. The second time, it said something about partition corruption, but again, successfully repaired it. The third time, it found no errors, but I still couldn't boot from the hard drive at all.

It just occurred to me that I only attempted to repair boot issues with the latest installation of Windows; not with the old installation. I just naturally assumed that since this is the only copy of Windows I'll be running with, once the old drive is formatted, it made no sense trying to repair that copy.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #7
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Try this:
Open a command prompt.
Elevated Command Prompt

Type in command line
diskpart
list disk
select disk 1 (old HD)
clean

Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
Partition or Volume - Create New

Take a look at the tutorials above first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #8
Pot8ohead

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
Try this:
Open a command prompt.
Elevated Command Prompt

Type in command line
diskpart
list disk
select disk 1 (old HD)
clean

Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command
Partition or Volume - Create New

Take a look at the tutorials above first.
Thanks again for the responses.

Attempted to do as suggested, but only got the following message when I tried (with both Clean & Clean All):

"Virtual Disk Service error:
Clean is not allowed on the disk containing the current boot
system, pagefile, crashdump or hibernation volume."

I'm not sure how that particular partition became a "System" partition, but it's the only one that's got that attribute attached to it. I'm guessing if I can clear that attribute and/or reassign it to the new Windows partition, these problems would go away. I took a look at the Attributes command within diskpart, but "System" isn't one of the attributes that are listed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #9
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

select disk # (old HD)

You need to select the Old HD drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Nov 2011   #10
Pot8ohead

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
select disk # (old HD)

You need to select the Old HD drive.
Name:  Diskpart SS.jpg
Views: 152
Size:  69.5 KB

That's how I did it, as seen in the SS.

Edit: In case the drive being marked as Online was part of the problem, I tried taking it offline, but got the following message:

"Virtual Disk Service error:
Disk attributes may not be changed on the current system disk or BIOS disk 0."


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Unable to format hdd




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