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Windows 7: Can you format a secondary drive outside of Windows

01 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1
Can you format a secondary drive outside of Windows

I have an unattached drive in the box that I need to format "outside" of my Win 7 Pro 64bit box.

Is there a way to use the startup/recovery Windows CD to format drive L: (formally C: drive before cloning to current C: drive) without starting Windows up ?

I have a key program the keeps giving me fits when it detects the previous installation on the detached drive when starting my new HDD

I'd like to shut down...reconnect the target drive....restart to the startup/boot/recovery CD...and hopefully reformat the "old" C: HDD to use as storage ?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64

Why exactly don't you just use the drive manager to format your drive for storage use?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Yeah, you can do that.

To be safe, I would disconnect any hard drive that you do not want to format.

Boot from your Windows installation disc and hit shift F10 at the language screen. That will drop you to a command prompt.

Then type diskpart. That will drop you into the diskpart application and leave you at a prompt.

Type list disk into the prompt and hit enter. That should give you a result showing just one disk---the one you want to wipe--the only one connected. It will have a number, such as disk 0

Then type select disk 0 and hit enter. It should then tell you that disk 0 is the selected disk.

Then type clean and hit enter. That will wipe the disk.

Then type create partition primary and hit enter. That will create a new partition.

Then type select partition 1 and hit enter

Then type format fs=ntfs quick and hit enter

The disk will be formatted while you wait. Then type exit to leave diskpart.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1

Apparently every time I start my system with OmniPro 17 checks the system ( PC or network) and creates a new "machine footprint" when it sees the old C: drive installation.

If this footprint is different than the 'installed' footprint...Omnipage fails to run and I have to try to 'reactivate' the new 'footprint' machine...which is impossible because the serial # is the same.

If I try to launch windows with the old C: drive attached...I may run into additional

I'd like to shut down...attache the original C: drive...and format that drive PRIOR to starting Windows to avoid issues with OmniPro registration/re-activation...etc.

I have windows disk management...Partition Master 9.1.1 Home Edition, and MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition...BUT they ALL require Windows to load.

Want to format the drive PRIOR to Windows loading to prevent re-occurring major hassles with OmniPro.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jun 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP


Once you wipe it with Diskpart Clean command you can then access and partition it in Disk mgmt as well.

Another option is to use free Partition Wizard bootable CD to delete and repartition, format.

Always have the OS HD plugged into Disk0, marked System Active to be correct, set first to boot in BIOS setup, no other partitions marked Active which aren't also separately booted OS's.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2012   #6

Windows 7 Pro 64bit SP1

Thanks guys...Ignatzatsonic's instructions worked like a charm...everything running smooth and Omnipage is happy !!

Always wondered what the boot disk option in Partition Wizard was for...thanks Gregrocker...had finished operations before I saw your post...but as provide invaluable info to keep our machines running smoothly !!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2012   #7

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1

Glad that you could complete the format of the old disk.

You can also do the offline format by booting in to a Win PE disk like Bart's PE, Hiren's CD or UBCD4Win.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Can you format a secondary drive outside of Windows

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