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Windows 7: Reformat a former boot drive

14 Apr 2011   #1

windows 7 32
Reformat a former boot drive

I recently purchased a new laptop - Toshiba R835 P50x - and replaced the 640gb 5400rpm drive with a 120gb ssd(Kingston v100).

I cloned the 640gb, 3 partition(2 hidden) drive to the SSD(all 3 paritions) and replaced it in the laptop and everything is working just fine :)

I now have the original drive in a usb external enclosure and would like to use it for an external back-up drive.

What the best(and easiest) method reformatting that drive to eliminate the hidden partitions, and give me just one?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2011   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

A puppy Linux live cd. Very small download, just burn it to a disc and boot into it. Then launch gparted and select 'new partition table' (fastest way to wipe).
Just make sure you select the right HDD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2011   #3

windows 7 32

Thanks biggles...

I'll look into that.

Is there any other way to do it without downloading and creating a linus boot cd?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Apr 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

You could have a go with the in-built Microsoft one. Right click on 'Computer' and click on the management thing with the security shield (I'm afraid I can't remember what it's called offhand). Navigate to the hard drive section and go on the disk service thing. I think you can just right click delete on them, but make sure to wipe the entire drive. Windows may have a problem with that as it may object to deleting it's 'friend', and the MBR may still be written to it which can cause problems. It's worth a shot though.
There are some windows partition managers, but she I've used them they managed to physically damage my hard drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Apr 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)

I'd suggest you download and install Paritition Wizard (free) Home Edition v5.2 along with its standalone boot CD which you can burn by downloading this ISO file. The program itself runs under Win7, so you can see drive letters. The standalone boot CD is for emergencies, disaster/recovery, and for partition-related operations that cannot be performed while the Win7 operating system is active but must be run while standalone booted.

You've got that extra drive now configured as a USB drive. So, just plug it in. Whatever's there, Win7 will see it.

Now just run Partition Wizard while booted to Win7, and use its simple and intuitive functions to DELETE each of the partitions on this external USB drive. Any drive letter previously assigned by Win7 will also be "disappeared".

Then, use PW to create any new partitions you want on the drive (I suggest creating them as "logical" rather than "primary", for maximum flexibility and convenience).

Then push the "apply" button to perform the entire sequence of tasks (or, you can use the "undo" button if you make a mistake and want to cancel one of your enumerated series of operations).

Note that Partition Wizard can also change/assign drive letters to these new partitions. Windows (DISKMGMT.MSC) can also do it. You might need to restart once to get everything into a steady state, drive letter wise (but I don't think it should be necessary for what you're doing).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Reformat a former boot drive

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