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Windows 7: WIndows 7 won't let me format a hard drive

15 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 SP1 64 bit
WIndows 7 won't let me format a hard drive

I have a 750Gb drive that I would like to reformat so I can use it for backups. When I try to format the drive I am told windows can't format it.

The drive was previously used as a C drive and held an intstalation of Vista. On the drives and Proram and Windows folders. When I tried to delete them I was told I needed permission from trusted installer. I found a "solution" to this on a microsoft site which effectively said to set the owner to the administrator group. I have done this. Now when I try and delete them I am told I need permission from the administrator. I have logged on as the administrator.

Formatting is also still forbidden.

The files I want rid of take up 50Gb of space.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello ianoh and welcome to Seven Forums.

This Microsoft Answers forum thread might help. Particularly about using the diskpart utility to format the drive. As I understand it (and I could be wrong on this) since the hard drive was previously used as a C: drive and contained Vista, it might still be recognized by Windows 7 as a boot drive and that's why you can't format it.

Cannot format drive - Microsoft Answers

Another possibility is to get gparted iso, burn it to a CD (or a flash drive following the instructions here). Boot from the CD or flash drive and then you can format/delete/move/resize/etc partitions from there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2012   #3

Windows 7 SP1 64 bit

Thanks for this. I would be happy to leave the drive as it is if I could only delete all the files. I can't believe 15Gb of files are essential.

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 WIndows 7 won't let me format a hard drive

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