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Windows 7: How do I reformat a HDD that W7 doesn't recognize?

06 Sep 2013   #1

Win 7 pro 64 bit
How do I reformat a HDD that W7 doesn't recognize?

I have an external 750GB HDD that I bought to to store programming from my Dish Network Receiver. The receiver software reformatted the virgin HDD to some proprietary system used by Dish. I think someone said it's a Linux based siystem.

I now want to reformat it for use with my Windows 7 computer. When I plug it into the USB port Win says device is ready to use, but it doesn't show in windows explorer.

Disk Management shows the disk with 3 partitions, but I can't see any way to reformat it to NTFS.

How do I reformat it?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2013   #3

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

The best way to do this will be to make a bootable Partition Wizard CD. With a desktop computer that has all HD's disconnected, except this external that you want to clean & format. Boot to PW, hopefully it will see the Ext HD. Then delete the 3 partitions, that you are aware of. ReBoot. Then boot again to the PW CD, see the total bare unallocated Ext HD. Then either setup several new partitions or one big one. Then proceed to format as NTFS. Reboot, again see if PW sees the formated EXT HD. Then shut down. Re-connect the desktop HD's as they were before. Then power up into win7 and see if the Ext HD shows up as an empty but formated ready to use HD.

Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD

My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Sep 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

While DocBrown's suggestion to use PW gets a nod, you may as well install PW on your system and do it without burning/creating a bootable CD/ pen drive.

Another formatting tool you can try is the simple HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool v2.2.3, a mere 96KB executable HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool Free Download (Just right click on the executable and run as administrator. Uncheck Quick Format option, to do a full format.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2013   #5

Win 7 pro 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
Here's a better picture...

Attached Thumbnails
How do I reformat a HDD that W7 doesn't recognize?-disk-management.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2013   #6

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)

Yes, Partiton Wizard can work from within win7. But, with some of these proprietary formats like the TIVO HD's I reformatted, I had better luck as I posted above. Plus you want to be very careful you don't accidentally format the wrong
HD since you have some others connected.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2013   #7

windows 7 64 bit and dual boot Pinguyos

Best solution i found was to download gparted(linux OS) install it onto a usb or cd restart into that then use it to clean discs etc, Still need to be careful of which disc you clean though.

just realised similar solution to Doc browns, just a different system
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2013   #8

Win 7 pro 64 bit

Thanks to all. I think I used gparted years ago with xp. I'll download it again. I only thought that with win seven that there may be a simple way to reformat the drive within the win os.

Also thanks for the warning about reformatting the wrong Hdd. Advice imtake seriously
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2013   #9

Win 7 pro 64 bit

Just to follow up....

I used MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition which also is freeware after looking again at gparted. It's probably not as comprehensive but is simpler and allowed me to delete the Linux partitions and install ntfs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How do I reformat a HDD that W7 doesn't recognize?

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