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Windows 7: Reformatting & Reinstalling

06 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
Reformatting & Reinstalling

As many of you know, I am running an Asus CM5571 Desktop. By default, this PC was shipped with multiple partition on a single drive. It comes with a small and hidden partition for recovery to factory settings, a C:/ partition for apps/OS and a D:/ partition for data.

After a long bit of internal debate, I've decided that I would like to reformat this PC using a retail copy of Windows 7 Home Premium (not the recovery disk) and in the process I'd like to shrink my C:/ partition to 80GB rather than the current 372GB on the c:/ partition.

I'm considering removing the recovery partition while I'm at it, too.

I need some advice as to how this can be done.

The major issue is that my D:/ partition holds 460GB of data that is not easily replaced and I do not have a backup solution. Is it possible to do my reformat, repartition and reinstall without harming the data on partition D:/?

Thanks in advance,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium [64-Bit]

Yes. There are several programs that can resize partitions. In Windows 7 there is even a program included into the OS that can do that for you. You can try out partition magic. Just Google it. Plus, when installing Windows 7, the install DVD will let you choose which partition to install windows to, and if you decide to format that partition it won't format the entire HDD, but only the selected partition. Give Partition Magic a try and let us know the outcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

It may be possible, depending on how the partitions were set up. If it was created as a stand-alone, primary partition (your D drive), you should be okay, although your drive letters may be messed up on the fresh install.

If it is an extended partition, you should move the data. In fact, you should have the data backed up anyway when performing major operations like this. Actually, going one step further, if you don't own an external drive to back it up to, then it can't be that important to you, right?

Do yourself a favor and go buy an external USB drive to back your data up. If it was important enough to mention, then you are crazy to be storing it on one single drive. Once you do this, wipe the entire hard drive clean, configure your C drive during the Windows 7 install, and the set up your D drive once Windows 7 is up and running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 May 2010   #4


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post

Do yourself a favor and go buy an external USB drive to back your data up. If it was important enough to mention, then you are crazy to be storing it on one single drive. Once you do this, wipe the entire hard drive clean, configure your C drive during the Windows 7 install, and the set up your D drive once Windows 7 is up and running.
Agree 100%. Get an external HDD and git-r-done!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

I do not believe you can reformat without losing the data. I suggest getting your hands on an external hard drive and doing a clean installation from the Windows 7 Home Premium disk.

Microsoft Windows Outreach
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient



Than do a clean install.
Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP


You do not need to use a new license and waste $100+ dollars to reinstall Win7 in lieu of the Recovery provided with today's factory installs.

You can use any Win7 installer for your version (any installer can have all versions unlocked if necessary) and activate it with the Product Key on the COA sticker attached to machine. It may require a robocall to MS to sort the exact key from batch.

If you choose not to backup externally as wisely advised here, then make sure you DO NOT delete or format the partition where your data is stored. You can of couse delete the other partitions, create New one(s) as you wish, then format before installing. Just don't touch your data drive or you may lose your files.

You'll do this using the booted Win7 installer>Custom install>Drive Options (advanced). You can wipe the selected partitions even deeper with zeros by using free Partition Wizard bootable CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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