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Windows 7: I want to format a system disk

07 Dec 2010   #11
Odd Job

Windows 7 professional X 64
 
 

OK guys thanks for the solutions. I guess I was apprehensive about swapping disk cables about as I have 3 identical disks and am not too sure which is which on the MBoard. And the reason I suggested Easy BCD was because I thought it might repair disk C in one step instead of 3.

I'll attempt your solution mjf. Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Dec 2010   #12
gregrocker

 

Of the hundreds of times we have helped here with this very same operation - both using Diskpart and PW CD - there are times when OP doesn't feel comfortable changing the cables or cannot for another reason (e.g. laptop).

In this case, use free PW CD to wipe the old Win7 partition first so that there is no System drive to interfere when you mark the new Win7 partition Active (as it already is here) then run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots.

The reason to favor swapping cables in this case is because your old Win7 System partition HD is in DISK0 slot, which would be better suited for the new OS System HD. The reason for this is because if a data partition on DISK0 later becomes marked Active, it can derail the repair of Win7 which looks for the first Active partition to write the System MBR to. So it's best overall to have your current Win7 System HD in DISK0 slot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2010   #13
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
The reason to favor swapping cables in this case is because your old Win7 System partition HD is in DISK0 slot, which would be better suited for the new OS System HD. The reason for this is because if a data partition on DISK0 later becomes marked Active, it can derail the repair of Win7 which looks for the first Active partition to write the System MBR to. So it's best overall to have your current Win7 System HD in DISK0 slot.
The principle here is certainly one of the reasons I suggested swapping cables. However, the MBR resides at the front of the HDD (First 512 bytes) and other critical boot information resides on the active partition. Also clearly this wasn't a laptop and swapping sata cables is not an onerous task on a desktop. Most people will need to do it at some stage.

As I stated earlier, the Partition Wizard could be useful for disk cleanup of the "old D:" disk. The documentation for Partition Wizard does not suggest it could replace all the roles, if any, of the Windows System Repair functions in this situation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Dec 2010   #14
gregrocker

 

Marking a partition Inactive does not always work to redirect the boot files to new Active partition using Startup Repair x3. But it will work if you unplug the old System partition.

I am not sure about Partition Wizard MBR rebuild function working for a situation like this, Michael, since there is no System MBR on the target disk to be rebuilt. It is a fairly new feature which needs to be tested.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #15
Odd Job

Windows 7 professional X 64
 
 

Well I managed to complete the task without disconnecting anything, and I learned a bit more along the way.

How I did it: I used EasyBCD (the program I referenced in an earlier post) and created a new MBR on the C: drive. I went into BIOS and changed the disk boot priority (after I sussed which disk had the right windows installation on as I have 3 identical disks, all with the same ID number), and rebooted. I booted straight into windows. When I checked in disk manager, C: was showing as the system disk and I was able to format the windows 7 old disk.

I tried the System repair option, well would have if it was an option. For some reason, every time I booted from the windows 7 disk it went straight into install and I never got the system repair option.

Also, after the repair, I had to re activate windows (twice, after reordering the boot drive sequence in BIOS). Is this normal ? was it due to changing the boot sequence ? or something else ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #16
gregrocker

 

Do you have a retail WIn7 installation DVD? The Repair console should be on the second screen.
I want to format a system disk-capture.png


A Repair CD should boot directly into WinRE: Repair CD - System Repair Disk
System Repair Disc - Create

If you left C as DISK2 make sure no partitions on DISK 0 or 1 are incorrectly marked Active or it will derail the System MBR to them during any future repairs.

Thanks for reporting back about EasyBCD 2.0. I believe it has the same Rebuild MBR feature as on new version PW CD.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2010   #17
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I don't think it's desirable to have disk 2 as C: but if you're happy who cares.
The MBR fixes in EasyBCD & PW are by product capabilities which again is fine.
Your Install DVD should have done it but I suggest you go to "Backup & Restore" and make a System Repair DVD (or two). It would have done the same job automatically with "Repair" or manually with Bootrec under a command prompt.

Glad it worked out for you. Any more re-activations required though, would be a worry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2010   #18
Odd Job

Windows 7 professional X 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
If you left C as DISK2 make sure no partitions on DISK 0 or 1 are incorrectly marked Active or it will derail the System MBR to them during any future repairs.

Thanks for reporting back about EasyBCD 2.0. I believe it has the same Rebuild MBR feature as on new version PW CD.
So how do I change disk attributes for D: and E: so that they are no longer marked active ?


Attached Thumbnails
I want to format a system disk-disks.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2010   #19
gregrocker

 

To have a picture of what you're doing, use free Partition Wizard bootable CD to rightclick D&E>Modify>Set to Inactive. http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html

You can also use Diskpart from DVD/Repair CD command line or Win7 elevated Command Line (type CMD in start search box, rightclick result to Run as Admin): Partition - Mark as Active
The command is: Inactive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Dec 2010   #20
Odd Job

Windows 7 professional X 64
 
 

Thank you. Disks all now sorted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 I want to format a system disk




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