[SOLVED] How to remove Windows OS from a HDD?

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TheNoobGamer

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So basically, I bought an SSD and wanted windows 10 on that instead of my HDD, i disconnected the HDD and installed windows to the SSD. My original plan was to wipe the HDD after this and start afresh but have since decided to keep the data on the HDD. So is it possible to remove Windows 10 from the HDD but keep everything else on it, such as steam games and word documents? Thanks.
 

Darkbreeze

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If the steam games and word documents are on a separate partition on the HDD, then yes. If they are not, then short of manually moving those files off the HDD onto other media, wiping the drive and then moving the files back onto the clean drive, no.

You can't selectively remove Windows from a hard drive and leave game, application and other files there. You can however copy any important files off that drive, wipe the drive INCLUDING ANY HIDDEN PARTITIONS such as the boot and EFI partitions, and then create a new, clean partition afterwards, and then move your files back onto that drive.
 
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TheNoobGamer

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I’m ok with reinstalling the games and whatever, everything important has been backed up onto a USB, how would I go about wiping the hard drive whilst leaving windows on the SSD?
 

Darkbreeze

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The first thing you want to do is see if the system still boots with the HDD disconnected. If the HDD was connected to the system when you installed Windows on the SSD there is about a 50/50 chance that it did not create a new boot partition and instead used the existing one on the HDD. If it boots into Windows with the HDD disconnected from the system then you can do as follows.

Simply identify your HDD in drive management or a third party partitioning program, remove ALL the partitions from that drive including the hidden partitions such as the EFI, boot or recovery partitions in addition to the primary C: partition, and then create a new, fresh partition. Then format the new partition and it's ready to use.


You can use the command prompt methods or you can do it in drive management. There are also third party utilities like Gparted that work just as well if not better.
 

TheNoobGamer

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I disconnected the HDD before I installed windows on the SSD and just double checked that windows boots with the HDD disconnected. I apologise for my lack of knowledge but how would I go about deleting all the partitions of the HDD and creating a new one? I’m in Disk Management, the HDD is labelled as F: and the SSD as C:.
 
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