I cannot format old Windows Hard Drive

Coltor

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I installed windows on my new SSD and I want to use the old drive for data and games.

I cannot format this thing, just formatting from the "compute" window doesn't do it. Disk manager format option is greyed out. Ccleaner's wipe drive option sorta worked, now the drive is just completely unformatted and still has "windows" labeled on it.

I even checked if there was a formatting tool in the BIOS (I didn't find one).

How do I format this drive?
 

bartNL

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I had this problem once too, I did solve it by booting with the windows installation disk, and the format the drive in the setup when that possibility comes up. after that, you can close the setup. I couldn't wipe the drive in windows because it had contained an OS wicih was not properly wiped form the drive. It kind of locked the formatting procedure.
 

Coltor

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I'll give it a shot.
 

pastit

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Have you tried Gparted, (Found on most Puppy live CD's).
I use it a lot, and sometimes find I have to use the set flags option.
I sometimes delete the partition, format to Linux , then delete the partition again and reformat to NTFS; it seems to solve a lot of odd problems doing it that way.
JB
 

rehed21

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Did you clone your hard drive to the SSD or did you do a fresh operating system install to the SSD? If you did a fresh install to the SSD with the HDD attached, you will have necessary boot files on the HDD.
 

Coltor

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Coming to you now from my brother's computer.
I successfully formatted the old windows disk and touched nothing else. Now my ssd has a disk read error and windows repair of my DVD doesn't recognize the ssd windows. I have an older iso on a usb that would recognize the ssd windows but I can't find it.

In conclusion, now what?
 

Coltor

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Completely fresh install, has been working for several days now. I had the old windows HDD still in the computer and I haven'r removed it since. Should I just reinstall windows? I made a cool file called "The Ark" that I put all my personal photos, files, etc. in. I hope I can recover it, that file is important.
 

Coltor

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Both the recover DVD and bootable USB do not recognize the SSD windows installation.

5 am here, if I/we can't figure it out soon after I wake up, I'll have to take my chances finding The Ark with Recuva.
 

rehed21

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When you formatted the HDD you wiped the hidden system partition which is necessary for a successful boot. I did a brief google search, and that issue might be able to be fixed by running Windows System Repair multiple times, or by using gparted to create the hidden system partition on the SSD - you will have to get more details. As far as "The Ark", that can be easily recovered by running a Linux distro "live" off a DVD or USB, locating "The Ark" on the hard drive, then copying it to external media (USB drive, external hard drive, etc.).
 
Might be worthwhile to try this technique...

I assume that you've booted to your SSD without any problem and the HDD is connected as a secondary drive in the system.

In case they're not so connected ensure that your SSD is connected to the first motherboard's SATA connector - either SATA0 or SATA1. The secondary disk should be connected to one of the following SATA connectors.

Assuming you're running Win 8.1 (ALWAYS indicate your OS when you pose a problem or issue), access the Command Prompt (Admin) - more commonly known as an Elevated Command Prompt - from the window-style icon on the bottom left of your Desktop.

You'll be running these commands from C:\WINDOWS\system32

Enter Diskpart

list disk
select disk X (your secondary HDD probably either disk 1 or disk 2, whichever is the desired disk.)
DON'T MAKE ANY MISTAKES HERE - MAKE SURE YOU'VE SELECTED THE DESIRED DISK
clean all
This command will erase all partitions of the disk. It will take some time to complete the cleaning process. If the cleaning operation is successful a message will appear that "DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk."

All the disk space now will be "Unallocated".

At this point you can create a partition, or exit Diskpart and access Disk Management to initialize, partition, and format the disk. The latter is probably the best course of action.

Let us know how this works out (or not!).
 

Coltor

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Sorry, didn't think of my OS. I am running Windows 7 home Premium SP1. I can't boot to windows but I can do repair. Could I use the command prompt from repair to do this?
 
I'm really puzzled re your description of your problem. You've previously indicated you installed the OS on your SSD and the problem just affected the HDD which you planned to use as a secondary drive for storage. Now you state "I can't boot to windows..." So you don't have a viable OS on your SSD? That's another problem in addition to the HDD problem because you "cannot format this thing"?

Anyway, to answer your question you can use the Diskpart command with a Windows 7 installation DVD. See...
http://www.pronetworks.org/forums/using-diskpart-on-the-windows-7-dvd-t112571.html



 

Coltor

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I'll try to clarify:
I installed windows to a new Win 7 SSD then I wanted to go back and format the old Win 7 HDD for use as a data drive.
I could not format the old Windows HDD, some of the partitions kept preventing it and eventually I got it to appear as an unformatted drive (still couldn't format)

I tried using the Windows install DVD to select the old HDD and format it, it worked.
Now if I try to boot of my SSD I get the messege "Drive Read Error"

Now I'm pretty lost.
 

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