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How to format a hard drive that has Windows on it?

microsoft.public.windows.vista.file management






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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2009
grendi
 

Posts: n/a
How to format a hard drive that has Windows on it?
Hello
My old PC died so I took its main hard drive (with XP installed on it) and
put it in my new PC that already had Vista installed on a hard drive.
So now I have on my new PC: a hard drive C: with Vista, and a hard drive L:
with XP that is not bootable. I now want to reformat the L: drive.
When I go to Disk management and right click on L:, it does not give me the
option to format the drive or to remove a partition.
How should I do?
Thanks
gz

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-30-2009
R. C. White
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to format a hard drive that has Windows on it?
Hi, Grendi.

You probably need to "initialize" the disk after moving it from another
computer. In Disk Management, open the Help file, then Disk Management.
Then search for "foreign" and click on "Move Disks to Another Computer".

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
rc@grandecom.net
Microsoft Windows MVP
Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8089.0726) in Win7 Ultimate x64

"grendi" <ufoREMOVErobotTHISgrendizerusTO@CONTACTyahoo.MEco m> wrote in
message news:A24514BA-011D-4F6E-BC13-3D0D81917C8B@microsoft.com...
> Hello
> My old PC died so I took its main hard drive (with XP installed on it) and
> put it in my new PC that already had Vista installed on a hard drive.
> So now I have on my new PC: a hard drive C: with Vista, and a hard drive
> L: with XP that is not bootable. I now want to reformat the L: drive.
> When I go to Disk management and right click on L:, it does not give me
> the option to format the drive or to remove a partition.
> How should I do?
> Thanks
> gz


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-31-2009
grendi
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to format a hard drive that has Windows on it?
Thanks RC

It does not work:
Using the device manager, I uninstalled the disk and rebooted, after the
reboot, Windows Vista Ultimate 64bits SP2 installed the drive and asked for
a reboot, which I did, and then in disk management I couldn't see anything
marked "foreign" with the option to "import foreign drives".

Other questions :
1) In Windows, how can I tell which drive letter is using which hardware
drive, I mean: if I have 2 hard drives on my computer , one C: and one L: ,
how can I check if drive C: is the Western Digital, and the drive L: is the
Samsung one?
2) Why is Windows identifying the drive from my old computer as "SCSI"? This
drive L: is an IDE drive, and is connected on the IDE plug of the mainboard
.. My C: drive is a sata connected to the sata plug.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-2009
R. C. White
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to format a hard drive that has Windows on it?
Hi, Grendi.

Sorry for the delay. Busy weekend. :^}

Please set your Windows Mail to Include message in reply; it's on the Tools
| Options | Send tab. Without that, I have to keep flipping back and forth
to see the context of our discussion. :>(

Now, easy questions first...

> 1) In Windows, how can I tell which drive letter is using which hardware
> drive, I mean: if I have 2 hard drives on my computer , one C: and one L:
> , how can I check if drive C: is the Western Digital, and the drive L: is
> the Samsung one?


First, let me air a couple of gripes Disk Management: DM always comes up in
a too-small display, in my opinion, and that weakness hasn't been fixed in
any version since DM first appeared in Windows 2000. The window is only
about 1/4 the screen. It's easy to click the Maximize button - but it
doesn't stick and we have to do this again every time we run Disk
Management. Also, the columns (especially the Status column) are too narrow
to show all the labels for each volume; again, it's easy to fix, but it
doesn't stick and we have to do it again every time. And, perhaps most
frustrating: If we start DM the orthodox mouse-click way, I feel like I'm
working through a keyhole, with all the MMC stuff using up the screen real
estate. :^} So I just press Start, type "diskmgmt.msc" and press Enter;
then Maximize the window and I have a lot more room to work. ;<)

DM by default displays in two panes. The top is the Volume Listing, which,
as the name suggests, lists all the "volumes" in your computer. Volumes are
what we usually mean when we say "drives". These are not the physical HDDs
in your computer; these are the partitions, logical drives, optical drives,
flash drives...just about anything that can be assigned a "drive" letter.

The bottom pane in DM is the Graphical Display. This shows a single
graphical bar for each physical HDD and other device; in the far left
column, these are identified as Disk 0, Disk 1, CD-ROM 0, etc. Note that
physical devices are NUMBERED, not lettered. Also, note that each numbered
disk can be divided into multiple lettered volumes.

Study this Disk Management screen. It is VERY informative, especially if
you Maximize the display and widen those Volume Listing columns. Look in
the Status column to see which is the System and which is the Boot volume;
they often share the same volume. (For a definition of these terms - which
are counterintuitive - see KB article 314470, Definitions for system volume
and boot volume, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314470/EN-US/ I've been
using and referring users to that KB article for years; I see that it was
last reviewed October 29, 2009 - just last week.)

DM won't tell you which is your Western Digital drive unless you right-click
on Disk 0 and choose Properties. But you can assign a name "label" to each
volume; this name will be written to the disk and will stay the same, no
matter how the "drive" letter may shift. For example, even if "Win7 x64
(C" becomes "Win7 x64 (W" tomorrow, you still will know which "drive"
you are looking at because the label will not have changed when the drive
letter did.

We never format a physical drive, and we never assign it a letter. We must
first create at least one partition on the disk, even if it is a single
"partition" covering the entire disk space. Then we can format that
partition and assign a letter to the partition, NOT to the physical disk.
So it is incorrect to say, "I have 2 hard drives on my computer , one C: and
one L:." You should say, "I have 2 hard drives, Disk 0 and Disk 1. Disk 0
holds the partition currently assigned Drive C:, and Disk 1 holds the
current Drive L:."

So much for the easy question. It takes a lot of words (for a guy like me),
but the ideas are really quite simple. ;<)

> 2) Why is Windows identifying the drive from my old computer as "SCSI"?
> This drive L: is an IDE drive, and is connected on the IDE plug of the
> mainboard . My C: drive is a sata connected to the sata plug.


I'm not a techie, so this answer is not so easy for me. My current
configuration is all SATA hard drives, but I've dealt with mixed systems in
the past - and they have generated confusion! Much of the proper settings
depend on your motherboard and BIOS, before Windows even gets a crack at
them. My older mobos always insisted on booting from IDE first, even when I
tried to set my SCSI HD first. One solution I found was to go ahead and put
the "system volume" on the IDE HDD, then make sure that WinXP's Boot.ini
pointed to my \Windows folder on my SCSI HDD. At power-on, the system would
find its instructions on the IDE, then load WinXP from the SCSI. Windows
doesn't care - and neither does the BIOS once it turns control over to
Windows. Newer BIOSes are more manageable.

The IDE-identified-as-SCSI question is one that the techies can explain; I
don't think it really matters to us non-techie users. And, once booted, it
should not matter to Disk Management - but I could be wrong about that.

Now for the hard question, which is where we started...

Your first post said:
> So now I have on my new PC: a hard drive C: with Vista, and a hard drive
> L:

with XP that is not bootable. I now want to reformat the L: drive.

Disk Management SHOULD be able to handle that job easily - but you knew
that. So, why doesn't it?

In Disk Management, does Disk 1 show up at all? Can you see the volume
marked (L on it? When you right-click Disk 1 and click Properties, what
does it tell you? What about Properties for Drive L:?

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
rc@grandecom.net
Microsoft Windows MVP
Windows Live Mail 2009 (14.0.8089.0726) in Win7 Ultimate x64

"grendi" <ufoREMOVErobotTHISgrendizerusTO@CONTACTyahoo.MEco m> wrote in
message news:AE55B817-8F6D-4241-9151-CD85894621B8@microsoft.com...
> Thanks RC
>
> It does not work:
> Using the device manager, I uninstalled the disk and rebooted, after the
> reboot, Windows Vista Ultimate 64bits SP2 installed the drive and asked
> for a reboot, which I did, and then in disk management I couldn't see
> anything marked "foreign" with the option to "import foreign drives".
>
> Other questions :
> 1) In Windows, how can I tell which drive letter is using which hardware
> drive, I mean: if I have 2 hard drives on my computer , one C: and one L:
> , how can I check if drive C: is the Western Digital, and the drive L: is
> the Samsung one?
> 2) Why is Windows identifying the drive from my old computer as "SCSI"?
> This drive L: is an IDE drive, and is connected on the IDE plug of the
> mainboard . My C: drive is a sata connected to the sata plug.


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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 11-03-2009
grendi
 

Posts: n/a
Re: How to format a hard drive that has Windows on it?
> Please set your Windows Mail to Include message in reply; it's on the
> Tools | Options | Send tab. Without that, I have to keep flipping back
> and forth to see the context of our discussion. :>(


Okay

> DM won't tell you which is your Western Digital drive unless you
> right-click on Disk 0 and choose Properties. But you can assign a name
> "label" to each volume; this name will be written to the disk and will
> stay the same, no matter how the "drive" letter may shift. For example,
> even if "Win7 x64 (C" becomes "Win7 x64 (W" tomorrow, you still will
> know which "drive" you are looking at because the label will not have
> changed when the drive letter did.


Hmmm thanks for this info but it still does not work. When I right click on
"disk1", "partition L:", it show me the properties dialog with many tabs,
the "genral tab" shows no info about the hard drive itself, the "hardware"
tab shows all the drives inside and outside of my PC case, and the first
item on top of the list is always selected in blue. Same thing if I right
click on "disk 0" , "partition C".
I did name the drives after their manufacturer's names but I'd like Windows
to show me this clearly.

> I'm not a techie, so this answer is not so easy for me. My current
> configuration is all SATA hard drives, but I've dealt with mixed systems
> in the past - and they have generated confusion! Much of the proper
> settings depend on your motherboard and BIOS, before Windows even gets a
> crack at them. My older mobos always insisted on booting from IDE first,
> even when I tried to set my SCSI HD first. One solution I found was to go
> ahead and put the "system volume" on the IDE HDD, then make sure that
> WinXP's Boot.ini pointed to my \Windows folder on my SCSI HDD. At
> power-on, the system would find its instructions on the IDE, then load
> WinXP from the SCSI. Windows doesn't care - and neither does the BIOS
> once it turns control over to Windows. Newer BIOSes are more manageable.


I see, so it must be a bios problem, will have to dig into its options.
However, as you say, it's not a big deal as the drive is working well in
Windows now.

> In Disk Management, does Disk 1 show up at all? Can you see the volume
> marked (L on it? When you right-click Disk 1 and click Properties, what
> does it tell you? What about Properties for Drive L:?


Disk management did not give me any options at all, whatever would do the
trick was greyed out, when right clicking on "disk 1" "partition L:". But I
found a way to delete the XP partition, create a new one and format it:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...89(WS.10).aspx
Using the diskpart way it worked.

See you soon,

Gz

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