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Format Hard Drive

Format Hard Drive

Postby Wntrhwk » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:11 pm

I have 3 separate hard drives with separate operating systems on each drive: (1) Vista Ultimate 64-bit, (2) Vista Ultimate 32-bit, (3) Windows 7 RC 64-bit. I want to reformat (2) but apparently I don't know how!? The purpose to reformat (2) is to use the hard drive as a back-up for the Vista & W7 RC 64-bit systems and other items. I am doing away with the Vista 32-bit system. I would appreciate any guidance you'all can provide. :yesnod:
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Re: Format Hard Drive

Postby shreader » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:17 pm

One way is,
you could go to Vista x64 & Rt Clk Computer/ Manage/ Disk Management then Rt Clk the Vista x86 drive & choose "Format".

Then use VistaBootPRO to remove the boot menu entry for (2).
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Re: Format Hard Drive

Postby Wntrhwk » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:25 pm

Shreader, I have tried that from all 3 operating systems and it (the computer) will not let that happen. :bashhead
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Re: Format Hard Drive

Postby shreader » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:35 pm

What errors/ warning did you get?

I just tried using Win7 RC x64 & it worked doing a quick format.
I did receive 2 warnings though, but completed the format.
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Re: Format Hard Drive

Postby Wntrhwk » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:41 pm

It simply said that it was un-able to reformat. I will try again; then report back. :whistle
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Re: Format Hard Drive

Postby Wntrhwk » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:59 pm

No can do! The error message says it can not reformat the operating system partition! :bashhead Can I reormat (2) by claiming I want to install a clean W7 and then stop the process after it reformats the drive? :question
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Re: Format Hard Drive

Postby JabbaPapa » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:41 pm

The trouble is that (2) is a boot partition and therefore can only be formatted by reinstalling Windows -- which would hose your current multi-boot.

A possible workaround might be to edit your boot options so that the 32-bit option no longer appears, then reboot and go to whichever 64-bit -- then instead of formatting, just delete the contents -- making sure you don't delete the necessary boot files and folders that are located in (2). MAKE SURE you do not delete the boot files, because doing so would make your computer unbootable.

Just delete the folders (NOT the other files) except for the "Boot" folder, which is hidden btw -- and leave all other root content on the drive intact :yesnod:

This should ensure that you would be able to boot, and yet keep your current configuration intact, and yet use (2) for data storage instead of 32-bit Vista...
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Re: Format Hard Drive

Postby Wntrhwk » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:57 pm

Thanks JabbaPapa, I'll give that a try. :wave:
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Re: Format Hard Drive

Postby Grav!ty » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:31 am

If you give us a screenshot of Disk Management (top listing and bottom depiction), and indicate which OS is on which drive, we'll better understand your current drive structure I think.

You should be able to delete the drive/partition from your Windows 7 DVD and then run a Startup repair using the Windows 7 DVD and manually add an entry for Vista 64 using VistaBootPRO. I guess you could try copying the folder Boot and the file bootmgr to your Windows 7 drive and perhaps Startup repair will find the current BCD store.

Also, if you change the HDD drive priority and structure in your BIOS, so that the Windows 7 drive is the first HDD and the first boot HDD, that should change the drive tagged (System) in Disk Management and after a startup repair you should be able to boot to all OS's and then delete the partition and format the Vista 32-Bit drive from Disk Management as it will no longer be the drive tagged (System)...I'm guessing that it is that at present which is why you haven't been able to format it.
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Re: Format Hard Drive

Postby Wntrhwk » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:23 am

When I bought this computer it came with only 1 hard drive that had 3 partitions--55MB, healthy(oem partition); 10 GB Recovery Partition; 455.71 GB, System,Active, Primary partition (Vista Ultimate 32-Bit OS installed). This labeled Disk 0. Vista 64-Bit is on Disk 1, and Windows 7 is on Disk 2. I don't know how to upload image, but that should show my hard drive set-up. :question
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