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How can I make HD single partition and format it?


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#1
Wol

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A question - my C Drive has three partitions. When I bought the
comfuser there were two: logical C and D (the D drive contains the
"recovery" programs and files and is basically inaccessible). I also
have a dual boot Windoze 7 in the third logical drive, which is lettered
differently depending on whether it's "seen" by XP or seven.

I've seen enough of Windoze seven to confirm my decision to stay with
XP until M$ stop supporting it and I have copies of the D drive recovery files, burned onto a recovery DVD.

How can I do a *complete* format of the physical C drive so as to
leave it as one single drive - no partitions? MBR as well, so as to be
fairly sure there's nothing lurking on it?
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#2
Xaters

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So what's the problem?

Format the hard drive, switch BIOS to boot from the CD ROM, insert your Win XP CD and proceed with the installation. When presented with choice for HD configuration choose Custom option and make C the only partition on your HD. I doubt you will be able not to set MBR separately - it just how Windows usually works, no matter what, Windows does it for you anyways, you just don't see it.

But I am not a certified pro so feel free to ignore my post.
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#3
Wol

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Thanks for the reply.

First, you say, format the hard drive - but that's exactly what I'm asking!

My recovery DVD that I burned when I got the machine doesn't give me any option of partitions when I try it and take it up to the commit point. I suspect that it still assumes I only have the two logical partitions, whereas I created a third one to try W seven from.

When I boot seven from this third partition the logical drives are lettered differently to when I boot XP. That's why I thought I would have to format under DOS, but don't know how to identify what is a physical drive that way.
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#4
rshaffer61

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Can I ask what the original loaded OS was?
Was Win 7 installed along with the XP?
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#5
Wol

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Can I ask what the original loaded OS was?
Was Win 7 installed along with the XP?


No, XP was the OS when I bought the machine (HP Pavilion desktop, 3.2GHz) and I created a third partition on the C drive six months ago to look at Seven. I've actually now got three HDs - should have put seven on one of the "others" but don't remember being given the option!
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#6
rshaffer61

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You have three physical drives or 3 partitions?
This does make a difference how this is resolved.
Please do the following:
Go to Start then to Run
Type in compmgmt.msc and click Enter
On left side click on Disk Management
On right side you will see you hard drive.
Now I need you to take a screenshot and attach it to your next reply. Do the following to take a screenshot while the above is open and showing on your desktop.

To do a screenshot please have click on your Print Screen on your keyboard. It is normally the key above your number pad between the F12 key and the Scroll Lock key
Now go to Start and then to All Programs
Scroll to Accessories and then click on Paint
In the Empty White Area click and hold the CTRL key and then click the V
Go to the File option at the top and click on Save as
Save as file type JPEG and save it to your Desktop


Attach it to your next reply
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#7
Wol

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As I said, I have three physical hard drives.

The *original* drive that came with the Pavilion came as two partitions, C and D. (D held the "recovery" programs, ie. the Windows XP recovery and the supplied programs such as IHT etc.) I made DVD recovery discs from the computer when I got it.

(The other two physical drives are USB drives, added later)

The "original" physical drive now has a third logical partition, which I created to try W seven as a dual boot OS - as I understood it at the time if I didn't create this I would have installed seven instead of XP, which wasn't what I wanted.

Now that I want to dispose of seven I want to "get rid" of this third partition on the physical C drive and, since I have the recovery DVDs, for the sake of tidyness, also get rid of the logical D drive so that my physical, internal drive has just one partition.
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#8
rshaffer61

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As far as getting rid of the Win 7 partition you only need to right click on that partition in compmgmt and then click on delete partition.
Now the other partition that has the recovery is going to be a problem. Using the recovery disk you made will most likely put the recovery partition back on the drive.
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#9
123Runner

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You most likely do not have 3 physical hard drives. The terminology of physical versus partitions needs to be cleared up. Till we do that, we can not be 100% sure how to proceed.

This is what you have said....

As I said, I have three physical hard drives

and

The *original* drive that came with the Pavilion came as two partitions, C and D.

and then

The "original" physical drive now has a third logical partition

That puts 3 partitions on 1 hard drive.

We need the info that Rshaffer61 asked for in the previous postso we can be absolutely sure.

I suspect that you have 1 physical drive that has 3 partitions. If that is true, then using the recovery CD's will reformat and make the drive 1 partition.
It might put a recovery partition back on it though.
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#10
Wol

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>> You most likely do not have 3 physical hard drives. The terminology of physical versus partitions needs to be cleared up. Till we do that, we can not be 100% sure how to proceed. <<

Your post may have crossed with another. Yes, I *do* have three physical hard drives - the one that came built-in, which is now divided into three logical drives (the letters of which vary depending on whether I boot into XP or seven), and two extra USB external drives.

>> This is what you have said....

As I said, I have three physical hard drives

and

The *original* drive that came with the Pavilion came as two partitions, C and D.

and then

The "original" physical drive now has a third logical partition

That puts 3 partitions on 1 hard drive. <<

Correct: there are three partitions on my internal drive.


>> I suspect that you have 1 physical drive that has 3 partitions. If that is true, then using the recovery CD's will reformat and make the drive 1 partition.
It might put a recovery partition back on it though. <<

Yes, the *original* drive now has three partitions. I take the point that reinstalling XP from the recovery DVD might re-instate the logical "D" recovery partition, though. Hadn't thought of that. On reflection, I somehow doubt that it would.....
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#11
rshaffer61

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OK then put the recovery disk in and boot the system. If the disk works like most recovery disk it should ask if you want to do a destructive or non destructive recovery. You would want the first as this will put the system back to factory settings.
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#12
123Runner

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I would also suggest that you dis-connect the external USB drives to be on the safe side.
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#13
rshaffer61

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I agree, then the recovery disk has no option but to look at the internal drive,
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#14
Wol

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Thanks everyone. I will certainly disconnect the external drives!

The problem however remains - the recovery disc does not recognise that I created the third partition! So - and I'm guessing here - if I just did a DVD "recovery" it may well format the "C" logical partition and reinstall XP on it, leaving the added third partition untouched. That's why I wanted to reformat the whole physical drive to one partition before "recovering" from the DVD.

I'm just about to backup my data to DVD and will then start by doing what one of you suggested - using compmanagement to delete the Windows Seven partition. If that works, I will have to see whether the "released" space comes back to the logical C partition or is lost. It's half the disc space, so it's an important question!
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#15
rshaffer61

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Ok the terminology is what is confusing. You don't format to one partition. To do this go HERE and get Easus Partition manager. Install it and then delete the Win7 Partition. That will now be gone. Then Expand the XP partition using the same tool. Now there should only be two partitions on the drive. The Recovery partition and the main XP partition.
Once that is done then we can proceed.
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