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Formatting a hard drive.


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#1
joesquire

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Right from the beginning,

I've been using Windows 7 for a long while now. I recently installed XP on a second hard drive and I can choose which to boot up.
I don't want to use Windows 7 any more so I use XP and i've installed everything i need etc etc.
I want to format the Windows 7 hard drive, but it doesn't let me, it keeps saying it's in use. But I don't know what by.

Windows 7 is on Disk 0
Windows XP is on Disk 1

When I go into disk managment XP is the boot drive.

I was wondering how I would go about stopping the computer accessing the windows 7 drive so I can format it?
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#2
Kemasa

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XP is older than Win7, so I am not sure of why you would want to use just that. Support for it will end fairly soon, unless they delay the end date again.

The system is most likely using the first disk to boot from, then switching to the second disk. To confirm this, you can disconnect the first disk and switch the second disk to be the first disk. Your machine may not boot. You might need to install the boot block on this disk by using the install CD.

You can also use the install CD to wipe out the Win7 by booting the CD and deleting the partition.
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#3
joesquire

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Right ok, how would I go about installing the boot block onto the XP disk?

I don't want to use Windows 7 anymore due to problems i'm having, plus i'm having problems with the legality of the copy of vista i have.
i bought it thinking it wa slegal and the person who i bought it off told me it was too, and at the time i wasn't to no, i just want to get rid of windows 7 and when i can buy a brand new copy.
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#4
rshaffer61

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i just want to get rid of windows 7 and when i can buy a brand new copy.

You have that backwards.
Buy the new Win7 and then you use it to boot the cd and then format the win7 drive and reinstall. That way you are not using the OS at all on the existing drive.
If you need suggestions on where to buy a legitimate copy of Win7 we can help with sites to buy from.
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#5
joesquire

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problem is, i dont think i will be getting the new windows 7 for a long time yet as i jsut cant afford it. so in the meantime i just wanted to free up the hard drive and use to just to store stuff on.
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#6
Kemasa

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I work mainly with Unix/Linux system, so you might want to see if others respond to the specifics.

Make sure that the XP system is the first drive and it is best to not have the other disk powered up, just to make sure that you can use it.

boot the install CD
press R to repair the system
enter admin password when asked
At command prompt enter FIXMBR
then enter "FIXBOOT C:" to fix the boot block on the C drive.
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#7
joesquire

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hello there, ive done all that, and now ive got the xp cd in and booted, trying to format the windows 7 drive, it says put in the admin password, but everything i know what it will be isnt working, ive even pulled out the admin account and made sure i know the account on it, but it keeps saying its wrong. i dont understand?
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#8
rshaffer61

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Try leaving it blank and see if that works.
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#9
joesquire

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i have done and it still says it's wrong
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#10
rshaffer61

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Windows 7 is on Disk 0
Windows XP is on Disk 1

OK this is why the Win7 shows as being active all the time.
It is the first hd. Just a ideal but if you took the Win 7 drive out and put the XP drive in it's place.
Then booted up with the XP cd in the cdrom drive.
Then redoing the steps Kemesa posted just run the fixmbr command.
That should reset the XP MBR so that it gets rid of any reference to Win7.
Once that is booting into windows again then shutdown. Install the Win7 drive now as the second drive. Boot back into windows and you should be able to format the win 7 drive through Disk Management like you originally tried.

Edited by rshaffer61, 25 August 2010 - 05:46 AM.

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#11
joesquire

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ahhh right i understand, thanks for your help :)
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#12
Kemasa

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You can also use a Knoppix Live CD to wipe out the Win7 partition. You would need to create the disk, boot it and then open a terminal session, become root by typing "su" and then use a tool like qtparted to edit the partition table.
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