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Windows Unable To Complete Format


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#1
kbmp

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Hi G2g, I was wondering if anyone could help me with a computer I just bought. I bought the computer because my old computer died on me. I took my old hard drive out of the old computer and connected it to the new computer. After I did this, I noticed I'm not able to access most of the files but I am ok with that. I just want to format the drive so I can erase everything on it so that I can start fresh again. So when I try to format it, it goes all the way to 100 and then a box pops up saying, windows is unable to complete the format. I also tried to format the hard drive using disk manager in windows but I get the same thing. If it helps any, the hard drive is split into two partitions and I deleted one of the partitions thinking that the space will move back onto the other partition but it did not do that and it now says unallocated.

So I guess I have two issues here. Formatting the hard drive and what to do now with the unallocated part of the hard drive.
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#2
Digerati

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You cannot format the boot drive so if that drive was put in the boot position, that is probably much of your problem. You can put that drive in another machine as a secondary drive and format it from there, or you can change the boot order in the BIOS to put the CD/DVD first in the boot order, then Save and Exit to reboot. Insert your Windows install disk and watch the boot process and when you see boot from CD in the lower left, press a key to boot from the install disk. From there, you should be able to reformat and install.

Note that unless your old copy of Windows is a "full retail" version, you are not allowed to use it on a new computer. That is, if your old copy of Windows is an OEM version that came with your old computer, the license is tied to the old computer and you MUST buy a new license for the new computer. ONLY a "full retail" (not OEM or upgrade) is transferable to a new computer.
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#3
kbmp

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My intentions was to use the old hard drive as a secondary hard drive because the computer I bought came with a windows XP already installed. I was in no way trying to use the operating system from the old hard drive. I was hoping to clear everything off of the hard drive and use it for extra space. So are you saying that since this was the main hard drive in my old computer there is no way to erase and reformat the drive.
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#4
Digerati

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If you have it installed as a secondary drive, and you are booting to the primary, then there should be no problem formatting it. I would boot into the BIOS Setup Menu and make sure it is properly identified. Then Save and Exit. It is important to Save and Exit and not just Exit. Then try again. If it fails again, there may be something wrong with the drive and I would run Error Checking on it with both options checked. Or you can open a command prompt and run chkdsk /r on it (note the space before the "/"). You may be prompted to let checkdisk run at next boot, follow the prompts to allow that. Note it can take hours to complete and it may appear to be hung - just let it run.
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#5
kbmp

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I know this might sound dumb but how do you get to the bios
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#6
Digerati

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The dumb question is the one not asked.

It depends on the motherboard. But typically, you watch the boot process and you will be prompted to press a key to enter the BIOS or System Menu. Typically, it is the Del or F1 or some other F key.
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#7
kbmp

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I went to the bios and saved and exit and then tried to format and again it's still a no go. So, can you explain step by step on checking the hard drive for errors. Also, when checking for errors will I still be able to use the computer or will I have to wait until the check is over?

Edited by kbmp, 08 December 2010 - 12:33 PM.

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#8
Digerati

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In My Computer, right click on the drive in question, then select Properties, then click on the Tools tab. Select Check now under Error Checking and ensure both options are checked.

No, you will not be able to use your computer during this check.
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#9
kbmp

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Ok sorry but I finally got the chance to follow your instructions. I did everything you said to do but nothing happens. I check the two boxes, click start, the box disappears and I get nothing. I kept the computer on all night just to see if anything changes but no change at all. I tried to restart to see if that would help but still no luck. I'm stuck. Is there something else I can try?
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#10
Digerati

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So you can see the drive when you open My Computer?
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#11
kbmp

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Yes, I can see the drive when I open my computer.
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#12
Digerati

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If you right click on My Computer, then select Manage > Disk Management, on the lower half of the right side, what does it say for this drive?
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#13
kbmp

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It shows the drive letter F: the Gigabytes and the word Healthy.
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#14
Digerati

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Okay. From that same location, if you right click and select Format, does it fail there too?
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#15
kbmp

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Yes, it fails here as well.
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