Solved How to format a loose HDD

Custom / CUSTOM
November 23, 2017 at 09:48:14
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit, ntel Core i3 2120 - 3.30 GHz-4GB / 4GB DDR3 Ram
Have all my important data on an external HDD WD MyPassport Ultra which connects via USB3.

Had problems with win7 64 bit on my HDD and decided to re-install it and update with SP1 and Update Windows 7 All at Once with Microsoft’s Convenience Rollup. Then, after disconnecting MyPassport, installed a Samsung SSD 850 EVO, 250 GB and cloned the HDD to the SSD, with the program supplied with the SSD and removed the HDD. A large amount of updates was installed. Also I installed the needed drivers for my motherboard.

I also still had an older SATA HDD, to use it as an external drive in an adapter box. I wanted to format it and save system images and system images there. But this now external HDD has apparently an OS (Win7) on it.

I used EASEUS Partition Master and MiniTooPartition Wizard and found that there are TWO C:\ drives.

The Disk 0(MBR) which is a C:\ NTFS formatted and is shown as the system drive withs a capacity of 232.88 GB, used 39.17 GB and Primary.

Then there is ANOTHER:
Disk 0(MBR) which is a C:\ NTFS formatted and is shown as the system drive withs a capacity of 232.88 GB, used 39.17 GB and Primary.

With the SSD Windows running I tried to format that older SATA HDD but there is no format on Windows to do that and neither of the two partition managers can do it. With the SSD out and replaced by the SATA disk the PC states there is no bootable disk. What to do to use that older SATA HDD ?

I can only suggest to start the PC with the SSD OUT and the older SATA HDD IN and boot with the Win7 installation disk, install the basic win7 and then format it, either with windows or with one of the partition managers.

Could someone give me an opininion on what to do please


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✔ Best Answer
November 27, 2017 at 15:01:20
"Please tell me how I can remove that MBR partition"

Like I said in response #3: "use EaseUS or Disk Management to blow away ALL the partitions so that all you have is unallocated space. Create one new partition using the entire drive capacity, then format using NTFS."



#1
November 23, 2017 at 11:10:20
The drive letter can only be used once. How large is the external drive? Where are you looking that you are seeing the C drive twice in the Mini Partitioning Tool Window? Have you looked in Disk Management? What do you see if you disconnect the external hard drive?

Doing the best I can here... And remember, there's always more than one path to success. :)

message edited by Jennifer SUMN


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#2
November 23, 2017 at 11:51:58
Just to clarify Jeffiner's comment re' drive letters - The drive letter can only be used once That doesn't mean you can never use a given letter again on the system...

One cannot have two or more drives using the same drive letter at the same time. Once a letter has been assigned to a drive on the system, then the next drive must use another letter, and so on. Once you are no-longer using/assigning a given letter for/to a drive then of course it can be re-assigned to another drive.

Pedantic I know, but one never knows who may come across this post from "out there" at some future time and misinterpret...?

- time to exit stage left for dinner...


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#3
November 23, 2017 at 13:09:29
This is like one of those tests questions where a bunch of unnecessary info is provided to confuse you.

Did you reinstall Win7 while the external was still connected? You shouldn't have. Try safely ejecting whichever external(s) you have connected, reboot, then reconnect just the ext. HDD you want to format. If the ext. drive has multiple partitions, use EaseUS or Disk Management to blow away all the partitions so that all you have is unallocated space. Create one new partition using the entire drive capacity, then format using NTFS.

message edited by riider


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#4
November 24, 2017 at 06:17:02
Ad Jennifer SUMN - The external drive is 500 GB, but shows in both the Mini Partitioning Tool (MPT) and EaseUS Partition Manager (EPM) Windows as having the same used and unused size as the SSD drive. That and the fact that neither MPT, nor EPM could format the external drive, is what is confusing me. In Disk Management also both the 500GB external disk and the internal SSD drive show a capacity of the SAME 232.88 GB. Like your saying remember, there's always more than one path to success


Ad trvlr - Not pedantic I find.

Ad riider - Sorry for the confusion. Will try to better my life. But had already tried in vain to format the external drive both with MPT and EPM. In Disk Management the same. The external drive was not attached when I re-installed Win7.

So to find a solution I used the above suggestion (start the PC with the SSD out of the PC and the older SATA HDD in the PC and boot with the Win7 installation disk and used the installer up to and including the possibility to format). Stopped the Win7 installation after having formatted the HDD. This functioned OK. Then put back the SDD drive and external disk holder with the now formatted disk. Rebooted and ran MPT which showed it as "Disk 3 -MBR - available space 465.8 GB - I: (NTFS) and primary". Changed the primary to logical with MPT. I think there must still be a hidden partition, given the lower available space and mentioning MBR in the description. Tried to copy a file there and that succeeded.

Thanks for all your help.

message edited by willem1933


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#5
November 24, 2017 at 07:10:57
It still sounds like you may have done it incorrectly. Since you used the Win7 disc, you should have clicked on "Custom (advanced)" > "Drive Options (advanced)" & deleted ALL the partitions.

https://img.raymond.cc/blog/wp-cont...

If you're working with a 500GB HDD, 465GB is the actual formatted capacity.

http://knowledge.seagate.com/articl...


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#6
November 24, 2017 at 07:25:26
Thanks riider for your reaction.

That was exactly as I have done it, used "Drive Options (advanced)" and chose for "delete ALL the partitions". I understand from http://knowledge.seagate.com/articl... that the 465 GB is the binary expression of Decimal Capacity mentioned on the product.

But what about the mentioning of MBR ?. I thought that a master boot record was only found on a windows bootable disk.

message edited by willem1933


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#7
November 24, 2017 at 12:28:54
Did you delete the 100-200MB boot partition?

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#8
November 26, 2017 at 04:13:56
Thank you for your last question #7, which showed me I had not deleted the MBR partition.

What I did was delete the 500 GB HDD in MiniTool partition Manager, which resulted in Disk 2 MBR 465.76 GB in the left part, and showed unallocated 465.8 GB in the "Disk Map" part of the the way Minitool shows. After this I created a logical partition there, assuming that that would also delete a possible MBR partition.

But in Disk Management I find there is a 105 MB used and 465 GB free space. So I understand now that there must still be an MBR partition of 105 MB. I looked around in Disk Management and MiniTool for a possibility to delete that MBR partion, but could not find it.

Please tell me how I can remove that MBR partition. or does it need to stay there in order to function ?


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#9
November 26, 2017 at 20:27:05
In Disk Manager you right click on the graphic representation of the partition and a drop down menu appears. One item on the list will be Delete (Format would be another option). The 105MB may be labeled as 'System Reserved' but as long as you are not booted to that drive it should allow you to delete it. If the 105MB is actually reserved by the drive for its partition table then you may not (and should not) delete it.
On a 500GB, 465GB usable drive, 105MB is not much space to lose so if it does not cause any other problems and does not delete you may choose to just ignore it.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#10
November 27, 2017 at 15:01:20
✔ Best Answer
"Please tell me how I can remove that MBR partition"

Like I said in response #3: "use EaseUS or Disk Management to blow away ALL the partitions so that all you have is unallocated space. Create one new partition using the entire drive capacity, then format using NTFS."


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#11
December 2, 2017 at 03:41:55
Thenk you riider, used Disk Management and the hidden partition has now been added to the external HDD. Sorry for the late answer.

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