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can not format a drive or change the drive letter

Posted on 2009-04-13
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hello,
I have a vista box with a couple of partitions.
I am trying to create a dual boot with linux in the second partition (this partitiion used to be XP)
but when i try to format or remove this partition is get the error

"Windows cannot format the System partition on this disk"

attached is what the disk manager  looks like

So does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks
Randy


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Question by:paries
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5 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
MSRamrod earned 168 total points
ID: 24134577
Windows wont reformat a drive it is using, and either way if your setting up a dual boot vista/linux machine, you will have to use inux to format the drive because windows can't see or read an ext3 file system. Use a bootable linux disk to run fdisk, or most popular versions of linux have a gui installer.
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:torimar
torimar earned 332 total points
ID: 24134585
The integrated Windows disk manager is by far not the best one around. I recommend to use a third-party partition manager.

Since you are preparing for Linux and would certainly prefer a free tool for this, I guess, take one of the many Linux bootables with system tools and GParted on it. By far the best one among these that I know is "Parted Magic": www.partedmagic.com

Just boot off the iso, select "Partition Manager" on the desktop and go ahead partitioning.
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Author Comment

by:paries
ID: 24134602
thanks for the responses.
Do you know why it is labeled as a System disk?
there is nothing on it anymore

(except one file I can not delete (this is another proble0
D:\WINDOWS\system32\Macromed\Flash\flash6.ocx)
when i tri to delete it it says i do not have the permission

My main concern is for some reason i hose my vista because it says it is a system disk. I am just a little paranid

thanks for the help
Randy
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:torimar
torimar earned 332 total points
ID: 24134667
The flash6.ocx file permissions are nothing to worry about - just one more of the many annoyances that Vista presents to its users. It could have to do with the fact that this file somehow was owned by a user of your XP who does not exist in your Vista.

I do not know for sure why Vista considers your D: drive a system disk (I never use the integrated Windows disk manager), but it could be caused by the fact that this is the active partition, i.e.: the one that is booted from or contains the Windows boot files.

Was your XP first, and you then added Vista? This would explain the fact mentioned above. In this case, removing this "system" partition might render your Vista unbootable.

Si I'd suggest you download and install EasyBCD first (http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1) in order to make sure your Vista bootloader is running correctly.
Here' some more info: http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/how-to-repair-the-windows-vista-bootloader/

Afterwards, boot off the Parted Magic CD (that I suggested above) and change just one thing in the Partition Editor: make active the partition that your Vista resides on. Nothing else.
Then reboot and see if Vista starts up.
If not, change things back to how they were and report here.
If yes, reboot into Parted Magic, delete your D: drive and format it ext3. Then install Linux.
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Author Comment

by:paries
ID: 24215843
i used EasyBCD  and it hosed by MBR.
It was ugly , but i finally fixed it by installing XP (vista would not even install anymore after easyBCD)
then upgraded from XP to vista
purchased VistaBootPR, add eded the old vista as an option
took two days to get back to where i was
I hate vista
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