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New (secondary) SATA hard drive formatting advice

Posted on 2013-11-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
One of my computers is a Windws XP box, with a full hard drive. So, I bought a new 2TB Seagate SATA drive to add to the computer.

So...it's been a while since I have added a second drive to any computer, and was surprised when I looked up info on how to install and format the drive, that the advice was inconsistent. Some say use SeaTools for DOS and run the routine to write zeros to the entire drive, others say it is a waste of time.

So, what's the correct, or best, or wisest way to install a secondary hard drive, in Windows XP?

After physically installing the drive and rebooting, I went into Settings > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management. I was surprised that I was unable to select "Format" on the new drive (greyed-out), and could only accept the option of making the drive a "Dynamic" drive. So. I accepted that option, and now have a Simple (layout) and Dynamic (type) drive.

Now that I have looked around, it appears that "Dynamic" is for a RAID array, not a separate drive. I'm not setting up a RAID array. Worse, I am unable to delete the drive, to start over. (see attached screen capture)

So, do I need to physically unhook the cables to the drive and reboot to stop XP from seeing this as a "Dynamic" drive? And then, how to proceed with a proper installation and format?

Thanks,

Dennis
NewDriveInstallProblem.jpg
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Question by:dtleahy
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4 Comments
 
LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:dlethe
dlethe earned 50 total points
ID: 39636448
it is fine the way it is.
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LVL 70

Accepted Solution

by:
garycase earned 400 total points
ID: 39636464
It will work fine as is;  but it's far better if you're not using the spanning capabilities in Windows to install it as a Basic drive => much easier if you should ever need to recover data from it;  works with more 3rd party tools; etc.

I'd go to Disk Management;  right-click on the drive letter on the left; and convert it to a Basic drive.    Note that you'll lose any data that's currently on the drive; so back that up first.

Then just right-click in the unallocated space and create a new volume -- and you'll be fine.

Disk Management makes what you did far too easy to do -- after you initialized the disk, it presents the screen where you can convert it to a dynamic drive -- and clearly that's what you did.
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:magarity
magarity earned 50 total points
ID: 39636547
garycase has given you the correct instructions.

Optionally, you can use 'format' with the 'quick format' option from right clicking the new partition in 'my computer' instead of formatting the new partition from disk manager.  2TB takes ages to format the full way and isn't needed except in extreme cases.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dtleahy
ID: 39636575
The only other instruction (in case someone else finds this thread) is that you'll need to delete the Volume first, then you will see "Convert to Basic drive" on the context menu.

Thanks very much to all of you. I appreciate it very much!
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