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Formatting a hard drive questions

Posted on 2015-02-20
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a Dell Desktop Inspiron running Windows 8.1.

I made a clone of my C drive on a 2nd drive in my computer.  I would like to completely wipe out everything on that 2nd drive and have a fresh new empty hard drive.  But it has four or five partitions.  I would like for format the whole thing but am unsure how to do so.

Will someone give me some direction?
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Question by:WoodrowA
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arnold earned 167 total points
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You first need to delete the partitions.  Use diskmgmt.msc (open control or any explorer window. Tight click on this computer, select manage to get to the storage interface)
Once all partitions are deleted, you would create a new partition spanning the entire drive and then format it.

MAKe sure that what you verify the drive you wish to wipe as that is not reversible.
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by:nobus
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>>  But it has four or five partitions  <<  i would identify these first - you want to retain one or 2
what i do is  as follows :
A-during install :
1-i boot from the Windows install DVD
2-at the disk identification, i delete the partitions i want to delete (in most cases, the partition i want to keep is at the end of drive (recovery partition )
then i just proceed the install
B-you can hook the drive to a working system also, and use disk management then to delete the partitions + format
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by:Michael-Best
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Open Disk Management from the Power User Menu.
Find the hard drive you want to format.
Delete the partitions.
Right-click or tap-and-hold on it and choose Format
For the new partition(s) choose GPT if the hard drive is 2 TB or larger.
Choose MBR if it's smaller than 2 TB.

A good step by step guide by Tim Fisher is posed on pcsupport.about.com
Link:
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows-8/fl/format-hard-drive-windows-8.htm
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by:nobus
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nobody seems to care that it is the C: drive...
best connect it to another PC - as i suggested
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by:noxcho
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Another approach is to download the test utility from your HDD vendkrs website (seatools or wddiag, others have alos their own tools) and fill with zeroes the second drive. Then it will look as if you have bought it right now. All sectors are empty.
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by:noxcho
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Nobus, he has there only clone. It looks like he has OS on HDD0 yet.
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by:nobus
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i don't know  - he did not tell us that
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by:noxcho
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Hm, then I understood this statement wrong:

I made a clone of my C drive on a 2nd drive in my computer.  I would like to completely wipe out everything on that 2nd drive and have a fresh new empty hard drive.
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by:arnold
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Echo noxcho.
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by:WoodrowA
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Thank you all for responding.

I must say, the responses are confusing.  This sentence from my original post has been quoted a couple of times:

"I made a clone of my C drive on a 2nd drive in my computer.  I would like to completely wipe out everything on that 2nd drive and have a fresh new empty hard drive."

If there is ambiguity to that statement, I don't know what it is.  Unless it's not clear that both drives are currently connected to the computer.  I would like the second drive  to be as clean as if it were brand new.  I hope the solution is indeed as simple as deleting the partitions (using Disk Management) and then reformatting what's left.

Is it that simple or am I missing something?

Thank you again
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by:nobus
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what i did not understand is that you made a clone of the C drive on the 2nd drive - then you say you want to wipe that clone ??  why ??
in any event - don't let both drives be connected together - if they're really clones, because windows cannot see a difference
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by:noxcho
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You have posted all correctly WoodroA,
If you want the drive to be wiped then use the HDD vendor tool to fill the drive with zeroes.
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by:arnold
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WoodroA, not an issue with the question.
An interpretation of which 2nd drive you referred to.

nobus was being cautious

you should have disk 0 (your C + three additional partitions) and disk 1 (D + three partitions)
Make sure you delete the partitions on the correct one.
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by:WoodrowA
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@Arnold
Thank you for your help.  You were the first one to respond to this question and it sounds like the advice you gave will work for me.  Thank you again.
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by:Michael-Best
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You mentioned a clone on the 2nd drive which was too much information,
To "completely wipe out everything on that 2nd drive and have a fresh new empty hard drive. "
Is simply done from Disk Management as suggested.
The only ambiguity is what do you want to do with the 2nd drive after it has been reformatted,?
If you plan to continue to use it as a 2nd drive then you may want to partition it as I suggested: " For the new partition(s) choose GPT if the hard drive is 2 TB or larger.
Choose MBR if it's smaller than 2 TB. "
If you plan to sell or give the drive to another, then to completely delete all the data (so that it cannot be recovered by recovery software) you will need to wipe the drive .
UBCD has free drive wiping software:
https://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

Hope this helps.
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by:WoodrowA
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@Arnold

I have followed your instructions via Disk Management but have run into a problem  The last partition on the volume does not allow for delete.  When I right click and try to select delete, the delete option is dimmed and inoperable.  Please see attached screen-shot.

Any thoughts?
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by:arnold
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The only reason a partition will not be allowed deletion is if it is seen as a page file, system.
I'll see if the above eduguestimate is confirmed by the image you post.
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by:WoodrowA
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Earlier Michael Best suggesting the steps at the following link:

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows-8/fl/format-hard-drive-windows-8.htm

The steps there suggest to right click on the drive and select and select New Simple Volume.  Then, format in the standard way.

Anybody see problems with that?
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by:arnold
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when you look at the display in storage manager, how is the partition labeled
Does it have system, page file, etc. notice.
There is a reason the system is preventing its deletion that could mean that this partition has the boot sector..

In reallity, the only one who may have an issue/problem after following the suggetion is you if the partition is the one needed to boot the system.
It could very well be a non-issue if the drive you refer to as the 2nd drive is the one you added versus through a fluke the way the original drive was connected in a second position such that your cloned the drive (not sure what you used to clone) was/is connected in a first position such that it is the one from which the system booted.

Double check that when you disconnect the "2nd drive" your system still boots. Make sure the SATA port to which the first/2nd drive  is connected to.

Another option is during bootup, use the boot manager (esc, F12) depending on your system, then designate the correct drive from which you want to boot (hoping it will be the first drive) and then see if the status of the partition in disk management changes allowing you to delete it without .........

make sure you have the data backed up just in case.
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by:nobus
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failing to clear up the problem i saw, i cannot help more
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by:noxcho
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Why don't you want to use the HDD vendor tool? I am telling you this third time already.
The only reason a partition will not be allowed deletion is if it is seen as a page file, system.
I disagree with this. It is not preventing deletion, it simply does not give this option. Because it is a service partition. And service protected partitions which usually contain backup of the system or recovery software does not show in Windows Disk Management this option - delete when right clicking on it.
But wiping the drive via HDD Vendor tool (filling it with zeros) will definitely remove the partition. As said already the drive will be looking the same way it was when you bought it.
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by:WoodrowA
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I'm sorry Noxcho but, at least on my end, it seems your ability to communicate what you want me to understand is somewhat limited.  I understand the language of most of the others, but to be frank, I find it hard to understand yours.

I have solved the problem by going to a 3rd party tool and formatting the drive outside of Windows.  I don't know how to distribute points but will do the best I can

NeverTheLess, the help that was offered is very much appreciated.  Thank you again
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by:noxcho
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Well, you are the first one who does not understand my language. What exactly do you not understand in my words? Or at least if you read what I wrote you could have had questions. But none was asked.
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by:nobus
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what i did not understand is that you made a clone of the C drive on the 2nd drive - then you say you want to wipe that clone ??  why ??
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by:WoodrowA
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@Nobus

The clone  was for testing purposes only.  But once I saw that the clone actually worked, I wanted to reformat the second drive so I could used it for something else.

@Noxcho
I did not understand this sentence:

"Another approach is to download the test utility from your HDD vendkrs website (seatools or wddiag, others have alos their own tools) and fill with zeroes the second drive."

This is not to imply you didn't know what you were talking about, or that your advice wasn't correct.  It just means that given the sentence structure, I didn't understand it.

But, thank you both for trying to help.  It is appreciated whether understood or not.

Best Regards

Woody
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by:noxcho
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Ah, the errors in words where letters are on wrong positions, happen when you use mobile phone to post the answers here. Of course if you mean this.
But you know of course what HDD Vendor is, don't you? Seagate and Western Digital are the biggerst ones. And they have web sites with product description and support section. In support section among the downloads one can find small programs designed to test the hard drives. These programs can also wipe the hard drive. Wiping a hard drive makes it clear that the drive has no bad sector and such drive works faster even not so drastically but still because the drive is totally empty.
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by:WoodrowA
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@Noxcho

I must admit that the term HDD threw me.  I supposed the HD stood for Hard Drive but didn't know what the 2nd "D" was for.  

Your second paragraph in your last post was quite clear and this is good information for me to keep for future reference.

Thank you & best regards

Woody
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