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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Hello,
    I'm having a formatting problem.
    I was dual booting Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows 7 Professional, 2 different drives. I kept this configuration for a couple of weeks while I move personal files around and made sure everything works ok. My problem is that when I went to format the hard drive that had Vista installed, I keep getting the message saying the “Windows can’t complete the format” If I go through Disk Management, options for formatting are grayed out. Does anyone have any idea’s what to try or why this is happening? I've had dual boot systems before and had no trouble re-formatting the drive that i no longer used.
    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Are you sure that you are running Win 7 when you attempt to reformat the Vista drive? In Win 7 I can reformat my XP partition, but not my Win 7partition.

    Another possibility - was the Vista drive active when you installed Win 7? If so, the Vista drive might contain the boot loader information. When I installed Win 7 I unplugged all of my hard drives except the new one onto which I installed Win 7 just to guarantee that the Win 7 install was completely separated from my Vista and XP installations. If you posted the disk partition information from the Disk Management console, that might help.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for responding; yes I was running Win7 when I attempted to reformat the Vista drive.
    The Vista drive was active when I installed Win 7. If the Vista drive contains boot loader information, is there a way to fix that?
    The information from the Disk Management is;
    D: drive/Vista drive – Healthy (System, Active, Primary Partition)
    C: drive/Win 7 – Healthy (Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)
    Thanks again for the help.

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger
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    Yes, I think that it is the "System" designation for the Vista partition that is preventing it from being reformatted (my XP partion has no such designation). I am somewhat surprised that there is not a separate 100MB partition designated as "System" - I see that on my drive that contain Win 7 (that disk has 3 partitions - the 100MB System partition, a 120GB Win 7 partition and a 345GB data partition.

    Here is something you could try - power of the PC, disconnect the Vista drive (I just unplug the power cord), then boot the Windows 7 installation CD and select the repair option. Once this finishes, make sure you can boot into Win 7 before you power down and reconnect the Vista drive. After reconnecting the Vista drive, if the system does not boot directly into Win 7, reboot and go into you BIOS to change the bott order for yoru drives - you want to boot from the Win 7 drive. Once that is done, you should be able to format the Vista drive.

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    I've had the same impass develop with Win7, it must be recognizing system files even though the boot loader isn't there or the pagefile and those system files are not its own.

    I've resorted to using XP to do the trick or any third party partitioning program can always accomplish the task. You might try using EasyBCD first to get rid of the Vista boot entry, which needs to be done anyway, but maybe it will format after that. Probaby couldn't be that easy though...

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    You will need Neosmart EasyBCD V2 for Win 7. You have to register (free) to get it. Works very well.

    Several threads discuss using EasyBCD such as this tread, and this thread.
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  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Thanks for all the great information everyone,

    I tried part of what you suggested Peter, I changed the boot order in the Bios to boot from the Win 7 drive and got the message that there boot loader is not present. I'll have to wait till the weekend to apply the whole fix. I use my computer for work. Plus it will be a little more work becasue its a laptop that i'm dealing with. I was thinking about what you said about the 100 MB system partition, there isn't one and thats is unuaual? isn't it? Thanks again for the help and i'll let you know how i make out.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Peter,

    That did the trick, I want to thank you again for the help.

    Chuck

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger
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    Sorry for not catching your post on the 23rd, but that post confirms my suspicion that your Vista disk is you boot disk, hence the impossibility of reformatting it. I am glad that you are finally up and running.

    The moral of the story: if at all possible, install each OS on its own disk. And when installing an OS, unplug all of the other disks first! Then after installation, go into your boot menu and add the other disks. I use Grub for this (from Ubuntu), and it could not be easier. Of course, laptoprs with their single-disk limitations are a whole 'nother story!

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
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    single-disk limitations
    That's why using something like EasyBCD (unless a third party boot loader is employed of course) to remove (or add) unwanted boot entries, and then a third party format boot disc is so effective in almost any case and configuration. Its also relatively quick compared to disconnecting and reconnecting drives in a proper boot order sequence, and I REALLY like the idea of full control. When I say format, its done, no impediments other than a "are you sure" question asked, ever. Its like going to the airport and walking straight to and on the plane without a single stop along the way....priceless!

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