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  1. #1
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    HDD needs reformatting

    After a new system build, I have Windows 10 on Drive C:, a 240GB SSD. I also have a new WD 3TB drive installed as E: Somehow I messed up and E: needs to be reformatted so I can access all the space. I am confused about system files being on E: as I expected it to be one large partition. When I tried to use a partition expanding program, I messed up the MBR and had to reinstall. Can somebody save me? Thanks
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  2. #2
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    Hello, Paul.
    Not a problem. In this very same case, I would use Gparted. Gnome Partition Editor. This fine and small programme will let you control any drive, be it SSD, SATA or PATA. It is available on the Web, just search for Gparted, free of course and that is the best part.

    You will have to be careful when identifying any pertinent device, it is unforgiving of any error. Can I recommend a clone of your work device before you attempt any major correction ? There are other facilities, of course, but Gparted is fine and I have used it for the last 10 ( ? ) years.

    After you clean up that 3TB device, you will be back to day 1. All fine wishes. Jean.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    It looks like the problem began because both new disks were connected during the install, as the HDD was connected to the lower # SATA channel, Windows installed the Active partition to this 'first' drive, your choice of where to install Windows then led to the installation being spread across both drives. Not good.

    Best to install with only the Windows drive (the SSD here) connected, preferably to the lowest # SATA channel. Once the installation is complete, shutdown and add the other (HDD) drive to copy over any needed data to the SSD, then use disk Management to repartition the HDD as you want.

    I would disconnect all cables from the HDD, move the SSD to what was the HDD SATA cable and then reinstall Windows, this will give you a single drive connected to the lower # channel, all Windows partitions will be part of the SSD.

    Your 'old' data will be safe on the HDD, allowing you to pull any needed data from the HDD, once it's reconnected, to the SSD before wiping/repartitioning the HDD.

  4. #4
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    I'd make an image of C & the 500MB partition (E) before doing anything.

    It seems you are running in MBR mode so satrow's advice stands.

    cheers, Paul

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    Paul, hello.
    The OP did not state this but it might also be, unlikely if his machine is recent, that the PATA device, if he has one, is seen first by the BIOS. I fancy that the SSD is SATA but he has not said about the 3TB. An unlikely situation as the 3TB are also recent, thus all are SATA. A curious mind would like to know. I see this on my machine, the SATA was the original device, a PATA was added and came out ahead in drive letter.

    All best wishes. Jean.

  6. #6
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    Thank you all for the suggestions. Satow seems to be correct as I tried gParted and could not boot afterward. I did have an image to rebuild from so no real problem. All the drives are SATA. I will reinstall Windows with only the SSD connected. Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    It would make life easier to redo the 3TiB drive as GPT rather than MPT format. Looks like it is not all being recognized. Notice 2 unallocated blocks.

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    It would make life easier to redo the 3TiB drive as GPT rather than MPT format. Looks like it is not all being recognized. Notice 2 unallocated blocks.
    You can walk Paul through that, I've no use for multi- terabyte drives so I've yet to experience that method

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    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Well the biggest I have is 2 TiB and have never converted. It looks simple.

    I always label my volumes so Windows will tell me which is which, which is important here because the disk to be converted will be 'wiped'. Be very aware of the identity of the disk you are converting!! And have any wanted data secured elsewhere!

    Booted to the SSD and with the 3TiB Data drive attached go to Disk Management. Id the drive you want to convert. To check the Partition table type right click on the left hand side of the lower part of the screen that corresponds to the drive in question and choose Properties then the Volumes tab at the top of the dialog box. The Partition Style should be MBR or GPT ( if not note what is there and post back).

    Assuming it is MBR and you want to convert to GPT exit the dialog box and right click on any existing Partitions on the right hand of the screen that corresponds to the drive in question, choose Delete Partition and follow thru with appropriate responses to delete the partition. Do the same with any Partitions on that drive.

    When there are no Partitions left on the disk right click on any Logical Drives and choose delete. Repeat for all Logical drives. These may be listed as Primary, the same applies.

    When there are no remaining Logical Drives a right click on the LEFT Hand side of the screen should offer an option to Convert to GPT that was previously greyed out. Selecting that and following prompts should allow you to convert. After converting a disk to GPT it must have a Logical or Primary drive created (I would just do Primary) and that in turn must be Formatted NTFS. This can all be done in a manner similar to the preceding procedure. A quick format should be just fine at this point. I have no idea how long this all should take having never done it. I would think it would be quick, picking a regular format rather than quick can be a lengthy procedure.
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    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I also recommend you format that 3TB drive as GPT and ALWAYS disconnect any other drive you're NOT installing Windows on.

    Otherwise you may end up in a situation where Windows has placed some boot file on another drive if you are not extremely careful.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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