Partitioned hard drive

Farmer

Diamond Member
Dec 23, 2003
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I have a partitioned hard drive with an XP install on one partition. If I were to reformat via the Windows XP Repair Console, selecting the XP installation on that single partition, would it reformat the entire physical drive?

If not, how would I go about reformatting the entire drive and removing all partitions? In other words, how do you reformat a partitioned drive?
 

birdpup

Banned
May 7, 2005
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I am not clear whether you wish to make:
1) one large system partition over the whole hard drive (resize partition).
a) Acronis Partition Manager
b) QTParted available in Knoppix and the installation routine of Mandrake/Mandriva.
c) Partition Resizer
d) Partition Magic but this utility often corrupts partitions.


2) keep the current system partition and only remove and repartition the remaining space on the hard drive
Right-click My Computer, select Manage, Storage/Disk Management

Acronis impresses me with their tools.

I have successfully used QTParted in the Mandriva install CD to resize partitions and prefer this method. Just work through the installation routine, resize the partitions, then exit the installation.

I found Partition Resizer in a google search

More people come to this forum with problems created by Partition Magic than any other partition resizing tool.
 

Farmer

Diamond Member
Dec 23, 2003
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I wish simply to reformat my hard drive, completely (meaning all it's capacity).

Part of the reason I am reformatting is because of Partition Magic.
 

birdpup

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May 7, 2005
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If you do NOT wish to reinstall the whole system, then one of the tools may help, such as Acronis and QTParted.
If you wish to reinstall the whole system, then the WinXP installation routine provides the option to create/delete partitions.

You may wish to read this thread before you start.
Why partition a hard drive???
 

Farmer

Diamond Member
Dec 23, 2003
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birdpup:

If by reinstall you mean reformat, yes, I want to reformat. I do not wish to install XP on this drive at all; I simply want to unpartition and wipe it clean.
 

birdpup

Banned
May 7, 2005
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I do not understand why I had such difficulty understanding your question. Sorry about that. It seems what you would like to do is to delete the partitions on the drive, create new partitions, and then format the drive. There are a few different tools to help with this.

1) Disk Manager in Windows XP - right-click My Computer, select Manage, select Storage/Disk Management
2) Hard Drive manufacturer's diagnostic utility (disk preparation utility)
3) fdisk, cfdisk
4) Partition Magic
5) Acronis Partition Manager
6) Most any linux installation CD. Mandrake provides QTParted very nicely.
7) FreeBSD sysinstall installation routine

Just be careful you do not accidentally delete the partitions on any good hard drives that are attached to the system. This is extremely easy to do with low level tools such as fdisk and cfdisk.

Wiping a drive clean is a different process and involves writing useless information to the drive, which helps to overwrite active viruses or confidential data. The hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic utility usually provides this tool, or you can use dban

I hope this helps to answer your question.
 

Farmer

Diamond Member
Dec 23, 2003
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Yes, it does, completely and thoroughly. Thank you very much. I guess I will be repartitioning into one large partition, and then dbanning.

After dban, do I still have to do an NTFS format? If so, how do I do that outside of the Windows installer. I will have a complete XP install on another hard drive.
 

birdpup

Banned
May 7, 2005
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You do not need to use dban. If you really feel compelled to overwrite your past data, there may be an option in your manufacturer's diagnostic utility to write zeroes to the first and last parts of the hard drive. That is sufficient for normal use. Although, writing zeroes to the whole hard drive can be helpful later for those disk image backup programs because a solid run of contiguous zeros is very easy to compress.

Dban writes random data over the drive. After this step, you would then need to create a partition, and then format the partition. Creating a partition is just configuring the hard drive with a start and stop point for the size you desire. Formatting that partition is the process of creating the filesystem so the storage space is useful for the operating system.

You can just install this drive as normal and then create the partition and format the partition later while in WinXP. Go to the Disk Manager for this step. It is visually intuitive and relatively easy to perform. To get there, right-click My Computer, select Manage, select Storage/Disk Management.

Make sure the drive jumpers are in the correct position for the drive placement on the cable if they are IDE hard drives.
 

Farmer

Diamond Member
Dec 23, 2003
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I don't have any manufacturer software; the drive was OEM. I think I will use dban and follow your steps from there.

Thanks.
 

birdpup

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May 7, 2005
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Could you please provide the hard drive manufacturer's name? Myself, or someone else, could then check to see if a diagnostic utility is available.