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How do I turn my hard disk drive to its state when I first brought it. It has 250 gb unallocated space. But now, because of constant partitioning and experimenting. It has gained lots of unallocated space which cannot be brought back to be a whole unallocated space. What can I do, Ive already tried doing it while installing an OS, and inside drive manager but still no luck.

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6 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can change the partitioning on the drive, but if you want to get it 1:1 back to factory state you will need to do a low level format. Most drive manufacturers make this tool easily accessible on their website.

Note that it is possible to brick drives depending on how you do the low level format.

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+1 for low level format. I do point out as well, just because it might somehow be in question, that this will indeed destroy all the data if you are not a forensic data recovery specialist. And maybe even if you are: hostjury.com/blog/view/195/… –  atroon Jan 7 '10 at 13:30
    
The zero challenge is never going to be taken seriously. If you write 0 to the hard drive using a write command, when you read it you are going to get 0 back. Why? Because that's how hard drives work. If I write a sequence of bits that corresponds to a photo I expect it to read back the same sequence of bits (I like my photos). If you want to get the data back you will need to use an electron microscope, which cost money. Since the prize value is $40, I don't think anybody is going to try and recover this guy's data. –  ta.speot.is Jan 7 '10 at 13:34
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If I understand correctly, do you want to have any partitions on the drive? Use a GParted Live CD to boot in to a partition manager and make any necessary changes.

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no I need to make the scattered unallocated space to be whole again, a 250 gb, I wanted to merge those scattered unallocated space. –  Ieyasu Sawada Jan 7 '10 at 13:25
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@unknown: If you use GParted to create a new yet empty partition table then you WILL have a contiguous unallocated 250 GB. So: Nothing wrong with this suggestion, +1. –  Carl Smotricz Jan 7 '10 at 13:27
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Telling us which OS might be helpful, and a description of the drive's current arrangement (a screenshot of disk manager on Windows or the output of fdisk -l on Linux.

If you are just looking to remove all the partitions from the disk ready for a re-install:

  1. Download the LiveCD iso of gparted (or one of the many live Ds that contain it
  2. Write to a CD
  3. Boot from that CD
  4. Use the gparted interface to remove all the partitions
  5. Reboot and reinstall your OS

It may be able to move your partitions around without needing an OS rebuild too, though I have had problems in the past moving or resizing Windows system partitions (some time in the past though - so that may be more reliable these days).

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Use a partition manager to move/slide all the partitions to the beginning of the hard disk, thus consolidating all the free space at the end. You may then resize the last partition to include the free space.

This is also true if you have only one partition that's surrounded by unallocated space. Sliding it to the beginning of the hard disk will in effect consolidate all free space at the end of the disk.

Partition managers that I like are Paragon Partition Manager 2010 Free Edition or GParted.

Please check your backups before any such operation. A mistake will require you to reinstall Windows.

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If you want to completely remove all the partitions, zeroing the disk is the best method. From linux, dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hdX. MAKE SURE you do it to the right disk. There are Windows tools to do it as well, google "windows tool zero hard disk"

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Get a copy of anything you want to keep safely on another disk, then use DBAN.

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