Hello I have an issue where a new PC build recently completed isn't allowing me to format my 'secondary' hard drive. I'll explain in detail what I have done, and perhaps this will help anyone who can assist.

Before I do I think the issue COULD be that with a new PC build using 2 hard drives can cause an issue when installing the O/S, I read that Windows for some reason may add a part of the O/S wherever it wants regardless of what you want, so I explored the option that maybe the boot or some other part of the O/S was installed on the 'problem drive', I disconected the sata connect and the drive from the power tree, so to speak, and my PC behaves as it always has since I first switched it on, so no issues with there being anything needed on this drive I disconnected.

I wanted to just run my O/S and Star Craft2 from my SSD (primary) and use a 1TB HDD for everything else, storage etc.

I posted a screen of my disk manager below, and it shows all drives as healthy, the drive I can't use (disk 1) is showing..

enter image description here

I tried to format the HDD in the command prompt, running it as administrator, using the diskpart tool, and I keep getting a 'unable to format'.

I'm running Windows 8.

I did download and try using Easus Partition Manager also, but still received errors along the lines 'can't/won't/unable to'

I'll try reconnect the drive later and as I understand it, Windows should detect it and get it ready to go automatically, but I may be wrong.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Disk Manager – Dafydd Sep 5 '13 at 16:44
  • Hi Defcon1, and should I connect the O/S drive, what is NOW disk 0 to disk 1? I'm not sure this will do anything other than alter the drive label? Or perhaps this may be one of those unexplainable windows issues, could you perhaps explain what this will do/achieve and how please? – Dafydd Sep 5 '13 at 23:49
  • that came out of unawareness about SATA . – Ashildr Sep 6 '13 at 2:20

Before you can format the filesystem on a partition you first need to select a file system. Right now none is selected (The disk shows RAW). You probably want to make select NTFS.

After that you can format. (e.g. right click on the partition, select format).

enter image description here

Alternatively, use this generic way from an elevated command prompt:

If you run into any error, then you can do this before formatting:

  • diskpart.exe
  • list disk
  • select disk 1 (Use the right number, look at the output from the previous command)
  • clean (Wipes all information from the disk)
  • create partition primary` (Recreates the partition, full disk size, as primary partition, no filesystem selected (aka RAW) ).
  • Thank you Hennes, I did try this several times, but kept getting the error 'windows was unable to format this drive', I will try again however and see if it's a similar result, and perhaps post the results. – Dafydd Sep 5 '13 at 23:46

If your hard disk fails to format by any software than there is only option is arrange a windows XP cd and boot your pc through it. It has a disk utility to format and partitioning the disk which have raw (never formatted) filesystem and normal filesystem, that will surely work.

Also try to do same with window 7 install cd/dvd. But windows XP has more chances of success.

  • Can I not do this with windows 8, as this is the O/S I purchased and installed, I had an issue with windows 8 being an 'upgrade' and requires a previous version, but resolved that after moaning to M/S. – Dafydd Sep 5 '13 at 23:54

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