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Issue with formatting a secondary drive in Windows 8


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#1 Robbie Ride

Robbie Ride

    Robbie Jardine

  • Joined: 09-January 06
  • Location: Glasgow, Scotland
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro with Media Center

Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:15

Hi all,

i'm having a small issue with formatting a secondary drive in Windows 8.

I have been experiencing sluggish performance with this drive which was being used as a software backup, I backed up all the data on the drive a proceeded to format the drive in computer management, but the drive in question is listed as a system partition and won't let me format it for obvious reasons.

I no idea why a secondary drive has been selected as the system partition, what I would like to know is there a way to move the system partition or do I have to reinstall Windows 8.

As you can see from the screenshot, the F drive is shown as System (Active) this is the drive I cannot format

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#2 Detection

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  • Joined: 30-October 10
  • Location: UK
  • OS: 7 SP1 x64

Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:17

If that drive is set as 1st disk (Disk 0 ) in the BIOS / SATA port, then no matter which drive you install windows on, it will always use disk 0 for the MBR

#3 OP Robbie Ride

Robbie Ride

    Robbie Jardine

  • Joined: 09-January 06
  • Location: Glasgow, Scotland
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro with Media Center

Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:26

If that drive is set as 1st disk (Disk 0 ) in the BIOS / SATA port, then no matter which drive you install windows on, it will always use disk 0 for the MBR


No, My primary drive is on the 1st SATA port and always has been, there is no way to configure the drive in the bios other than choosing which device boots first which was my Blu-Ray drive then my primary HDD.

#4 Detection

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:27

No, My primary drive is on the 1st SATA port and always has been, there is no way to configure the drive in the bios other than choosing which device boots first which was my Blu-Ray drive then my primary HDD.


I would physically unplug it from the board and see if you can boot

If you can. just use disk management to delete the partition and format the drive

#5 OP Robbie Ride

Robbie Ride

    Robbie Jardine

  • Joined: 09-January 06
  • Location: Glasgow, Scotland
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro with Media Center

Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:37

I would physically unplug it from the board and see if you can boot

If you can. just use disk management to delete the partition and format the drive


I can't use disk management to format the drive, when I attempt to do this it says "Windows cannot format the system partition on this disk"

#6 Eric

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 18:48

You can use Diskpart to do it.
1. Type "diskpart" on the Start screen, then right-click it in the results and run it as an administrator.
2. Type "list disk" to get a list of the drives on your system, then find the one you want to erase. (Double-check this!)
3. Type "select disk X" where X is the drive number from the previous command output.
4. Double-check TWICE that you selected the right drive as Diskpart will not ask for confirmations.
5. Type "list partition" and verify again it's the right drive.
6. Repeat step 4. :)
7. Type "clean"

This will wipe all the partition information from the drive and you should be able to partition and format it in Disk Management.

You might want to switch to the proper disk before step 5 and use the "active" command to mark it so.

With your primary system partition showing as F it is possible you may find your system in an unbootable state so make sure you have a way to recover if necessary.

#7 Detection

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 19:03

I can't use disk management to format the drive, when I attempt to do this it says "Windows cannot format the system partition on this disk"


You have to delete the partition before formatting

#8 +BudMan

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 20:07

"You have to delete the partition before formatting"

what?? You format a partition, you can not format a non partitioned disk.

Now he may will delete the partition, and then just create a new one and then format that. But your wording is odd if that was what you meant to say.

Follow greywolf instructions and you should be good.

#9 Neu B

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 20:12

Where is your System Reserved partition?

#10 Detection

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 20:20

"You have to delete the partition before formatting"

what?? You format a partition, you can not format a non partitioned disk.

Now he may will delete the partition, and then just create a new one and then format that. But your wording is odd if that was what you meant to say.

Follow greywolf instructions and you should be good.


Yea, well he is saying he can't format the system partition, so he would have to delete it first if it won't let him format it, and yea then make a new one

Yea I see what you are saying, if he deleted it he would have no need to format it after creating a new one - should have excluded the formatting thing and just left "You need to delete the partition"

#11 BeerFan

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:09

You've spelled the name of one of your drives incorrectly. Should be "Videos", not "Video's" Not trying to be a twank... just sayin'.