New HD partitioning woes

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Magna, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    Just added a second internal 80gb hard drive, went into Windows Disk Management, selected the drive, right-clicked, and "Partition" was grayed out?! I have dual-boot so I tried it in both WinXP and Win2000, same result, both saw the drive, neither offered to partition it. I booted to a DOS utility disk that I previously made and used FDISK to partition it. Then back to Windows and no problem formatting it to NTFS (funny thing is, as I returned to Windows to format it graciously offered to delete the partition that it wouldn't even create in the first place).

    Here's my dilemma. FDISK won't deal with drives larger than 127gb, and if I want to add a 300-500gb drive how do I get Windows to be willing to partition it out of the box. I understand most externals come pre-partitioned (and formatted), but I don't think that's the situation with internals. Any suggestions from those who have dealt with adding secondary large internal drives. I'm not talking about having a single large internal drive and installing Windows on it (during which it offers to partition/format the drive). I'm talking about having an existing Windows setup, and adding a brand new secondary large drive (no RAID, nothing fancy). Any idea why Windows saw the new drive but wouldn't offer the option of partitioning it? And please don't suggest Partition Magic or other 3rd party software tools, I'm interested in whether Windows has the built-in means to do the simple partitioning job. Thanks for any help.
  2. rwk


    I am a software, not hardware, techie so I am not sure of your problem. I bought a new Hitachi 160mb PATA drive to use in my 2001 vintage WinXP system. I couldn't get the drive to format and thought I would have to return it. Then I contacted Hitachi support and the gentleman graciously stepped me through changing the UDMA mode from 6 to 5. That fixed the problem. I love Hitachi!

  3. Magna

    Magna Administrator


    Glad you worked things out with your drive. The problem I'm talking about is not formatting, but partitioning. Before a drive can be formatted it must first be partitioned (at which time it can be setup as multiple drive letters or one big C: drive). In my multi-boot system both Windows 2000 and Windows XP recognized the existence of the new (secondary) drive but neither would partition it, the crucial first step. As I said, the partition option was there in the Disk Management utility but it was grayed out. So I ended up doing it in DOS, then booted back and let Windows do the formatting. Problem is:

    1) Windows (either 2000 or XP) should have been able to partition the drive

    2) DOS is limited in drive size (127gb) that it can partition
  4. How many partitions have you got on the first disk ... there may be a limit to the number of each partition type supported getting in your way.
  5. 9999


    If I understood your issue correctly, all you have to do is boot-up with the Win XP or 2000 in the cd reader. The setup process will show you the hard drives with partitions, and you'll be able to create one.
  6. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    Hey kiwi,

    I've only got 3 on the first, so that doesn't impact things regarding partitioning the second.
  7. Magna

    Magna Administrator

    Don't quite follow. As I've said I've got a multi-boot setup (on the first drive) and can boot into Win2000 or WinXP. Are you suggesting that I ignore those and instead boot from a Win2000 or WinXP setup CD as if I were going to install Windows? Hmmm, might just work. Pretend that I'm going to install Windows on the second (new) drive, it'll see that it's not partitioned and probably offer to partition it. Then I could also have it go ahead and format it right there. Of course when that was done I'd have to immediately cancel the next step as I have no interest installing anything on that second drive.

    Although it sounds a bit roundabout it might just work, thanks. Seems strange that neither existing version of Windows (already installed on my first drive) won't just partition the bloody new second drive. I still think that's possible and I'm overlooking something...
  8. dtan1e


    there are at least 2 partitioning softwares out there that i'm aware of that does the job easily for u via windows, can't rem the name now got it at home, one is call Systems Commander, the other Partition Magic, they really works, not sure abt the 127 g limit, though, good luck
  9. 9999


    Yes, that's exactly what I'm suggesting.
    And even if the setup does install something, at least you'll have the partitions, probably formatted and you'll be able to erase anything you like from your current OS. One thing to be careful: your boot.ini file. Make sure to have an exact copy. If you wanna make REAL sure your current OSes won't get screwed, physically unplug the drive where they're installed, or try to disable it from the bios.
    Good luck!
  10. dtan1e


    get the softwares i mentioned, its worth it, b/c it takes u hours to do the fdisk & install & all that sh**, then all u need is one mis-step and u f***ed up your os & got to start all over again, may end up taking u a few days to piss around /w it, not to mention wiping out whatever data files softwares u got in your original os
    #10     Nov 12, 2007