Formatting a new drive erases old drive

By Tammy
Jan 17, 2009
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  1. Friends,
    I need some information. I put a new Seagate 640 gb drive in my desktop pc and I had a seagate 320 already installed. It had windows xp pro installed and my data on it. When I put the new drive in I installed xp pro on it so I could use the larger drive as the main drive. But when I plugged the second drive back in the seagate 320 I had no access to it. It always comes up and says need formatting. This happens everything I put a new drive in. Can someone tell me why.
    Thanks
    Tammy
  2. BorisandBailey

    BorisandBailey Newcomer, in training Posts: 203

    I'm taking guesses here, but I think your primary drive--the 640gb--thinks that the slave drive, the 320, is a separate operating system, so it wants to format it. This sounds awful but I would have saved all my files on a dvd, then erase the 320 drive, and install it.

    After that, I would go to the Control Panel to Administrators and assign a drive letter to the empty 320 drive. Windows would format it and see it as a place to store files. If the secondary drive also has an operating system on it--Windows or Linux--then you would have a dual booting thing going. You either boot into one disk or boot into the other.
  3. CCT

    CCT Newcomer, in training Posts: 3,556

    What kind of drives?

    If IDE, where connected and how jumpered?

    What settings for Boot Devices are shown in Bios?
  4. Tammy

    Tammy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    hard drives

    both are sata. Both are seagate. And yes both has xp os on them. the 640 is used as a primairy drive while the 320 is being used as seconday for storage only.
    Yes I had everything backed up. No I had no option to dual boot. I thought that was starange. But anyway. I had to format the secondary drive just to use it.
    I did not think STAT drives needed jumpers. So I have none on them. Is this wrong.
    Thanks
  5. BorisandBailey

    BorisandBailey Newcomer, in training Posts: 203

    You're right--dual booting is strange if all you want to do is use one of the drives for storage. On my computer, I have two drives: one for Windows XP and one for Linux, so I dual boot. Some people have XP on one hard drive and Vista on the other. You see, if both of your hard drives have operating systems on them, your computer thinks it has to choose which drive to run, that's where dual-booting comes in. You either boot into one drive or boot into the other. To change drives, you must restart and boot again.

    But, if you want to use one of the drives for just storage, it cannot have an operating system installed on it. That way, your 640 drive with the operating system will see the 320 without the operating system as a storage drive.

    So, I would say that you have to take Windows XP off of the 320. That might involve erasing the drive. It would certainly be the cleanest way.

    By the way, Seagate is a great choice. I use them as well.

    Also, you are correct...SATA drives don't have jumpers. CCT wanted to know if your drives were SATA or IDE because you did not specify that in your first post.

    Any second opinions out there on all that?
  6. Tammy

    Tammy Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 41

    I have used seagate for many years even before they sold out years ago and got picked back up. I have been totally impressed with their drives. Thanks for your help and yes this makes sense to me now why the 320 drive needed to be formatted to be able to use it.
    Thanks guys. Once again very pleased with my out come from here. You guys are always spot on,
  7. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,246   +213

    I don't really understand this thread in many ways.

    First - None of what was said in the first post makes much sense. I almost replied with the IDE theory, but that didn't make sense either since it won't present by needing to be formatted. The drive just wont' show up at all or the computer won't boot, one of those will happen.

    Second - I don't understand what Tammy did. Was the old drive connected during the install to the 640? Was the 640 even installed to? You'd have to fundamentally change the boot order in the bios to boot off that 640. Critical details are missing here.

    Third - Borisandbailey's last post is mostly correct but not entirely, maybe it was just because he tried to simplify the idea. But then Tammy responds that it makes sense and we are right as usual. This just 'feels' wrong to me, it feels like someone testing our site on the quality of advice and they are reporting/laughing about it on some other website.
  8. CCT

    CCT Newcomer, in training Posts: 3,556

  9. Pralys

    Pralys Newcomer, in training

    SNGX1275, I think the OP unplugged the older sata drive first then installed the OS onto the new 640gb hard drive with the old drive unplugged and most probably used the sata port that the old drive was using. So supposedly this would make the new sata the boot drive(?) They then plugged in the old 320gb drive which claims it needs to be formatted. Atleast thats how i understood it.

    But i am assuimg quite a fair bit. As you said, it wasn't very clear what they did.
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