Re-purposing an old hard drive

Jul 13, 2014
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I have an old hard drive that was originally drive C in my laptop so it contained a recovery partition, a data partition and a couple of other smaller partitions. I'm admittedly confused about partitions, formatting, etc.

I'd like to use the drive to either be a new drive C and install Windows 7 or as an external data / backup device. I'm afraid I may have erased or corrupted some important files or partitions on the drive because I am unable to install Windows 7 on it.

I was hoping someone could either explain or point me to instructions for how I can return the drive to the condition it was in when it came from the hard drive manufacturer (not the laptop manufacturer).

Many thanks



^ The World's First ^
May 10, 2010
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If it has only ever held a windows OS then you simply hook it up to an available SATA connection (or IDE if it is extremely old), boot the computer, and run diskmgmt.msc. Make sure you are dealing with the old drive (not your new drive with your W7 OS). Right-click on each partition and delete them, also delete any extended partitions if there are any. Once all volumes on that physical drive are gone create a single partition and format it. The drive is ready to be used in a windows computer for storage.

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