TECH Free program to format a harddrive.

relon124

Well-Known Member
Jan 2, 2008
6,917
I have a couple of harddrives from an old computer build that are setup as boot drives. I want to format them before I attempt to install a fresh OS on them. Is there a program that does this for me?
 

Sabrewulf

Active Member
Jun 10, 2004
1,453
Hammond, LA
You could just use the format that comes with windoze. I know I had a cd from Maxtor with a software called MaxBlast. It worked pretty well.
 

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
Just plug them into another computer that's already running Windows and format them that way. You'll have to plug them into another computer anyway, if you want to format them before the target machine is bootable.

Maybe the BartPE CD can do what you need?
 

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
I assume he's trying to do a non-standard format -- different sector size, non-NTFS, something like that. The Windows installer doesn't let you specify those parameters at install time, it just sets up a default config.

As I mentioned, something like BartPE might let him format the hard drive however he wants, while it's plugged into the machine it's going to spend its life in. However, I know for sure that he can format it however he wants prior to installing Windows if he temporarily plugs the hard drive into another machine first.
 

GammaRadiation

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2007
29,256
Random Location.FL
I assume he's trying to do a non-standard format -- different sector size, non-NTFS, something like that. The Windows installer doesn't let you specify those parameters at install time, it just sets up a default config.

As I mentioned, something like BartPE might let him format the hard drive however he wants, while it's plugged into the machine it's going to spend its life in. However, I know for sure that he can format it however he wants prior to installing Windows if he temporarily plugs the hard drive into another machine first.
Windows will allow you to partitian the drive and again, I dont know of an OS installation that wouldn't be able to format for the file sytem it needs.
 

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
Again, the Windows install CD will not let you specify non-standard format parameters prior to installation -- and after installation, you can't change the format parameters on a disk in-use without Norton PartitionMagic or something similar.
 

5Gen_Prelude

There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but
Mar 14, 2000
15,000
Vancouver, BC, CANADA
I assume he's trying to do a non-standard format -- different sector size, non-NTFS, something like that. The Windows installer doesn't let you specify those parameters at install time, it just sets up a default config.
I don't understand why you would assume anyone was doing something non-standard without providing any details to support that. You must drive people nuts when supporting them if you jump to that conclusion every time.
 

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
I see two possibilities: one, he has absolutely no idea what he's doing and he's never installed Windows before, so he doesn't realize Windows will format the hard drive for him if it isn't already formatted; or two, he knows perfectly well that Windows will format the hard drive for him, but he wants to specify non-standard parameters, which is why he specifically stated he wanted to format them before installing Windows.

The first possibility doesn't seem very likely because he was rather direct about what he wanted to do and wasn't verbally flopping around like a fish out of water. A third possibility I didn't mention before, that he knows just enough to be dangerous, also doesn't seem very likely because in that case he would've installed Windows and let it auto-format the hard drive without giving a second thought to the format parameters. That leaves the second option as being the most plausible in my mind.

Anyway, the answer I gave works in all scenarios regardless of how complex and custom his project may be. As for my support skills, the feedback I most often receive is that I'm the only "computer guy" they've ever talked to who bothered to explain the options and what the differences were in terms that made sense to them, instead of just foisting the easiest option on them and walking away. I do foist the easiest option on them sometimes, of course, but at least I explain why.
 

Stilgar1973

New Member
Aug 12, 2006
8,340
I remember those 'know just enough to be dangerous' days with PC building.

They were fun, fun days.

I fear I am gonna achieve my dream of breaking into networking. I am gonna be right back there again. I will know just enough to thoroughly fuck things up. Gives me nightmares.
 

5Gen_Prelude

There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but
Mar 14, 2000
15,000
Vancouver, BC, CANADA
I see two possibilities: one, he has absolutely no idea what he's doing and he's never installed Windows before, so he doesn't realize Windows will format the hard drive for him if it isn't already formatted; or two, he knows perfectly well that Windows will format the hard drive for him, but he wants to specify non-standard parameters, which is why he specifically stated he wanted to format them before installing Windows.
I would put money on that he wanted to ensure that nothing was on the drive prior to installing Windows so as to ensure a CLEAN install. You over thought it - it happens.

There's a big difference in explaining your help and spending 10 minutes identifying what the actual question/concern is.
 

deusexaethera

OT Supporter
Jan 27, 2005
18,592
Well yes, there is that. It's also a worthy use of time to notice that the TS hasn't posted in here since they started the thread, so it's an entirely academic discussion at this point.
 

scholar

New Member
Apr 21, 2005
1,273
Can't believe no one has mentioned it, but what about GParted? Would let him do anything standard or non-standard...
 

Users who are viewing this thread

About Us

  • Please do not post anything that violates any Local, State, Federal or International Laws. Your privacy is protected. You have the right to be forgotten. Site funded by advertising, link monetization and member support.
OT v15.8.1 Copyright © 2000-2022 Offtopic.com
Served by fu.offtopic.com

Online statistics

Members online
312
Guests online
28
Total visitors
340

Forum statistics

Threads
369,586
Messages
16,897,245
Members
86,875
Latest member
Theodor