Formatting hard drive with corrupted Windows XP

Had a very interesting experience trying to format an internal hard drive under Windows 7. This is a hard drive that was running Windows XP and then got corrupted. Rather than do a repair, I bought another internal drive and loaded Windows 7 on it. I then installed the old corrupted hard drive but every time I tried to format it, I would get a message that the drive was in use. The solution I came up with was to take it out, put it in a external enclosure and format it after plugging it into my laptop wihich is running XP. If I plugged it into the computer running Windows 7, I got the same "in use" message. I am guessing that Windows 7 was somehow recognizing and opening some of the OS files on the drive. After reinstalling the formatted drive it was initially not recognized by Windows 7 but I went into the Disk Management and activated the drive (right click on the icon to the left) and now its fine.

It sounds to me like you were trying to format your primary drive all the time. Windows does make a small partition on the drive it installs to . You can see it with disk manager (fdisk).

Also, your bios may have it's own priority... like mine does. My main drive is always listed last until I edit the bios drive menu and force it first --- so my boot priority (set to hard drive) will boot the right one. This can make it confusing... and cause serious consequences if you format from the command prompt after booting from the install disk. I always disconnect ALL my drives except the one I want to format ... or even test someting on from the install command prompt.

I don't know... The corrupted drive was listed as Disk 2 under Disk Management. The drive with Windows 7 was listed as Disk 0 (System, Boot, Page File,...). In the Bios I set that one to be first in the boot order. Also there's the fact that it did the same thing when I plugged it in via USB after startup.

I would have started deleting folder after folder until I foundthe exact file(s) that were causing the sharing violation.. but I'm just curious because when you discover methods that prevent a driver from being formattted and can figure it out.. and duplicate it.. you have a security application you can sell. Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

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