Formatting the 2nd Hard Drive for Windows

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by leon314, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. leon314 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 10, 2010
    #1
    I have a new iMac 27, which I'm running primarily as a Windows machine.

    Using Bootcamp, I sectioned off 150GB of the 256GB SSD for Windows and installed W7 on it (the rest I leave for OS X, in case Windows fails, or upgrades become available). I've installed programs on the Windows drive, transferred my emails, etc, etc.

    Now I still have to do something with the 1T hard drive, which I've decided not to partition, and to use exclusively in Windows mode. Two questions:

    1. Please talk me through the process of formatting the 1T drive, as if I were a child!

    2. I will use this drive mostly for large data files, but perhaps also for less important programs. Installations seem to happen more or less automatically when you insert a disc - how would I direct a program in the normal course of an automatic installation towards this second larger hard drive, AND is there any way (simply) to have programs running on the SSD with associated data files sitting on the other drive (e.g. with iTunes)?

    Thanks
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #2
    These are both really Windows questions. So "simple" may not be quite so simple.

    1. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Create-and-format-a-hard-disk-partition

    Post screenshots of what you see and we might be able to lead you through it.

    2. Basically it's all about the drive letters. If your new partition ends up being E:\ just replace C:\ with E:\ when it asks you where to install something.

    If you want to change some of the defaults, read the links from here: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7files/thread/6be54805-f10d-4462-a2cf-a5344c38c6ca

    iTunes: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1364

    B
     
  3. leon314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    balamw, thanks for your help again. I followed the apparently simply instructions from the link you included, got to the Computer Management window, selected Disk Management, was presented with the various drives and partitions, these being:

    Disc 0 BASIC ONLINE 200MB Healthy (EFI System Partition); E: 931.19 GB HFS Healthy (Primary Partition); 128MB Unallocated

    Disc 1 BASIC ONLINE 200MB Healthy (GPT Protection Partition); F: 83.00GB Healthy (Primary Partition); 129MB Unallocated; C: 150.44GB NFTS Healthy (System, Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition)

    Disc 2 NO MEDIA Removable G:

    CD-ROM 0 DVD (D:) NO MEDIA

    The option to format is only available on two partitions, these being E: and F: (presumably because C: is in use and because the others are protective or system partitions).

    I selected the large empty E: drive, which is the hard drive I want to format for Windows data usage and clicked on Format. A box comes up which allows me to change the Volume Label "New Volume" (I don't); File System NFTS (no other options are offered); Allocation Unit Size DEFAULT (there are various numerical options here, but I stick to default); Perform A Quick Format is ticked; Enable File And Folder Compression is unticked - I OK all this, am reminded that data will be erased, which I OK again, only to be told immediately, "The format did not complete successfully".

    The instructions seemed straightforward - don't know where I went wrong here. Sorry not to post screenshots, but I don't know how to take or post them.

    Any ideas?
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #4
    I would delete the 931GB partition and create a new one in the newly unallocated space instead of trying to format it.

    This might get rid of the unallocated space.

    I would keep the 200 MB EFI partition and keep the disk using GPT instead of switching to MBR.

    B
     
  5. leon314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    That sounds a little risky. Perhaps there's a reason for that unallocated space - there's 128MB on Disc 0 and 129MB on Disc 1? And what happens if I delete E:? Does it merge with the unallocated space to form a slightly larger partition? And is that larger partition called E: or does that disappear too?
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #6
    Don't worry about E:\, one thing you can do in Disk Management is change drive letters or mount points. (7 finally eliminated the need for drive letters, partitions can be mounted anywhere in the file system like Unix.) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753321.aspx
    NOTE: You don't want to assign the whole drive to C:\Program Files or C:\Users as that seems to restrictive for your intended purposes.

    w.r.t. the unallocated space, once you delete the partition it all becomes unallocated. 7 will align your new partition as Windows wants it. It may leave its own unallocated space at the end, or not, but it will be done the way Windows wants it. Not the way OS X wants it.

    B
     
  7. leon314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 10, 2010
    #7
    Just tried to delete the E: partition to merge it with the 128MB Unallocated partition and reattempt the format. This action was blocked on the basis that E: is in use (presumably the same reason it couldn't be formatted). I don't see how or why E: (in Disk 0) is in use - there's nothing on it, and my Windows system is running on C: in Disk 1.

    There was something I overlooked during the initial bootcamp process which seemed not to matter at the time, but might be relevant. I was supposed to remove any disks or partitions lower in number than the one I was installing Windows on. Others in forums seemed to confirm that this instruction doesn't really matter. But could it be that Windows considers all disks numerically below it to be in use when it is? A wild guess, as I'm don't know much about these things.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #8
    This is a place where Unix makes things a lot clearer. You need to unmount E:\ before you can operate on it. I'm not 100% sure how to do that in W7 since my W7 box only has a single drive in it.

    Try: Right Click -> Change Drive Letters and Paths -> E: -> Remove. Then try deleting it.

    Windows XP and earlier assign drive letters by some black magic. In Vista/7 you have more control over it and it is not directly related to how the disks are connected and in what order.

    B
     
  9. leon314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    I had to restart my computer unrelatedly, and when I came back to this drive issue in the Disk Management window I thought I'd try formatting and then try deleting E: again before changing the Drive Letters and Paths as per your latest suggestion, balamw.

    The formatting didn't work, as before, but the deleting did, so I now have in Disc 0 a 200MB EFI System Partition (as before) and one merged Unallocated 931.32GB unlabelled partition described as Unallocated.

    I thought to format this partition, but that option isn't presented. Instead I have the option to create a New Simple/Spanned/Striped/Mirrored Volume. I have no idea what this means, or which, if any, of these options I should go for.

    I have another concern thinking forward. If I ever achieve this large data drive, I would want it to be protected from other casual users of my computer. Normally this is done by having such files within the specific user's/administrator's personal folder, so that when someone else or a Guest logs in they cannot access the files. If the data is all held on another hard drive I wouldn't get this User protection, would I? Or can I (& should I) allocate the drive to a space subordinate to my User folder? And is this something I need to do in advance, i.e. now at the formatting or volume creation stage?
     
  10. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #10
    Hmm. This implies dynamic disk volumes, do you see an option to use this as a basic disk? http://www.petri.co.il/difference_between_basic_and_dynamic_disks_in_windows_xp_2000_2003.htm#

    I don't know how Mac OS will deal with a Dynamic volume, even a simple one.

    File access permissions are different for the different versions of Windows. Ultimate and Professional allow you to set specific access permissions on any NTFS drive, be it internal or external. Home Premium does not allow this.

    You can definitely attach the drive as C:\Users or redirect C:\users to e:\users if you choose to using the info in the link I provided earlier in the thread.

    B
     
  11. leon314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    It's a good job I got the Ultimate version then - that means I can keep my data on a separate drive altogether and simply instruct Windows to exclude all but permissioned users from accessing that separate drive (without the need of linking or moving the drive to a subordinate folder). Have I understood that right?

    As for the formatting, no other non-dynamic options is being presented. Do you think it might be an idea to boot into OS X, run bootcamp, format the drive for windows, then simply not proceed with the windows installation? Would that work?

    Thanks again for your patient assistance!
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #12
    Glad to help.

    Correct. Just make sure that your Mac is locked so no one can just wake it up without logging in.
    BCA won't work, but you can certainly boot into OS X and create a FAT32 partition in that space. Reboot to Windows and convert it to NTFS using disk management or CMD.EXE -> convert E:

    B
     
  13. leon314 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Ran bootcamp through OS X. It identified the partition and offered to format it as NFTS, which seems to have worked. I simply didn't follow up with a Windows installation, which would of course have been pointless. So now I have a local drive E:. Using Windows 7 Ultimate I just have to restrict the E: drive to the administrator (i.e. me) and then I have security for my large data drive, provided I'm not logged in.

    Thanks for all your help, balamw.:D

    My remaining challeng is to get hundreds of gigs over from OS X on my old computer to this NFTS drive on my new one. No idea how to go about this. I have a Belkin Easy Transfer USB cable, but I think this wouldn't work Mac to Windows (though it works great Windows to Windows via the Easy Transfer application). DVDs would be too long-winded at only 4.7GB each. I have no idea how to set up a network, and not sure if this would do it anyway. I do have access to a Time Machine, which I guess is essentially a hard drive - but while the Mac would write to it, I'm not sure the Windows machine would read from it. Any obvious solution?
     
  14. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #14
    The easy Mac way would be to beet the Mac you are pulling the data from in Target Disk Mode http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Target_Disk_Mode and connect the two Macs via a Firewire cable. The Target Mode Mac just acts like an external HDD.

    Should work fine if the new Mac with Windows on it has the HFS+ read drivers on it and both Macs have FireWire.

    B
     

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