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 Hard drive setup and installation "Basics"

Okay. I was in a forum trying to help with a hard drive issue and found that the basics of hard drive installation needed to be discussed.

   When a hard drive is installed in a computer, DVR or gaming system it is partitioned and formatted. The problem the person was having is that they could not get Windows to format the drive to a size bigger than 9 Megs instead of the 30 gig that the drive was supposed to be. They were trying to get the drive to format but didn't appear to know about partitioning the drive. This drive was pulled from a DVR and had a partition designed to work with the DVR. The balance of the drive left blank was 9megs and that is all that windows could see.
   Windows does not have the ability to partition a new drive or re-partition an older hard drive. All major manufacturers of hard drives have software available to partition and format your hard drive. XP and Vista will help partition and format the drive but only if you are installing Windows or act like you are going to install and then cancel the install before it gets into the Windows install portion. If you are adding a hard drive to your current system, then it would probably be best to use software that allows you to work with your hard drive through Windows.
   I normally use Casper XP but its a paid program. I have also used Western Digitals Lifeguard and Maxtor's Maxblast programs. The WDlifeguard for Windows is my software of choice when it comes to free software and although they don't guaranty the software will work correctly with other drives they don't block you from use because you don't have a Western Digital hard drive. (Western Digital Recently started using Acronis True Image for cloning drives so I have not tried using it on another drive besides a Western Digital drive.) These hard drive programs will also allow you to copy your hard drive to a new or bigger hard drive if you need or want to do that.
   So remember, when you add a new or used drive if you want to make sure your getting the full amount of space from the drive:

 1.Find software that will allow you to partition the Hard drive.
 2.Delete and then create a new partition.
 3.Format the drive.


After you have done these 3 things your drive should be ready to use.

   Remember that after you partition and format a drive you will not have 100% of the drive available no matter what. Partitioning and formatting a drive uses part of the drive so for example, a 40 gig drive may yield only 37 gigs and the larger the drive the more you give up when you partition and format your drive.

Hope this helps.


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