XP Second HD

95 pts.
Hard drives
Microsoft Windows XP
I am getting ready to do clean re-install of Windows XP... I currently am running Windows XP with 2 hard drives 20gb and a 300gb... The 20gb has the OS and the 300gb has my music and movies... I am planning on keeping the data that is on the 300gb Hard drive and just formatting and putting Windows XP on the 20gb. Is there any risk of Windows saying that the 300gb hard drive is not formatted??? The last time I tried this, I upgraded from 2000 to XP via a clean install… It made me reformat the hard drive!! Ahhhhhh I didn’t have the data backed up either… Is there ANY threat of my 300gb hard drive saying “It is not formatted” after I format and install Windows XP on the 20gb and not touch the 300gb hard drive??? If there is, what can I do to combat this issue… I really do not want to back-up the hard drive due to the fact that is almost full and I have most of the music and videos on my laptop… If this is important, I have the 300gb hard drive formatted into 1 large partition. Thanks for your time and expertise...

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

My understanding.

The 300 gb drive will not be relevant ’till you complete the wipe and reload on the new system.
If the 300 gig drive already had usable data and has been visable from another system the there are two possibilities.
It is an internal hard drive (ide or sata) in which case you should have no issue. You can connect it before or after the windows load.
If it is an external drive and will connect by usb or firewire, this could be the issue you had previously. If so let me know. Otherwise that is not relevant.
If the drive is internal and windows want to format it despite data being on the drive, I would have concerns about the condition of the drive and replace sooner rather than later.

James Lee is a systems administrator with backupanytime.


I just did the same thing, and have done it many times in the past – what I do is disconnect all extra hard drives so there is no possibility of touching those drives during the partitioning/formatting process. After XP install is complete and updated, then I re-attach the extra drives. Never had a problem with this method.

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  • Jstrahler
    Thanks James.... It is an internal IDE 300GB hard drive and it is setup as the slave. I didn't figure that it would be an issue... I was just a little foggy as to why it asked that last time (When I tried to upgrade from 2000 to XP. I figured that it had something to do with the file sysytem or the way that I have it partitioned into a single large partition... This releaves a lot of stress, now I can redo the computer and make it run like it was supposed to... Thanks again James Josh
    95 pointsBadges:
  • Pressler2904
    Disconnecting the data drive is a good idea, as you have indicated a desire to retain the data it contains. After the clean re-install of the OS, and reconnection of the data drive, you may see a situation where the drive is recognized in device manager, but the OS does not assign it a drive number. If this occurs, you'll want to go in to the computer management MMC and launch disk management. Check to see if the data drive is listed as a "foreign drive" - this may be the case because WinXP will see the drive with an unknown signature /identifier on it. If it is (shown as a foreign drive), right click on the left side of the drive entry in the lower right pane of the mmc (the area which states "drive 0" or "drive 1" and import the drive. You may neet to restart the OS for the drive to be recognized (I don't remember)...
    2,190 pointsBadges:

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