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Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive

Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive - PCSTATS
Abstract: Installing a hard drive for the first time? Need to partition a current drive into smaller disks? You can do it, and we can show you how.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jan 22 2008   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Partitioning and formatting for the Installation of Windows 2000/XP

Installing Windows 2000/XP on a new SATA drive

Some motherboards that support SATA hard drives implemented the feature by adding a separate SATA controller. This let manufacturers include the feature on motherboards whose chipsets did not natively support SATA. If your motherboard brings up a second screen during the POST process which identifies the Serial ATA hard drives, it is generally because this feature is supported by a dedicated chipset.

Because of this, when installing Windows 2000/XP for the first time onto a SATA drive supported by a dedicated chipset, you will need to inform the installation process that your Serial ATA drives are on a separate controller. This is done by providing the software drivers for the controller to the install process (hit F6, and insert a floppy disk with the SATA controller drivers) at the beginning of the process. If you do not do this, the install process may stop, informing you that it cannot find any hard drives .

If this happens to you, follow the steps below:

Begin the Windows 2000/XP installation process by powering on your system, inserting the operating system CD and pressing any key to boot from the CD when prompted.

As soon as the Windows 2000/XP installation process starts (blue screen), there will be a small prompt at the bottom of the screen which says 'Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver.' Hit F6 right away, preferably more than once.

The installation process will continue, and eventually you will be prompted for those additional drivers. Insert your SATA driver floppy disk (which will have come with your motherboard) into the FDD drive, then hit 'S' to specify additional devices. The installation process will search for the driver files on the disk and display a list. Select the correct device then hit ENTER to continue the installation as normal. The drive will be partitioned and formatted as part of the install process. You can now install Windows as normal.

If Serial ATA drive support is native to the motherboard chipset, you do not need to provide drivers during the installation procedure. Any recent Intel and AMD chipset will support SATA fully.

Installing Windows 2000/XP on a new IDE drive

This is the easy part. Pop in your Win2K or XP CD and reboot the computer. You should get the option to 'press any key to boot from CD.' If you do not see this, you may have to go into the BIOS setup (by pressing the 'del' key upon rebooting) and make sure that your CD is selected as a boot device. This option is generally found in the 'advanced BIOS setup' menu option in the BIOS screen.

Once you have begun the installation procedure, relax and follow the prompts. You will be shown your available drives and prompted to create, size and format partitions on them as part of the installation process. Nothing outside the install needs to be done unless you opt not to use the full space of your new drive for installing Windows.

If you have left space free on your new drive, once the installation is finished you will need to go into disk manager by right clicking 'my computer' and selecting 'manage.' Once you are in the management screen, select 'disk management.' From here, the unpartitioned space on your hard disk can be seen as the black 'unpartitioned space' section in the graphic display on the bottom pane.

Simply right click the unused space and select 'new partition' to use this space. The wizard will walk you through creating, sizing and formatting the partition with NTFS or FAT32.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive
 Pg 2.  SATA and IDE Hard Drives
 Pg 3.  Physically Installing an IDE Hard Drive
 Pg 4.  Preparing an IDE Hard Drive For Installation
 Pg 5.  Physical Installation of a IDE Hard Drive
 Pg 6.  Physically Installing a Serial ATA Hard Drive
 Pg 7.  Physical Installation of the SATA Hard Drive
 Pg 8.  Confirming the Installation of a Hard Drive
 Pg 9.  Partitioning and Formatting a Second drive in Windows 2000/XP
 Pg 10.  — Partitioning and formatting for the Installation of Windows 2000/XP
 Pg 11.  Partitioning and formatting a Second Drive in Windows 9x/ME
 Pg 12.  FDISK Commands continued
 Pg 13.  Partitioning and Formatting a hard drive for Win9x/ME Installation
 Pg 14.  Troubleshooting hard drive installation

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