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Erik B.
Erik B., Consultant
Category: Microsoft
Satisfied Customers: 4614
Experience:  Well versed in several editions of Microsoft Office.
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I wish to remove Microsoft windows from a hard drive on my

Customer Question

I wish to remove Microsoft windows from a hard drive on my PC and format the drive. I already have windows on another hard drive on the same PC
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Microsoft
Expert:  Erik B. replied 4 years ago.
Hi and thanks for your question. My name is Erik and I will be happy to assist you.

To clarify, you have installed another hard drive and have Windows loaded on that drive and are currently using that drive as the main drive? If that is the case the drive you want to remove Windows from should be showing up as a secondary drive on the computer (e.g. the D: drive or E: drive) correct?

If that is correct, then you need to format the secondary drive instead of trying to delete the files manually. A lot of files are protected from accidental deletion and that is why you are seeing those errors.

Keep in mind that formatting the drive will erase all data as well so make sure you have backups first, then do this:

  1. Click the Start button on that computer and then click on My Computer or Computer.
  2. In the resulting window, right click the secondary drive and choose Format.
  3. In the Format window, make it look like this (the capacity will be different):
  4. Click Start.
  5. The drive will be formatted and will reappear as blank.



That's it. Let me know if I misunderstood the situation or if you get stuck on a step. Thanks!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Erik

I went and put the new windows on F the old is still on C do I need to swap them around?

Expert:  Erik B. replied 4 years ago.
Ah I see. Unfortunately to swap them would require a reinstall of your new Windows. Windows will not allow you to change the system drive (which is now F:) to another drive letter; the only way to get it to be C: would be to reinstall.

If you want to do that you can, however you can also just format the C: drive and then proceed to use new Windows on the F: drive without any bad effects. If you don't have any of your programs or data on the new Windows yet you may want to consider reinstalling as down the road having Windows on F: may cause problems with some program installations (not very many, but it is possible).

Before your proceed, please do the following to make sure you are actually on your new windows installation:

  1. Hold down the Windows key and press the R key to open the Run window.
  2. Type %systemdrive% and click OK to open the true Windows system disk. It should open to F:. If it does you are safe to format C:. If it opens C: let me know.

Let me know if you need any clarification. Thanks!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your help but still can`t format C never mind F did open but C would not format at all said access denied


Expert:  Erik B. replied 4 years ago.
Hm. I would try rebooting first and then formatting before opening anything else up. We can also do a remote session if you prefer so I can see what is going on. Thanks!