Need to format system partition RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    I am facing an issue that I am unable to format a partition as its showing system partition and neither Format or Delete Partition options are highlighted in Disk Management.

    I have a Compaq Laptop with Windows XP SP3 Installed on Drive C

    In total I have 4 Partitions on the laptop, namely:
    Drive C - Logical Partition (if it matters) - Windows is installed on this drive.
    Drive D - Primary Partition (System) - Used only for Data - But unusable.
    Drive E - Primary Partition - Used only for Data.
    Drive F - Primary Partition - Used only for Data.

    The drive I would like to format is Drive D, which is a primary partition and is showing System Partition, I have not configured any backup on this drive, nor any pagefile is set to be kept on this drive, yet it shows System Partition.

    Apart from this on this drive, there is a directory named "Data" that I can access and then other subdirectories, when I try to access them it says access is denied. Hence I am not able to delete them as well.
    The reason I am trying to delete these directories or format this drive is that Its total capacity is 18 GB and 9 GB is being consumed because of the subdirectories and the data they hold, yet I am unable to use them.

    I also tried to delete the partition using Diskpart, but it gives an error: "the arguments you specified for this command are not valid"

    I also tried to set the partition Inactive, yet getting the same error.

    I also tried the command: "format /x D:" - It says drive successfully unmounted and the format begins, but when it reaches 100% it says "Cannot format a system partition".

    I have also tried the same using Acronis Disk Director - Even that is not able to either "Unmount" the drive or format the drive.

    I request you to please suggest what should I do next to be able to either format it or delete the data.

    Thanks in advance,


    Naman Jandial

    Saturday, January 23, 2016 9:24 AM

All replies

  • Your D partition is where the system files (i.e. Boot files) are located, hence the attribute 'System'. The computer would not have been built by Compaq like this. Windows would have been on a primary partition, not a logical partition. Windows can only be installed on a logical drive if the boot files are located on a primary partition, i.e. your drives C and D.

    There may be a third-party program that will allow you to change it, but I doubt it.

    Ninety-nine per cent of politicians give the rest a bad name!

    • Edited by BurrWalnut Saturday, January 23, 2016 1:42 PM
    Saturday, January 23, 2016 1:23 PM