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I bought a second hand hard drive and it has an operating system on it that my pc boots to. How do i format or fix this?

So I bought a second hand hard drive and I didnt know it wasnt formatted. I plugged it in and my pc booted to whatever was on there. It had a password on a profile I didnt recognize. Any way can I format the drive or fix the issue with my pc booting to this secondary drive? Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question but im not very well versed in this kinda stuff.

6 Answers

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  • David
    Lv 7
    3 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    You need to go into the BIOS and make sure the original hard drive is the priority drive that the machine boots from. Restart the computer and closely watch the screen during the boot process, you should see some writing stating which key to press to enter the BIOS, it is usually Del key, but it could be F2, F12 or Esc. Once into the BIOS go to boot options and select the correct drive to boot off. Save and exit, hopefully you should now boot off the correct drive.

    You can format the second hand drive by going into disk management (for windows 10, right click on the start menu, select disk management)

    Your other option that should work would be to open the case (power off, of course) and swap round the SATA cables between the two drives so that the original drive occupies a higher priority SATA port. The computer should then see your original drive first and boot off that as priority

    • Zohe3 months agoReport

      Thank you so very much for the help! I seriously appreciate it! 

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  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    Since you are not well versed in this kind of stuff then why are you trying to do something you don't understand?

    "Any way can I format the drive or fix the issue with my pc booting to this secondary drive?" No, but I know how the issue can be fixed.

    I think you have some options.

    1. Find someone who is knowledgeable of computers face to face who can help you solve your problem.

    2. Figure it out by yourself.

    3. Toss out your hard drive in the garbage.

    4. Give it away, or sell it.

    • ...Show all comments
    • Zohe3 months agoReport

      Also, can I just say, do people not learn and experience and grow by doing things outside their comfort zones? I wish you a wonderful day but please just gtfo.

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  • 3 months ago

    Set your older drive to the boot drive, in the BIOS.

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  • 3 months ago

    slave it to your current system and redo the partition., Delete and reconfigure.then reformat.

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    You can format it, no problem. It's already yours.

    Set up your computer to boot with your old drive with the newly bought one as a secondary drive. When your old drive has booted, use that to format the newly bought drive. If you're using windows, use Disk Management to do this.

    • Zohe3 months agoReport

      Hi there, please excuse my stupidity heh, but how do I stop my pc from booting to the secondary drive so that I can format it? Like how do I set my old drive as the one to boot to/with?

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  • Iam
    Lv 6
    3 months ago

    If you are confident in using your machines "BIOS", you can ste the drive so that it will not be a boot drive. [Press F12 during startup]. If you are not confident, then probably better to reformat, using disk manager in control panel.

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