28 November, 2008

Cannot format new hard drive

I got a new external hard drive to use for backups. Before starting, I wanted to format the drive as NTFS, instead of the default FAT32. When I tried though, the system always gave me an error message,"volume is in use by another process." Of course I checked and checked, and was certain nothing else was using the drive. It turns out that the drive when initial setup was added to the System Restore Monitoring; I needed to remove it to format the drive.

Here's how to do that:
  1. Go to Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> System Restore
  2. Click the System Restore Settings in the right pane
  3. Highlight the drive
  4. Click Settings
  5. Check "Turn off System Restore" on this drive
  6. Click OK
  7. Click OK again
  8. Click Cancel (to close the Welcome to System Restore dialog)
For a drive that I am using as a backup drive (a data only drive), there is no reason to use System restore, so after formatting, I did not re-enable.

Note that if you are a Windows Vista user, you will find System Restore within the System Properties dialog box under the System Protection tab.

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