How to reformat laptop hard drive (Samsung/Vista)

  matt-few 12:16 PM 23 Apr 09


A friend has asked me to reformat their Samsung laptop as the 160g hard drive has been split into three partitions when they bought it new last year.

I have tried using the Vista Recovery DVD supplied, but no joy. I even tried using DBAN Boot and Nuke, but that couldn't see the partitions and said their were bad sectors on the drive. Other than buying a new hard drive, are there any other options.

Many thanks

  MAJ 12:22 PM 23 Apr 09

One of the partitions is probably a recovery partition, containing an image of the OS for returning the laptop to 'Factory Settings', it's not wise to delete that partition. Which model of Samsung laptop is it exactly? Mind you, if you're getting corrupt sectors errors, that's not good.

  matt-few 12:31 PM 23 Apr 09

Hi Maj

It's a Sumsung R60 plus. From the various PC's I've had myself over the years, I was surprised their was no restore or repair option. When I put the DVD in after changing the boot sequence, it just started copying vista files over to the hard drive.

The hard drive has been split (formatted) C drive - 70gb & D drive - 60gb, but with a separate 10gb partition but does not have a drive letter allocated. Last night when I first looked at it, I thought this where the system recovery software was store.

Thanks again.

  MAJ 13:18 PM 23 Apr 09

Samsung aren't very clear in the manual, matt-few. What they do say is that the 10GB partition is the recovery partition, to restore Vista, they say:

"How can I reinstall the Windows Vista Operating System onto my computer using the Recovery Media

For full instructions on how to reinstall the system using the Recovery Media, please refer to the User Manual, which can be found in Start -> All Programs -> Samsung, User Manual, or can downloaded from the Download Centre, Manual section."

Not a great help, initially, but they do mention the Samsung Recovery Solution software, which you can download from click here maybe if you install that, it will kick off the recovery process.

  matt-few 18:34 PM 23 Apr 09

Maj, thanks very much.

Just to update you, I've now downloaded the software from Samsung's website and formatted the C: drive, reinstalling Vista on it. I've also managed to delete the D: drive and extend the C; drive over the whole drive (leaving the 10gb restore partition alone).

Thanks for your help, it's saved me a lot of time try to find out the problem.


  MAJ 19:18 PM 23 Apr 09

I'm glad that worked out okay for you, matt-few, happy to help.

  laurie53 19:28 PM 23 Apr 09

Just for future reference, the 10 g restore partition solution is far quicker and more efficient, one click and a total reinstall.

I have a Samsung laptop and have used it, and other methods, and it is by far the best.

During boot there is a quick screen which says (from memory!) "Boot from AHCI" or something similar.

Hit enter and that's it, just about.

  matt-few 19:55 PM 23 Apr 09

I was surprised the laptop came with a recovery disc as it's only a year old. However, there must have been problems with the hdd including the bad sectors, as no matter what I tried, I couldn't get the option to reinstall using the reinstall partition.

The only way I could was using the software. Once all the vista updates have been done and software reinstalled, I will create a restore point and save on another hard drive - so if the worse happens, it won't take me so long to fix it.


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