Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10 - How to delete a write protected drive partition
Here is an easy way to delete a write protected partition on a disk drive.
Background information: I replaced my original desktop disk drive with a newer/faster one. This technique will also work for laptop users who may or may not have space for a 2nd drive. My plan was to use the older drive for storage. So I deleted each partition using Disk Management until I reached the “Recovery” partition which would not allow me to delete. I then searched the Internet for help and found a number of articles, one was a simple command prompt and a few “DiskPart” entries which did not work. The next article was more elaborate set of diskpart commands which didn’t work either. The last article I tried suggested editing the registry which also failed to remove the partition.
The easy way: 1) Turn off the computer and remove you current Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 disk drive. Note for Desktop users, also disconnect the SATA cable from any additional drives.
2) Connect the drive that has the write protected partition (For desktop or laptop users this should be your only drive connected at this time).
3) Boot from your Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 installation DVD or USB flash drive. Note that I’m using a Windows 7 installation DVD, Windows 10 is almost the same set of steps except where indicated.
4) Choose your Windows Setup options (Language, Time and currency format, Keyboard or input method. The defaults are usually English, English (United States) and US for the keyboard. Click "Next"
5) Click on the "Install now" button.
Note that if you are using Windows 10 installation media then you also need (As shown in the next two screen shots) to skip entering a product key and click “Next” to choose an edition Windows 10 (If multiple editions/operating systems are listed), I selected “Pro”, however Home will work as most likely any other editions listed.
A) Skip entering in a product key, click on the “I don’t have a product key” link.
B) Select the operating system you want to install Note that if you purchased a specific edition of Windows 10 then the screen to choose an “Operating System” will not be displayed as the installation media is limited to the product you purchased (Home, Pro, Etc.). Since my installation media offered multiple choices, I choose Windows 10 Pro edition and then clicked on the “Next” button located in the bottom right corner.
6) Read and accept the license terms and click "Next".
7) For the "Type of installation" click on "Custom" option.
8) When the "Where do want to install Windows?" option is displayed you should see only one drive (Disk 0) which would be the drive you want to delete the write protected partition from. Click on the "Drive options (Advanced)” link.
9) You should see the write protected partition displayed, select/highlight it and then click on the “Delete” option. Now read the warning that is displayed.
10) Because the partition is about to be deleted you will see this warning.
11) Click on the “OK” button to delete the partition.
If you have any other partitions to delete (especially laptop users as you can’t use Disk Management to delete most partitions when the drive is in use by Windows) just select the partition and delete them to free up all remaining drive space.
12) Now remove the Windows installation DVD and then shut down the computer (Do not click the "Next" button).
Note: USB installation media should not be removed until after the computer is powered off.
Connect your Windows drive that you disconnected in step #1. The drive you deleted the write protected partition from is now free to use for other purposes.