Mod Edit: Split from http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/596389/unable-to-initialize-disk/page-2 - Hamluis.
I realized this is an older thread, but the problem initially described is exactly what I'm seeing now.
Background: I migrated my wife's Win 7 boot drive to a new computer. In this new computer I added a 2nd hard drive. I booted to Linux rescue disk, partitioned the 2nd hard drive with an extended partition and then a logical partition within. I then used the network to transfer the data from her old computer to the new logical partition on the 2nd hard drive. As part of her upgraded, I decided to upgrade the OS as well. So I upgraded to Win 8.1 and while testing it out, I wanted to change the drive letter of her old data partition on the boot drive to the newly created logical partition on the 2nd drive. I went in to "Device Management" and both drives were visible. I noticed the newly created partition had no drive letter. I selected and right clicked for the context menu and the only option that wasn't greyed out was "delete volume". After playing around I found that anything I tried to do to change the disk/partitions resulted in the "The system cannot find the file specified" error from the Virtual Disk Manager that was originally reported in the bug. I tried a number of things, but all produced the same error msg. I happen to have a multitude of drives available to me, so I tried another of the same type, this one not formatted. Device Mgr show the device, but as type "unknown" and popped up a window to initialized the disk. The window had MBR selected by default and when I pressed OK, it produced the same "The system cannot find the file specified" error. So its clearly not the drive, since a 2nd drive is also unchangeable, plus the 1st drive worked fine from within Linux. I also tried switching to GPT, however this resulted in the same error msg. I tried another type of drive that had 2 primary partitions on it. The drive was visible in Device Mgr, but neither partition had drive letters assigned. Attempts to set or change this drive produced the same error msg.
I've spent hours scouring the web to find an answer but so far I've not found anything that has worked for me. Since I planned to upgrade the system to Windows 10, I decided to do this hoping that this issue would magically disappear in the newer Windows version. Unfortunately I was disappointed to see the same thing.
I've read this thread and I'm wondering about the steps that allowed the disk to become usable in Windows. John you suggested using Partition Wizard. I've never used Partition Wizard, so I'm not familiar with it abilities and the choices it allows. I googled and found it. I suspect is very similar to the Linux rescue disk I've used. SinsterMatti said he used Partition Wizard to delete all partitions, format, and then GPT worked for him. I'm puzzled by the "delete all partitions and then format". Am I correct in assuming that what was meant was he deleted all his existing partitions, then created a single primary partition which was then formatted. As which point he when back to Windows and then Device Manager allowed him to initialized the disk as GPT? I want to understand all the steps required so I can get past this infuriating issue that many people have, but so few had documented if and how they actually fixed.
Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide.
Edited by hamluis, 01 November 2016 - 12:00 PM.