Messy partitions please help

I just plugged in another harddrive the hard drive was running ubuntu in it. I have windows 10 on my main HDD. When I go into my bios it shows up with like 10 different hard drive. For some reason, its really messy and annoying. and the second hard drive is not showing up in windows but it is in bios but I cant tell what to boot from. for some reason theres like 5 different ubuntu drives and when I boot from there it takes me to windows. and there I see two WD hard drives when I boot from one it takes me to windows and same with the other. Its really messy how do I clean it up so I can only see 2 drives.

Linux does way way different things to Windows with its drive.


Windows uses two partitions one being system reserved (for voodoo) and the other being where everything is dumped.
Linux however has a minimum of 3 (typically) as there will be a boot partition (which contains various stuff for boot purposes), the main root partition (this is where the OS will live and user documents) and lastly the SWAP partition (unless you have disabled SWAP then you won't have this). You may have more depending on install, for example. If you segregated users home directories into another partition. (Ubuntu doesn't do this by default).


The reason none of the partitions do not show up in Windows is because Windows is really dumb with filesystems. It can only really operate FAT,FAT32 and NTFS filesystems. Whilst Linux can do those and about 6 million more. Ubuntu typically defaults to the Filesystem type of EXT3 (or 4 in newer versions) and as a result, Windows doesn't know what it is looking at.

Now if you want to use the drive in Windows. It depends what you are after, if you are looking to recover files off of the Linux partitions from Windows..... Good Luck, Windows won't do that (read above).

If you just want to use the drive in Windows for file storage your going to need go to you "Disk Management".

In here you will see a list of all the drives Windows can see (as long as the BIOS is detecting it, it will turn up here)
As you can see in my screenshot there is one 100GB drive (its a virtual system so don't question it) and along the bottom you can see its partitions. You will likely have a similar situation but it will mark the partitions as unknown.

You will need to right click and delete volumes.

(I can't do that because its the currently booted drive) BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, make sure you are deleting the correct partitions on the correct drive. You shouldn't be able to delete the Windows OS one (but tools like diskpart will let you do this), so you should be safe. But do double check you're deleting the correct partitions.

Once there are no partitions, you will be able to create a new one, format it and mount it for use.

Wait! I actually want to boot the Linux partition!

Well then, the reason its not booting (is likely the BIOS boot order) is because the Windows boot manager is being detected before whatever the Linux distro is using (most likely GRUB). As Windows boot manager is quite shit, it will be totally unaware of the Linux OS, and won't boot to it.

So either quickly re-arrange your boot order in the BIOS or simply unplug the Windows drive.


I did the fish management thing and I can now use the drive in Windows but in my BIOS I can still see a ton of ubuntu drives. Is there a way to format drives in the BIOS btw I'm using a z97-a motherboard

So you like to fish?

Joking aside, if you are still seeing a pile of partitions for Ubuntu in the BIOS it means that A) you either didn't delete all the partitions on the disk or B) you have other disks with Ubuntu partitions on them.

No, you can not format the drive outside of an OS (you maybe able to do it in EFI (but never looked so don't know))