Formatting an external usb hard drive problem

By svalcaniant ·
I have taken my old working 80 gb hard drive and installed it into a usb drive controller and I now want to repartition it and format it so it will boot from that drive. The pc I'm going to use the external drive on is a Dell Optiplex 755.

I made sure that the usb device is selected in the bios and when I boot from the Windows setup cd it allows me to repartition it and when I select the option to format, it says the following: Windows system startup program cannot gain access to the space you selected.

Any thoughts on how to remedy this problem.

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