VHAN, so, I'm confused.
Why were you in DISK MANAGEMENT? That, to me, IS a Partitioning and Formatting operation, where I 'introduce' a brand new INTERNAL drive to my system. I can use that to format External drives, or partition them. But I'd expect (even hope!) to see this kind of error if I was trying to partition a drive that already had partitions, or if I was trying to change partition types.
But if it's been functioning properly - BIG IF, I suppose - then why would I be in Disk Management?
So - was the drive no longer functioning in Win7-32 and you went to Disk Management to investigate, resulting in this other error (this MINIMUM SIZE error)?
"Dead drive" - I meant, if the hard-drive is no longer spinning, not accepting power, etc. I assume you see Power Lights on it. Can you 'feel' any vibration? If so, then it's spinning and not 'dead'.
(This Disk Management error could be quite a blessing - if you initialize it, you lose all your data.)
I was going to ask if you'd swapped to a different USB port, but I assume you've done that. If you haven't, do all the Connects without any power to either unit. Shut everything down, turn the drive on first, then the computer - and see if there is any different acknowledgement.
If not, then shut the notebook down again, then the hard drive, disconnect USB cable and try a different USB port.
(I am wondering if a USB port could get SOME signal but not enough to acknowledge the drive type. USB port failures are usually All or Nothing, though.)