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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    After several attempts to reinstall WinXP Home on a new 350gig Western Digital HD on my son's Dell, I need to reformat the HD to original out of the box specs and start the clean install all over again.

    (it is a long story but my reinstall technique was faulty and I believe the master boot record is corrupt and need to wipe it out. I have tried FIXMBR and FIXBOOT from the Recovery Console to no avail)

    So my question is: Can I do a good thorough reformat from the Recovery Console off the original XP install disk using the FORMAT command?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    As part of the install you can delete the partition, reassign it, and reformat. That should be more than enough.

    Joe
    Joe

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    JoeP, I have tried that approach several times when reinstalling the operating system but I am convinced that the reformat as part of the install does not clean out all of the old info. As proof of this, Windows does not ask me for the "code number" for the install disk. So some info is being left.

    And I think the boot info is also being left. That is why I want to do an complete, independent reformat.

    I hope I am making sense.

  4. #4
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    If you are doing a complete reinstall, do not use the recovery console. See How to Reinstall Windows XP - PCWorld for instructions on a complete reinstall.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    The last couple times I tried the reinstall, I basically have used this method. Some has gotten corrupted and I can' get past it.

    Going back to my original question, How can I reformat this drive to the original out of the box condition?

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Can you get to the repair console install window? If so I believe opening a Command Prompt is an option of the repair install console. You should be able to format the HD from the Command prompt. Type the following:

    Format C:\ /q

    The 'C:' is the drive letter and the '\q' means quick - it
    only takes a few
    seconds as opposed to 5 minutes!

    I believe this is the proper command, but I am no expert at Dos commands. If this is not correct, some one else may supply the proper command.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Ted, You mention "repair console" if you mean the Recovery Console which is an option during the install of Windows? then yes I can get to the command prompt. It looks like this:
    C:\Windows\

    I can also get to a command prompt in Safe Mode. It looks like this:
    C:\Documents & Settings\Admin\

    It looks like you are suggesting from the Recovery Console prompt I can insert: Format C:\ /q....so it looks like this:
    C:\Windows\Format C:\ /q

    So If I drop the /q it does a normal format versus a "quik" format? At this point, I want to do an extra slow, deep reformat to make sure everything is wiped off so I can start over. I don't want to take a chance that a quik format would still leave something accessible.

    Thanks for your response.

  8. #8
    5 Star Lounger chowur's Avatar
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    Here's a sure fire thing called Dariks Boot & Nuke.You can download the program here;Source Forge
    Here's a disc,No one should be with out! Hiren's Boot 12.0;Hiren's Download Scroll all the way down to the page to download the ISO.It's a great disc has to many programs to list.
    BTW,if by chance you do need a ISO burn program check this out;ImgBurn
    Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them. -Albert Einsten

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pheasant View Post
    The last couple times I tried the reinstall, I basically have used this method. Some has gotten corrupted and I can' get past it.

    Going back to my original question, How can I reformat this drive to the original out of the box condition?
    If the drive was formatted when you got it, then if you format the drive as part of the XP install it will be in "out of the box" condition. If it fails to format properly then I believe you have a hardware problem. Do you have access to another PC? You could remove the drive from your PC install it in the second PC and format using the second PC. Then the OS installation is completely out of the picture during formatting.

    Joe
    Joe

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    To close out this thread:

    When last I left you:

    I decided that even thought I was doing a Reformat as part of the Windows install process, there still must be some corrupted residue left behind and the only solution was to do a reformat via another method.

    So I went back into Recovery Console and did the reformat from there.

    When I tried to reinstall windows, I got several error messages during reinstall that many "drivers" could not be found.

    Upon almost giving up, I tried a reinstall one more time and this time Windows loaded fine.

    I then loaded the needed drivers, and critical MS downloads including SP3.

    Did several restarts with no problems.

    Loaded other programs one at a time with a restart in between and everything loaded well and system seems to be very stable right now.

    The End!

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