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  1. #1
    nickthorp2
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    Reformatting hard disk under XP

    I seem to have carried over some corruption from Win 98 to Win XP, even though I chose "new installation" (ie get a message about Explorer.exe ending, then no longer responding, as XP shuts down). I want to reformat the hard disk to get rid of the corruption, so have booted off my Win XP disk, but there seems to be no opportunity to reformat. Also looking under Computer Management (local)/Disk Management/Right-click C there is a note to the effect that you cannot format the system or boot partition. Would someone please tell me exactly how to reformat and achieve a really "clean installation" at this stage.

  2. #2
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    The simplest method is to boot to a Windows 98 boot disk and format the hard drive from there and then install the Windows OS. You will want to boot with CD support.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    That's how to do it:
    Insert Win98 bootable floppy disk (that one that come with your Win98 installation CD or which you created under Win98 as "Startup Disk") and power on your computer
    At the DOS prompt (the last line on the screen shows A:>_ ), type
    fdisk
    and hit Enter. When it prompts you "Do you want larger..." press Y. Now you will see a list of options. Press 4 to see the list of all partitions. Read it carefully (and maybe write down all information) and then hit Esc. Now choose option 3 to delete partition, and delete them all one after another. Choose option 4 once again and be sure "No partition defined" is shown.
    Remove your floppy, insert your WinXP installation CD and hit Esc, Esc to reboot computer.

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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    You do not need to do a fdisk, if the partions are fine. Just do a Format c: or what ever hard drive you want to format and it will format the drive requested to. But yes you will be ask a question or two about losing all of your data on that drive.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  5. #5
    nickthorp2
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    Thanks very much indeed to Dave and Kaplinb for your detailed help. I suspected reverting to the Win 98 boot disk might be the way, but thought it must be possible just to work from the Win XP installation CD

  6. #6
    nickthorp2
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    Thanks very much once again for your kind help Dave.

  7. #7
    nickthorp2
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    In the end (using the Win 98 floppy boot disk) I did need to use fdisk, as format c: was not accepted because I had used the NTFS file system under XP. I therefore deleted the single partition, created a new primary DOS partition and then used format c: to successfully format the new single partition of the hard disk. However the machine would then not boot from the Win XP Pro (upgrade) CD, saying it was an invalid system disk (presumably because no longer has a DOS basis). It was also not possible to run Win XP's setup.exe by typing it directly from the CD drive prompt (non-DOS program). I looks as though I now will have to re-install Win 98 (along with any possible corruption on my original (genuine MS) intallation disk), then install Win XP, which route I was obviously hoping to avoid in the first place. Can you help any further? Many thanks in advance.

  8. #8
    ileacy
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    If your system BIOS has a boot from CD option you should not have a problem.

    Just make sure that "Boot from CD" comes before "Boot from Hard Disk".

    I have installed XP on a system without any partitions.

  9. #9
    nickthorp2
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    Thanks very much for your advice Ian

  10. #10
    Lounger
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    I just did this over the weekend. I set my system to boot from CD, booted from the XP Upgrade disk, it asked me for the W2K disk to verify I was ok, then I selected new install and did NOT check the save original disk. It then asked me what I wanted to do with it, and I told it do a FAT format. It then saw how big my disk was and told me it was going to do a FAT32 format and I'd lose all my original stuff and away it went. My 'C' drive is about 9 gig of a 40 gig drive and I didn't want the other stuff wiped out - and it wasn't. I only lost the old stuff on my 'C' drive. NO FDISK, thank you very much <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> ... Michael

  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    Dave, when I try to reformat my laptop already containing the xp upgrade, I get a "bad command or file name" after typing format c: at the A:>. If I type fdisk, the fdisk screen launches. I wanted to avoid fdisk and just reformat C: and then reinstall the xp upgrade.

    Any suggestions as to why I'm getting the bad command?

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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    You need a copy of the Format command on the floppy.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    I'm using the Win 98 boot floppy, which I've used to reformat my desktop without any problems. What would you suggest I do next?

  14. #14
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    Re: Reformatting hard disk under XP

    Is the Format command on this floppy?

    This being a Laptop, you may need to use the floppy that came with it.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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