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formating xp



I'm completely re formatting my drive and have run the FORMAT C: DOS Command. Heres what happens and are there any suggestions?

"Format cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Format may run if this volume is dismounted first.All open handles to this volume would then be invalid. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N) I then answer Y

And get this:

Cannot lock the drive, the volume is still in use.

So my question. How to dismount the volume and lock the drive?

any help would greatly be appreciated


once i have created the boot disk, how do i go to the next step?

i'm very computer illiterate..


wow... people are making this entirely too complicated for you. Seriously, doing this with XP is easy as heck.

1. enter setup (the BIOS) as your computer boots up. usually hitting one of the "F" keys or Delete does this for you. The startup screen will probably tell you what key to hit so look for it.

2. Change the boot order to make your computer boot from the CD-Rom first (just look around in the BIOS to find where to do this. if you accidentally change something else, you can always exit without saving your changes).

3. Insert the XP disk, then exit setup and save your changes.

4. When it tells you to hit any key to boot from the CD, do that. (if you don't hit a key, it will boot from the hard disk, so pay attention!!)

5. A nice Blue screen will pop up indicating that you have begun your install.

6. You'll want to delete your current partition, and re-create a new one. Then you will format the new partition. Just read carefully and you will know exactly what to do. (There are quite a few hoops to jump through to get this done, because Microsoft tries its best to be idiot-proof. just remember to read, and know that since you're formatting, you can't possibly hurt anything if you do something wrong.... and you can always start over).

One small detail about XP that is completely optional, but a good idea, is that XP doesn't inherently clear the master boot record during the format. Which can cause problems if you are re-installing your OS, or if you are upgrading from another OS, because they can leave traces of themselves in the mbr which will cause you to get a boot option everytime you turn your computer on, i.e., "select which OS you wish to boot...". Not a horrible thing, but rather annoying. You can bypass any future issues by going into recovery console, and running the command "fixmbr". its not as good as the old fdisk /mbr for <98 systems, but it will have to do for now. the command takes all of a nano-second to run, so don't be disturbed that it finishes too quickly.

Also, formatting XP and getting it back up and running is a real pain without high-speed internet access. If you're on dial-up, prepare to spend a LOT of time sitting around and waiting.

By the way.... if you think about what you were trying to do, you probably would have figured this out by yourself. When you go to a command prompt, you are running DOS on the C:\ drive. When you type Format C:, you would actually be deleting the format.com command you are using to format the disk. When you take Format.com and put it on a floppy, or a CD, you are no longer running it from your hard drive, so it can run with no problems. Its a huge recursive dilemma. Quite the Catch 22!

Hope this works for you! E-mail me if you get stuck!


okay, i think i did a horrible thang...

i was messing with partition magic, hopeing i could probably partition the drive and format it that way, but oh oh.. i can not boot pass the screen that will show the bios screen.. well, you know the first screen that pops up when you boot the computer?
well, that's all that i get.. and on the bottom of the screen.. it says:

Error finding the operating system

aaahhh.. now what the hel.l do i do????


hell... now all you got to due is just install your operating system and your good to go.

--------you get that error uh! cause you fired your OS-------

ben there,,, done that,,,

Hipster Doofus

Good grief Charlie Brown
Do what a loy of people in this threead have been trying to tell you.

Insert the xp cd then boot up & follow your nose to format the drive. To install xp it will format the drive for itself.


i can't even boot from win98 or any there o.s.

i've been trying to follow what all of you are trying to tell me but again, i can not get the damn thang to boot from the cd.


not ur os... but boot from winxp or win98 cd (as long as it is bootable) go to ur bios and set to boot from cdrom. if do not have the bootable cd, create a bootable disk.

if really cant, other solution is get help from ur frens... set the harddisk to slave from ur frens pc and format it...

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