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formatting hard drive


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Political User
I always use xp boot disks when i wipe a hard drive to instal a fresh copy of xp if your using xp then use xp's boot disks (6) total if your are starting from scratch.

Windows XP boot disk

or you can

1/ Before you can format your drive from the Windows XP CD you must ensure that your pc is able to boot directly from the CD - see Enabling CD-ROM support in the BIOS

2/ Insert the XP CD into your CD-ROM and reboot your machine.

3/When the Welcome to Setup screen appears press Enter

4/The next screen will show the license agreement. To accept press F8

5/Setup will now scan your drive for existing copies of Windows.

6/ If another copy of Windows is found you will be given two options

a) Repair

b) Install New Copy

7/ You need to install a New Copy so press ESC

8/ The next Window will show a list of all current drives and partitions.

9/ Select the C: drive for your installation to be installed to and press Enter

10/ The next window will show the format options. These are:

Format the partition by using the NTFS file system (quick)

Format the partition by using the FAT32 file system (quick)

Format the partition by using the NTFS file system <recommended<<<<

Format the partition by using the FAT32 file system

Leave the current file system intact (No Changes)

The FAT32 file system is not available if your hard drive or selected partition is larger than 32GB

11/ Select the file system you want to use and press Enter

12/ Your hard drive/partition will now begin to format

13/ After formatting has been completed Windows XP will continue to install on your hard drive.


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Political User
follow the steps that i posted it should have the same options...just remember that when you reformat you will lose ALL of your data, make sure you backup your personal files on a CD
Why would you use 6 floppies when you can do the same thing using the Windows CD?

First step - if you have a cd burner is to slipstream SP2 (or SP1) into the original Windows XP. There are links in other posts here at OSNN to slipstreaming instructions. Basically you download the SP read the info off the original Windows CD and then combine the two and burn a new (legal) windows CD so you don't have to do a long boring SP update. The resulting CD is the same as a store bought copy with the latest SP on it.

Second step - back up all your data. Especially your music and other digital media rights. If you don't you loose them and can't get them back.

Third step - Reboot the PC and hit del (or whatever the key is to enter bios setup) and set you PC to boot from CD/DVD as first boot device. Then reset the rest of bios to default values. If you don't windows may not be able to install. Save and exit the bios setup.

Fourth step - restart with the windows cd in the drive. Windows will ask what you want to do (install, repair, etc.) Selecty install. It will ask where. Tell it C drive. A discussion will ensue about overwriting old windows etc. Tell it to format the C: drive (and don't forget you have to create partitions too or the drive will be unusable).

Fifth step - at some point during the format and reinstall it will ask to reboot. At this time change the Bios back to Boot from HD first, or at least remember to take the CD out. Otherwise you end up in an endless loop of install.

That's about it.

Now aquestion. Why do you want to reformat? There is no install that can't be saved. Reformat is the sign of a weak mind.


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Political User
LeeJend said:
Why would you use 6 floppies when you can do the same thing using the Windows CD?
my bad.. :nervous: i forgot about the cd option......and added to my post......
Backup - this gets messy. Windows stashes stuff all over the palace.

There is a windows backup wizard. I haven't used it. I'm blessed with multiple big hard drives.

Manually - to dvd or cd (preferably DVD) using Nero or Roxio.
-You will need to save your Browser & Mail - favorites, addresss books, etc.
-Save My documents in its's entirety.
-You should save the settings files for all your applications too. Unfortunately they are scattered across multiple directories.
-Make sure you have all your mail folders saved.
-Downloaded software must be saved if you paid for it. (Freebies can be downloaded again).

Yes, this is a **** load of hard work and lots of DVDs (or 10 times lots of CDs).

Now you know why I don't recommend reformats.
You can install a new MB corrrectly as long as the original system is functioning. There are other (recent) posts on how to do it. Basically:

-Power up the new MB on the desk with just RAM, CPU/HSF and Video before installing it to make sure it works before you do a lot of effort for nothing.
-Back up critical data.
-Set your video card to 800x600
-Open System Manager and uninstall all of the old MB drivers (PCI, DMA, Video, Sound, LAN, etc).
-Shut down, swap MB's.
-Boot, windows will find lot of new hardware (i.e the new MB). Install it.


PS Yes, I have actually done this. If the MB has the same chipset brand as the old MB you can skip some of this if you like to live dangerously. (I do.)


OSNN Senior Addict
i couldn't do all this b/c my old comp died and the main driver problem i have is with my video card(the refresh rate is stuck at 1hz for some reason lol)

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