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Reformat Hard drive with a USB cd/dvd Drive


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#1
patdied

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I tried to reformat my hard drive when it was windows xp but I can't make it boot from the CD because the Cd/DVD drive it broken. So I have a USB CD/DVD drive. I can't make my computer boot from the USB drive.

When the computer starts I push "F2" in order to go to the setup menu and choose "boot from removable drive" or something like that (I pushed enter and nothing seemed to happen) and then save and exit. The computer just runs normally, so I tried all of them (boot from CD/DVD, removable, storage drive, etc.) and the same thing happened. This Time I hit "F10" to go to the boot menu. There were only 3 choices. They were Boot from CD/DVD, run normally from hard drive, and boot from LAN or something like that. I tried boot from CD/DVD and the same as before happens. I later figured that when it is trying to boot from CD/DVD it checks the master CD/DVD drive (the one that's broken). I can't get it to boot from the USB CD/DVD drive.

I later had enough, I spent over a day trying to do this simple thing, so I installed Vista when I was in my account. I tried to restore all my backups but vista wouldn't let me, it said the account is not a backup operator. This can't be, I'm admin! I also ran into a whole bunch of other errors that I'm not going to get into, it's just to much! I want Vista out, I want to install Xp again but I'm back to the first problem, in paragraph two.

I need help, I have a lot of work to do.

Thank you very much

Edited by patdied, 19 May 2007 - 07:30 PM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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How old is the computer? Does it have an option to enter a boot menu by pressing a certain key (usually ESC, F8, F11 or F12) so you can override the default setting? Most computers made in the last three or four years should be able to boot off a USB device with no problems.

Some systems won't let you boot off USB drives unless it can see them first to present you with that option. For this you have to let it run entirely though the POST screens so it can find everything, then you get an option on the boot menu as to whether you want it to boot off the external drive or not. Also ensure USB devices are on in the BIOS. Not all systems will let you select an external drive to boot from in the BIOS, you may need to do it through the boot menu.
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#3
pip22

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Since I'm sure you don't want to continue running a system without a working CD/DVD drive (since that would be very inconvenient), I suggest you fit a new one. Since you already have one installed (the broken one) it will be very easy to fit and connect since all you have to do is make a note of which cable goes where before you disconnect the broken one and then make sure the new one is connected exactly the same.

Don't forget to check whether the broken CD drive has it's configuration jumper (at the back of the drive) set to 'master' or 'slave'. Whichever it is, set the jumper on the new drive to the same position.
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#4
patdied

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My computer brand is gateway,model number is 6018GZ, I should of said this earlier but it's laptop, and it's about 2-3 years old. I remember it having press F11 to do a computer restore at the start up along time ago but I don't see it anymore. It believe was wiped out because of the computer being reformated.

At startup there's a boot menu by press F2 (which goes to all the other system stuff including boot from a removable device) and F10 (only has 3 choices, boot from CD/DVD, start hard drive normally, and Boot to LAN).

When I set it to boot from my USB CD/DVD drive, I hear it read the CD, but later it'll just end up going back to the windows vista, it's almost like it ignored it.

I was planning to delete all of C:\windows files and try again. I want to be sure before doing it.

It said my broken cd/dvd drive is set to master, it could still detect the drive. I'm afriad to detach the broken cd/dvd drive from the laptop. I took the laptop to a repair shop and they just told me to buy the removeable cd/dvd drive (that's how I ended up with it). Is it possible to get it fixed? If it is it's going to cost a lot.

Thanks again

Edited by patdied, 20 May 2007 - 08:04 AM.

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#5
pip22

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Being a laptop doesn't necessarily mean you can't replace the CD drive. It simply means you have a limited choice of suppliers since, unlike desktop computers, parts for laptops are custom made to fit only that brand. Fortunately for you. Gateway is a well known world manufacturer whose parts are not difficult to track down.

Both pages below show you the part you need for your 6018GZ model. Both are based in the US so shipping to Canada should not be a problem. In the case of the second website, your specific laptop model is not actually shown as compatible, but rest assured the part number shown (2MA2DVD0001) is the one you need, I checked it against the details on the first website.


http://www.mundocorp...exd.asp?id=2625

http://www.laptopkin...category=drives

You are not limited to these two suppliers. I found them listed on Google by typing "Gateway 6018GZ" into the search bar (without quotes).

Just a pity you already spent money on the external one when it would have been better to put that money towards a replacement internal one.

One last piece of advice. Be quite sure the drive is actually broken before you buy a replacement! If it won't read anything (try several clean CDs) or write to a blank cd-r when Windows is running I would confidently say it was indeed bust.

Edited by pip22, 20 May 2007 - 10:35 AM.

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#6
patdied

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I tried several different CDs. The CD drive could detect empty perfectly (I could even burn) and can only detect some CDs. It can't detect the Windows XP SP2 cd, it just says it's a empty cd. It could detect Windows XP SP1 but it reads extremely slow. It could detect the windows Vista CD no problem.

Most of the time when I put the cd in it just doesn't do anything because it can't detect the cd. So I had to eject the cd and put it back in again (I do it about 5-10 times or even more, I sometimes restart the computer and do it again).

At first I thought maybe some hacker files screwed up my cd/dvd settings but it wasn't. I managed to reformat my hard drive with vista (Windows XP SP1 didn't work) and I thought the setting should be back to normal. When I tried the CDs again the same stuff happens again. I am 100% sure something is wrong with the cd/dvd drive. I tried all the CD on the external cd/dvd drive and they all worked fine and were fast.
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#7
drodgers

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Have you figured this out. I also have to reformat and my cd/dvd drive is not working. I have an external dvd drive but the computer is not picking it up when I try to reformat.
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#8
patdied

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I'm just going to stay with Vista. I have no choice.

drodgers,

Did you reformat your computer before? If you did the files that restore should all be gone. If didn't there should be a screen that tells you what function button to press to start a system restore (without the cd).

There should be a certain button to push to go to boot menu (usually F10,F8, or F2).
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#9
drodgers

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I have reformatted my computer before, did not realize it would get rid of all those files. What should I do at the Boot menu, set the default values? This is really making me want to pull my hair out. Thanks
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#10
patdied

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You could buy another cd drive like pip22 said. That should solve the problem right away. But like Pip22 said, Only buy it if you're 100% sure it is busted.
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