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Formatting XP Home Hard Disk


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#1
Knox

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I currently run Windows XP home and am looking to downgrade to Windows ME(Don't Ask) as a clean install. I have tried right clicking on (C:) and using format, but recieve the responses "Windows was unable to complete the format" or "Windows cannot format this drive, close all windows displaying contents of drive", even though all windows were closed as well as applications. Can someone please tell me how to completely format my hard disk? Thanks. :tazz:
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#2
admin

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You can't run the format command from the same drive you're trying to format.

Download the Windows ME boot disk from http://www.bootdisk.com, use it to create a bootable floppy, and then boot your system using that floppy. At the command prompt (likely A:\) type format C: and press enter. :tazz:

Of course formatting will erase the entire contents of your drive. Be sure critical information is backed up.
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#3
Murray S.

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Howdy:

Admin's advice will work as long as your XP wasn't formatted NTFS.. If it was, then the format command won't work as DOS doesn't/can't recognize an NTFS format..

You will have to fdisk first to remove all NON-DOS patitions, fdisk again to set a Primary DOS partition and then use the WinME floppy as per Admin's post to format the drive.

Murray
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#4
admin

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Yes, nice catch Murray. :tazz:
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#5
Murray S.

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Thanks.. ;)

Not very often I get to add to a mod or admin's post here.. You guys are good !! :tazz:

Murray
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#6
Knox

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Excuse my ignorance, but what is meant by fdisk?
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#7
Knox

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Actually would someone be able to give me a step by step guide? I've gone through Command prompt trying to format it but it doesn't allow me to. I have also tried what admin suggested with little success. Thanks.
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#8
20034663

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1. First you need a Windows ME boot disk.
2. Now you need to go to your BIOS by clicking one of your F buttons on the top of your keyboard (Different for every make of computer)
3. Now you need to disable you hard drive and anything else as well apart from the CD drive.
4. Now save changes and exit.
5. Now put in the Windows ME CD and REboot the computer.
6. Now you need to install Windows, you will have the option to Format your hard drive when installing windows.

If you need any more help, ask for it by posting another message here.
20034663
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#9
Babbage

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[removed]

Edited by admin, 06 May 2005 - 07:36 AM.

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#10
Murray S.

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Okay:

1: Boot into BIOS and make sure the first boot device for now is set to the a: drive/floppy (normally the "delete" key but your boot screen will tell you for sure)..

2: Once you get to a: prompt, type in "fdisk" and press enter.. You will get a variety of option. Use option 4 I believe which will be to remove all NON-DOS partitions..

3: Once that is done, reboot again (leave the floppy in).. Go into fdisk once more.. This time, use the option to set a Primary DOS partition (say yes to all questions).. Once the Primary DOS partition has been set, reboot once more (leave the floppy in)..

4: When you get to a: prompt, now type in format c: and press enter.. Once again, say yes to all questions..

5: When formatting has finished, leave the floppy in and re-boot.. Use the option to "Start WITH cd-rom support".. Once everything has loaded, put your WinME cd in, change the drive to your cd-rom drive, type insetup and away you go..

Just a tad more involved than 20034663 led you to believe!!

Murray
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