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Weird circumstance - is there ANY way to format this drive?


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#1
stearmandriver

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Hi all,

My friend has an old work computer from another friend, that he was allowed to keep but didnt want, and so passed on to the current owner. It's very slow and she wants it wiped, reformatted, and fresh OS install. I'm trying to help her.

Problem is, the only Windows XP login we have for it does not appear to have admin rights, AND it's got this McAfee SafeBoot Endpoint Encryption running on it (which we also have to log into on startup: SafeBoot first then Windows). So, I cannot reformat it from within Windows, either because I'm not an admin or because of this Safeboot. Nor can I seem to disable or remove Safeboot, I assume because I'm not an admin. Nor can I boot into a Windows disk and do a reformat/install that way, because it says no hard drive found (I'm guessing because we aren't logged into Safeboot at this point.)

So this is a predicament beyond my knowledge. I absolutely may be doing something stupid here... any chance anyone has any ideas? I just want it reformatted so I can start from scratch!

Thanks much for any ideas!

Joe
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#2
Ztruker

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You can't format the drive you are booted from, that's like sawing off the limb you are standing on :lol:

You need to boot a Windows XP install CD and format the drive during the installation.

How to Clean Install Windows XP
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#3
stearmandriver

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You can't format the drive you are booted from, that's like sawing off the limb you are standing on :lol:

You need to boot a Windows XP install CD and format the drive during the installation.

How to Clean Install Windows XP


Ah, but that's the problem - when I boot from the Windows XP installation cd, it CAN'T format the drive. It says "no hard drive found" at the part where you'd choose an install location. Pretty sure this is because the drive is still encrypted by Safeboot. So... I can't format from boot because Safeboot is enabled, and I can't disable Safeboot, even when logged into Windows, because I don't have an admin login.
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#4
Ztruker

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I found this: format drive with safeboot installed

You can also try DBAN (Darrick's Boot And Nuke) and see if it will do the job.
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#5
stearmandriver

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Thanks for those. It looks like the first method will require admin access to Safeboot that I dont have, but maybe dban is worth a try... although if the drive is still enycrypted after boot so the Windows disk won't boot, I dont know if that will either. Worth a shot though, thanks...
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#6
Ztruker

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DBAN wipes the drive, leaving nothing behind (if it works). It becomes a raw, unformatted drive. You then need to create a partition and format it during the install.

You only need to let it run for a minute of so, just long enough to wipe the first few sectors.
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