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Reinstall XP and can't delete old partition


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#1
Too40shorty

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Well, I'm fixing a computer for a buddy of mine. It's an old laptop that runs like crap. You name it, it's got it. Virus haven, spyware galaxy, and unwanted installed programs that I can't remove. Nothing valuable is on the computer, so my simple solution? Reinstall the OS.

Problem is...

I pop the nifty XP Pro cd in, go through the reboot and when it comes time to create a new partition or delete the old, it won't let me delete it. On ANY other computer I've done this on in the past, all I have to do is delete the partition and reinstall and it runs like a champ. When I go to delete his existing partition (Which, btw, has like 3 OS's on it already), it tells me something along the lines of "Cannot delete partion, temporary setup files are on this partition that cannot be deleted." The annoying thing is, whoever touched this laptop before me, created this partition for less than half of the available space and left the other half as "unpartitioned" space. I'm needing to delete the partion, the OS's on it, and make one large partition for the entire space. I've never had this problem before and was wondering if anyone can shed some light on this problem. I've been told by someone else that it might be a "locked partition" but from the information I've seen on the internet, it doesn't seem like this is the case. But then again, maybe it is. ANY help is GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks for any help you can provide,
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#2
OwNt

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It sounds like your possibly trying to reinstall starting from within windows to me. Is this the case? If your trying this from dos and it wont let you, boot from the cd and when it asks wheter you want to install windows or go to the recovery console, hit R. Use the command Diskpart or Format C: /Q /NTFS
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#3
Too40shorty

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Yes, I've been trying to reinstall from within windows. This computer is very bare so I'm actually using my external DVD burner to run the installation CD. Let me try the idea you just gave me and I'll reply with my results.

Thanks a bunch,
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#4
Too40shorty

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Ok, I tried the diskpart, and it didn't work. I also tried the format. After I typed in format c:, it asked me if I was sure, and of course, I hit Y-enter. It paused for a bit and then after a couple of seconds, brought me back to a c prompt. I typed DIR and everything is still there. I'm not sure what's going on and why I can't wipe this harddrive clean but when I tried the diskpart and then tried to delete it, I received the same error message about having temporary setup files and cannot delete.


Lost and confused,
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#5
wannabe1

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Too40shorty...

Sounds like you need to wipe the drive with an older method...try fdisk...Down load this Bootdisk to your desktop, double click it, and put a floppy in the floppy drive when prompted. This will create a Win98 startup disk.

Put the startup disk in the machine you want to format and restart. At the options screen, press F5 for command prompt (A:\) At the A:\ prompt, type fdisk and press "Enter". Delete all partitions starting with extended or logical disk partitions and do the Primary partition last. When finished, press Esc and then Esc to exit.

Now try to format the drive with XP as you normally would...should be no problems....

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#6
Too40shorty

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This computer has no CD-drive or floppy drive. Will this method work if I use an external harddrive, cd-drive, dvd-drive, or an external floppy drive?

Thanks for the help
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#7
wannabe1

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It should work with either the external floppy or cd. The floppy is easier because of the ease of making the disk. If using an external device, it's a good idea to make sure they are recognized in the BIOS as boot devices with the correct one set to Primary Boot device. Also verify that the Legacy USB support is enabled.

wannabe1

Edited by wannabe1, 06 October 2005 - 12:05 AM.

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#8
Too40shorty

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Ok, I made the boot disk, and formatted all partitions (only 1, but just to make sure). Now, when I boot the computer, it says "No Operating system". So, I hooked him my external dvd burner that has the XP Pro cd in and it doesn't recognize it. I plugged the external floppy back in and then did boot with cd-rom support and without cd-rom support. I'm still trying stuff, but it doesn't seem like I can find a way for this computer to read the cd from the dvd burner drive. This PC only has 1 USB spot, so if needbe, I can hook up a USB hub that I have to connect them both at same time. Not sure what needs to be done. Any information is greatly appreciated.


Thank You,
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#9
wannabe1

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You should be able to boot from the cd-rom with XP pro. Have you set cd-rom as first boot device in the BIOS?

wannabe1
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#10
Too40shorty

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I'm unable to get into the bios. I'm hitting any thinkable key I can to enter the bios but it's not showing me any keys or accepting any keys I type. All I get (if the external floppy isn't installed) is "No OS found". Although, it did create a d: with some files from the floppy when I booted without CD support. I'll keep trying to get into bios.

Thanks!
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#11
wannabe1

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What kind of machine is this? Brand and Model...how old is it? Do you know that the system specs meets XP Pro's requirements? To use both the floppy and cd you will need a hub.

Try the spacebar to enter BIOS...sounds strange, but I've actually worked on a few machines that used this method...think they were Dells... :tazz:

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#12
Too40shorty

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Ok, I finally got into the BIOS. I must have missed F2 somewhere in my random key punching. Ok, when I check the bios, it shows "Adapti CD-Rom" as the primary boot, then the diskette, then the harddrive. But, after I see that and reboot, it goes to a black screen and says "Missing operating system" and won't let me do anything else from there.

I've installed XP before on this system, it just wouldn't let me get rid of the old partition, which is what I needed to do. With your help, we've eliminated the partition. Now, I just can't get it to read the XP Pro cd in my external drive (usb). I'm assuming (Not safe to do, I know) that once I can get it to read the CD, it's only a few clicking and typing before it's installing the OS again...just need to figure out how to get to that point.

Edited by Too40shorty, 06 October 2005 - 12:31 AM.

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#13
wannabe1

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Is the Legacy USB support enabled in the BIOS? Is your XP Pro original, SP1, or SP2?

You may have to download this Boot Disk Set from Microsoft (6 floppy set)...that should install enough drivers to get you going. Get the set for your OS.

wannabe1

Edited by wannabe1, 06 October 2005 - 12:39 AM.

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#14
Too40shorty

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It's XP pro w/sp1. I'll get working on the 6-disk boot disk and I'll post my results when I finish. I hooked up my USB hub, but the computer isn't recognizing the floppy anymore and isn't picking up the dvd burner. I'm going to try this other 6-disk boot disk and see how it goes.


Thanks for the help!
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#15
Too40shorty

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Well I've come to an unexpected halt. I can't find 6 floppies anywhere right now. I'll have to wait until later to go to town and buy some. I guess that's what happens when you never use them. But, thank you for your help and after I go to town later and get some, I'll post my results. Thank you sooo much for your help!

Thank You!
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