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Format C: Error Message

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Anonymous
August 4, 2005 1:41:01 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

I'm trying to format the C: drive for a clean re-install, but when I try it,
I get an error message that says:

Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other programs
that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is displaying the
contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.

I don't have any windows open except the Formatting Local Disk one, so what
else do I need to check? Would just selecting all the files in the C: window
and deleting them clear my hard drive?

More about : format error message

Anonymous
August 4, 2005 3:25:59 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

In news:E1CB1846-9573-4BE0-94AA-1850BF2EB4F0@microsoft.com,
AprilFool79 <AprilFool79@discussions.microsoft.com> typed:

> I'm trying to format the C: drive for a clean re-install, but
> when I
> try it, I get an error message that says:
>
> Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or
> other
> programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no
> window is
> displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting
> again.
>
> I don't have any windows open except the Formatting Local Disk
> one,
> so what else do I need to check? Would just selecting all the
> files
> in the C: window and deleting them clear my hard drive?


You can't format the Windows drive from within Windows, since
that would leave Windows without a leg to stand on.

Just boot from the Windows XP CD (change the BIOS boot order if
necessary to accomplish this) and follow the prompts for a clean
installation (delete the existing partition by pressing "D" when
prompted, then create a new one).

You can find detailed instructions here:
http://michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html

or here http://windowsxp.mvps.org/XPClean.htm

or here http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/clean_install.htm

However why do you want to reformat and reinstall? In my view,
it's usually a mistake. With a modicum of care, it should never
be necessary to reinstall Windows (XP or any other version). I've
run Windows 3.0, 3.1, WFWG 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows
2000, and Windows XP, each for the period of time before the next
version came out, and each on two machines here. I never
reinstalled any of them, and I have never had anything more than
an occasional minor problem.

It's my belief that this mistaken notion stems from the technical
support people at many of the larger OEMs. Their solution to
almost any problem they don't quickly know the answer to is
"reformat and reinstall." That's the perfect solution for them.
It gets you off the phone quickly, it almost always works, and it
doesn't require them to do any real troubleshooting (a skill that
most of them obviously don't possess in any great degree).

But it leaves you with all the work and all the problems. You
have to restore all your data backups, you have to reinstall all
your programs, you have to reinstall all the Windows and
application updates,you have to locate and install all the needed
drivers for your system, you have to recustomize Windows and all
your apps to work the way you're comfortable with.

Besides all those things being time-consuming and troublesome,
you may have trouble with some of them: can you find all your
application CDs? Can you find all the needed installation codes?
Do you have data backups to restore? Do you even remember all the
customizations and tweaks you may have installed to make
everything work the way you like?

Occasionally there are problems that are so difficult to solve
that Windows should be reinstalled cleanly. But they are few and
far between; reinstallation should not be a substitute for
troubleshooting; it should be a last resort, to be done only
after all other attempts at troubleshooting by a qualified person
have failed.

If you have problems, post them here; it's likely that someone
can help you and a reinstallation won't be required.


--
Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
Please reply to the newsgroup
Anonymous
August 4, 2005 6:44:40 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

"AprilFool79" <AprilFool79@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:E1CB1846-9573-4BE0-94AA-1850BF2EB4F0@microsoft.com...
> I'm trying to format the C: drive for a clean re-install, but when I try
> it,
> I get an error message that says:
>
> Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
> programs
> that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is displaying the
> contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
>
> I don't have any windows open except the Formatting Local Disk one, so
> what
> else do I need to check? Would just selecting all the files in the C:
> window
> and deleting them clear my hard drive?

You cannot do this from within windows - would be like chopping of the
branch you are sitting on.

Just boot from your windows XP CD and install from there.....
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