reformatting

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

I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't because it is the
system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I can reformat?
10 answers Last reply
More about reformatting
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    "Laura" wrote:

    > I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't because it is the
    > system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I can reformat?
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    yes, boot up your computer in DOS mode and type in fdisk, from there you can
    create and delete partitions

    "Laura" wrote:

    > I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't because it is the
    > system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I can reformat?
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Laura
    If you are in possession of a XP CD you can format the HD during the
    install.
    XP will not let you format the drive it is installed on while you are in the
    operating system.
    So you need to set your CD as the 1st boot device in the BIOS and place the
    XP CD in.
    Reboot and watch for the message ...push any key to boot from CD.......Do
    so.
    This will start the XP installation and the option to format the drive
    before installation.Here is a website with more details and a pictoral
    instructions.
    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sg_clean.asp
    peterk

    --
    It's so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about
    the problem
    "Laura" <Laura@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:6F9761B6-3D17-41A1-9A55-2748F4E03D83@microsoft.com...
    >I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't because it is
    >the
    > system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I can reformat?
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    In news:6F9761B6-3D17-41A1-9A55-2748F4E03D83@microsoft.com,
    Laura <Laura@discussions.microsoft.com> typed:

    > I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't
    > because it
    > is the system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I
    > can
    > reformat?


    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 think you need 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
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Laura wrote:
    > I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't because it is the
    > system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I can reformat?


    It sounds like you're trying to format the drive containing the
    system volume from within WinXP. You can't. This would be the computer
    equivalent of sawing off the tree limb you're sitting on, and WinXP is
    "too smart" to allow this.

    Simply boot from the WinXP installation CD. You'll be offered the
    opportunity to delete, create, and format partitions as part of the
    installation process. (You may need to re-arrange the order of boot
    devices in the PC's BIOS to boot from the CD.)

    HOW TO Install Windows XP
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;316941

    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html

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


    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having
    both at once. - RAH
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Computergeek wrote:
    > yes, boot up your computer in DOS mode and type in fdisk, from there you can
    > create and delete partitions
    >


    With a handle like "Computergeek," don't you think it would be a good
    idea to know at least a little about the OS before offering advice?


    First of all, there's no such thing as "DOS mode" on a WinXP
    computer. The WinNT family of 32-bit graphical operating systems, of
    which WinXP is the latest generation, has never used, included, or
    "ridden upon" MS-DOS.

    Further, FDisk is an old MS-DOS utility that is neither available or
    needed in WinXP. All legitimate WinXP installation CDs are bootable and
    have the capability of deleting, creating, and formatting partitions.


    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having
    both at once. - RAH
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Um, no, that's definitely not right.

    --
    Best of Luck,

    Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP
    http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
    Associate Expert - WindowsXP Expert Zone
    www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone
    Windows help - www.rickrogers.org

    "Computergeek" <Computergeek@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:027739DA-E01B-4AD2-B3EC-73D8FF417D6F@microsoft.com...
    > yes, boot up your computer in DOS mode and type in fdisk, from there you
    > can
    > create and delete partitions
    >
    > "Laura" wrote:
    >
    >> I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't because it is
    >> the
    >> system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I can reformat?
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Hi Laura,

    You can't format the system partition while it's in use. To format, you need
    to boot with the WinXP CD and enter setup. At the point where you are asked
    for the installation location, instead delete the existing system partition.
    Then create a new one from the free space, format and proceed with the
    installation.

    Keep in mind that:

    a) You will lose all existing data on that partition

    b) You will need your Product Key to complete the new installation.

    --
    Best of Luck,

    Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP
    http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
    Associate Expert - WindowsXP Expert Zone
    www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone
    Windows help - www.rickrogers.org

    "Laura" <Laura@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:6F9761B6-3D17-41A1-9A55-2748F4E03D83@microsoft.com...
    >I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't because it is
    >the
    > system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I can reformat?
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 16:10:14 -0700, Computergeek
    <Computergeek@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:


    >"Laura" wrote:
    >
    >> I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't because it is the
    >> system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I can reformat?\

    >yes, boot up your computer in DOS mode and type in fdisk, from there you can
    >create and delete partitions
    >
    Hey computergeek:

    Never, ever work on ANY computer within my site. You just gave the
    most horrid advice.

    1. Without an MS-DOS system disk, it isn't possible to do this.
    2. FDISK must be on the above mentioned diskette.
    3. Most folks don't have this stuff anymore.

    The XP CD contains the tools necessary to do this job.
  10. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Laura you are trying to format the drive from within windows and, as the
    drive you are trying to format is drive C (the system disk) windows does not
    allow you to do this.
    As you are formatting your disk you are obviously attempting to reinstall
    xp. Yes, as computergeek says you can use a windows 98/me startup disk and
    then use fdisk, but fdisk is not a simple application to use, especially if
    you haven't used it before.
    If your pc came with a recovery disk then you can reinstall xp from that.
    Alternatively, if you have a boxed retail version of xp then insert that
    into your cd-rom and reboot your pc to install xp.
    For further information visit my website http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org
    Click on the Win XP Faq button and take a look at the following questions:

    7, How do i reformat my hard drive with xp
    41, How do i partition and format my hard drive using xp set-up
    85. How do i install windows xp

    Before attempting to re-intsall make sure that you have backup copies of any
    important documents/files etc that are on your pc. You should also make sure
    you have the cd's available for any software that you had installed on your
    pc and also any drivers that may be needed by windows xp.

    --
    John Barnett MVP
    Associate Expert
    http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org


    "Laura" <Laura@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:6F9761B6-3D17-41A1-9A55-2748F4E03D83@microsoft.com...
    >I need to reformat my hard-drive, but it says that I can't because it is
    >the
    > system partition. Can I change this somehow so that I can reformat?
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