Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)
In news 1DC0079-7065-42F8-A9C6-CA91FB1AF447@microsoft.com,
Chris <Chris@discussions.microsoft.com> typed:
> Hi I want to format my HHD and reinstall XP Pro but my system
> the HHD cannot be reconised.
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).
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
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
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