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Author Topic: Formatting a hard drive  (Read 1669 times)

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Offline simonmeridew

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Formatting a hard drive
« on: September 03, 2006, 10:30:40 AM »
I'm trying to format the c part of a hard drive on an xp os HP pavilion computer and don't seem to be doing the right thing. I right click on the c drive, get one of the choices as format, get a format box, try to start and get a box that says it cannot proceed because there is something else running and I need to close it out before I can format.
What's the DOS command to format the c drive? I'm reaching back too far in my memory to remember.
Thanks
simonmeridew
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Offline caryr

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2006, 11:23:43 AM »
I'll make some assumptions on this one. You are trying to reinstall the OS on the C: drive and the OS currently resides on the C: drive. If that's the case the way to do things has changed over the intervening years. You no longer need to do a separate format.  The standard setup will prompt you early on in the install process to format and repartition the hard drive.

Also there isn't a DOS running under windows anymore. There is a DOS that is emulated in windows. The key point to note is that the subordinate relationship has reversed.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2006, 11:31:37 AM »
Did you intend to wipe your operating system (windows) and all programs from your hard drive? You probably can't format the drive because the OS is preventing it. The C: directory is the root directory of the OS. I have DOS v 6.22 on floppies and I've wiped my hard drive and formatted it from a DOS partition the floppies install. You could format a floppy with the switch for making a bootable floppy, then copy the fdisk.com and format.com commands to the disk. Boot from that floppy and run fdisk to setup/remove partitions and format the Hard Drive.  If you intend to be rid of the HP install you might find problems when installing the Windows OS from the Microsoft Packaged version. Some of those brand named PC's have proprietary hardware with drivers included on the manufacturers recovery CD only.  ::) I never ran into troubles on my old Toshiba laptop though, so you may be OK.
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Offline simonmeridew

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2006, 11:39:28 AM »
The problem or situation is that over the years the computer has gotten so slow that I want to format the c drive completely and reinstall the os, which I can do from dos. I did it once before about 5 years ago. When I say slow I mean slow. It takes about 2-3 minutes for Windows Explorer to come up when I click the icon. Internet explorer is also very slow, and the mail is molassas. When I put in the os disc it certainly will install now but not get rid of all the problem areas in the process. I started doing this this morning b;ut could see it wouldn't do what I needed to do. When I put in the floppy to boot I get the right dos prompt but cannot remember the command prompt to format.
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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2006, 11:43:15 AM »
swamp:
I did partition the hard drive when I put it in the computer a couple of years ago. I'm hoping to just format the c part , not the other partition d, which has all my pictures and other docs.
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Offline Radar67

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2006, 12:29:38 PM »
The command from DOS is, at the A promt type  FORMAT C: or FORMAT-s C: if you want add the operating files to C from the A drive. It's been a couple of years but I'm sure that is right.

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2006, 12:58:51 PM »
Also, once you format the C: partition as Stew wrote all you need do is insert the Windows Install CD and reboot and hold down C key to boot from the CDROM. I assume the BIOS in your PC allows this as most modern PC's do I think. If it ain't set you can look in the BIOS setup to see if there is an option to enable CDROM booting. I assume you have XP to install. It will soon present you with the installation process.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2006, 04:17:28 PM »
Simon, before you format that drive, have you tried using the Internet Options drop down on the Tools menu in Explorer to delete all of the internet files and cookies on your drive?  Usually these are what slow it down.

Delete them all, reboot the machine, and then have it defrag your drive.  Speed should improve dramatically.

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Offline simonmeridew

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2006, 07:57:05 PM »
thank you all for the information and advice. Yes Scott, I have tried to eliminate cookies , internet temp files etc. this resulted in rather marginal improvement in speed. So it's off to the races, format races that is.
An interesting sidenote however: the computer was originally windows 98 os,  since when it started slowing down the first time, I didn't want any parts of the HP software with all the extra popups and things that automatically run in the background  with an HP. I bought another stand alone win 98 when I first formatted things, maybe 7 years ago. This will install from DOS. Somewhat later when my hard drive stopped working I bought an upgrade XP , which will not install from DOS, as I recall, it's been 5 years or so, but half way thru the install it gives you a notice that it won't install from DOS. So I had to re-install win 98, then the XP would install over top of it, since I was installing the new hard drive, and didn't want to pay for any more software what a PIA I have to say. Meanwhile this new Laptop works great, fast etc even with dialup, but I'm trying to get the old HP ready for my son's family to use. It takes probably 3 minutes for MS Word to open.
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Offline caryr

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2006, 10:01:12 AM »
It's the upgrade version that is causing you all the headaches. It has to verify that another valid OS is installed and is counting on it to format the drive. Next time you want to upgrade the OS  go buy a new hard drive, video card or other significant component from one of the build it yourself shops and while you are at it get the OEM version of windows for about the same money as the upgrade version (possibly less). That will give you the drive format capabilities straight from the boot CD. The other problem you may be having is that XP can demand a lot from a system and your older system may not have what it takes. Check the requirements carefully. Modern software often requires almost modern hardware to be usable.

I could also add the “L” word here since there are version of it that can be easily configured to run well on older machines, but I'll save that for another thread.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2006, 01:21:11 PM »
I think you need at least 128 MB of RAM for XP. I had 64 Meg in my old laptop and added a new 128 Meg memory card in order to install it for a total of 172 megs.
“No amount of belief makes something a fact.” James Randi

1 Thessalonians 5:21

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Offline simonmeridew

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2006, 01:51:19 PM »
Many thanks all for your help. I'm now running a clean XP quite fast etc. MS Word now loads in about 3 seconds or so.The one hardware hangup during the XP install was having to hold down the F7 key while drivers loaded because my older machine lacked some arcane thing, but the function key allowed it to happen. MS Word  was in the startup box before too but.... I think the machine has about 300+ megs of RAM from a previous upgrade so I'm all set. Thanks
simonmeridew
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Formatting a hard drive
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2006, 03:52:16 PM »
Quote
I think you need at least 128 MB of RAM for XP

Well Bill Gates says it will 'run' in 128mb... but run is not the term I'd use  :D.
Stagger, crawl or limp might describe it better  ::)

But even an older PC will run XP fine if it has heaps of ram, 300+ is a good start  :) We still see new budget PCs sold with 256mb (- shared video ram). For another $50 they can run twice as fast  ::)

Cheers

Ian
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