Windows Legacy OS forum


can't format c-drive -- need to quit disk utils

by kali9090 / September 15, 2012 9:37 AM PDT


am trying to format c-drive for a very old Win 2000 machine I need to get rid of...

I have tried numerous times, it says it can't format, I have to quit all disk utils first.... but how do I do this? (they don't show up as open programs, so I don't know to quit them...)

thank you....

Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: can't format c-drive -- need to quit disk utils
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: can't format c-drive -- need to quit disk utils
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
As with all Windows
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2012 1:45 AM PDT

You can never format the drive the OS booted from. You can wipe it clean with DBAN (see google.)

Collapse -
can't format floppies either...
by kali9090 / September 22, 2012 1:18 AM PDT
In reply to: As with all Windows

thank you... I will try this...

however, need to format some old floppies first... but W2000 won't format those either...

either it says "access denied" or that it couldn't complete the format... (tired in DOS shell too, get prompt "access denied")

some floppies even just to read (browse in Win Explorer) it says "access denied" why would that be?
(get "access denied also if try to navigate to a: drive in DOS shell...)

thank you...

Collapse -
more on formatting floppies....
by kali9090 / September 22, 2012 1:23 AM PDT

actually when I do

format a:

in DOS shell, I get prompt:

Insert new disk for drive A:

it's not reading it.... Sad

Collapse -
Sounds right.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 22, 2012 1:27 AM PDT

Why would you expect this to work given the above details? Are you new to Windows 2000? I don't want to upset you but it's a very old OS with some very new user unfriendly issues.

Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 22, 2012 1:25 AM PDT

Just like we did back then we would check permissions, try another account and consider our training on this OS.

Windows 2000 was not consumer friendly back then and troubleshooting this one is going to tap your background in this old OS. I can't do this over a forum as well as in person. So think over what changed since it worked.

We can always format diskettes by booting up any other LiveCD or even a dos floppy.

Collapse -
by kali9090 / September 23, 2012 12:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Interesting.


loading and reading a floppy is suddenly so complicated on Win 2000????

these are the same floppies that years ago I popped in and out in this same machine, and was able to read and write them w/no probs.... Wink

don't see what issue is...

thank you......

Collapse -
It can be.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 23, 2012 12:25 AM PDT
In reply to: floppies

I recall the old FLOPLOCK and other apps and settings back then where you would lock or deny floppy use in this OS.

I don't know if you took those classes or read all those books on 2000 so I'm writing as if you are a seasoned owner/administrator.

Then again some hardware could have failed. Booting a DOS diskette should be old hat to a Windows 2000 owner and user.

Sorry that I can't give a click this button to get what you wanted done but something was odd from the first post that you wanted to format C. Windows never allowed that and you didn't reveal why you wanted to do that.

Collapse -
Re: format old floppies
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 27, 2012 10:34 PM PST

Why format? The only possible reason is re-use. If you want to discard them, just physically destroy (screwdriver, scissors and such).
And - if you need to format - why not format on the machine you're going to use them on? That must have a working drive or you can't use them. There's no need at all to do it on this old machine.

And, with floppies detoriationg when time goes by, it's quite possible they are already past recovery.


Collapse -
Wipe out the HD
by Willy / September 23, 2012 12:56 AM PDT

If your PC has a CD drive and does read well plus your PC can boot from it, use that instead. Access to burning a CD is also requited, so be sure you can or use a friend's??? Google DBAN or KILLDISK, find the .ISO file and d/l it, then use your disc burning s/w and use the image(.ISO) file and burn and it should once done be a bootable CD. Now, provided your PC's bios is set to boot from CD as 1st boot device, if not, reset it. Once done, you can boot from the CD and follow prompts to "wipe clean" your old HD. DBAN and KILLDISK should also have the floppy versions as well if no CD drive available. I left out the real fine details, but you should get the idea what's required here.

tada ------Willy Happy

Collapse -
can't format c-drive -- need to quit disk utils
by uhoh_num2 / November 27, 2012 10:27 PM PST

Kali, You need a working floppy drive, so after #2 below if you're floppy drive is still not working you need to get one. They're cheap and easy to install, just crack the case, undo the screws holding the floppy in, unplug it from the internal power supply, take out the old and put in the new. However the process is to take it out will be the order in which you put it in. Just reverse the procedure...

1. "quit..." if you can access the net get an XP copy of "msconfig". Download it, put it in the sys32 folder. Exit.

2. I'm going to assume here (you need to provide a LOT more detail on what sys you're using to do this, as well as the w2k machine...a LOT more) that you're trying to do this from the w2k sys. So, after the download and install into the sys32 folder, (steps/buttons/clicks) Start>Run>msconfig>startup. Now, uncheck anything that points in the direction of these utils. Click Ok/Save Changes (etc.)>exit>re-boot. That should do it for problem 1..
Note: if that doesn't work then you're utils have a registry entry that keeps reloading them @ startup...I'm not even going to begin to explain that one. You'll need a comp literate buddy to help you there.

3. Wiping out your root directory. You need a floppy so that you can download and use any of the aforementioned programs. OR, google "fdisk" get a copy on a floppy. Boot your sys and hit the key to access the BIOS. Find the boot order, enable first boot location as the floppy, save your changes, put the floppy in (before you exit the BIOS) and exit. Hit the F8 key and use the command prompt selection/choice/option. That'll bring you to a command prompt without loading windows. Change to drive floppy...usually a: so, @ the flashing cursor that you're now at, the keystrokes would be: "a:"(without the quotation marks) thats all, hit enter. IF, you're floppy is working, it should be if you follow the above. Type in fdisk and hit enter. NOW, if I were you and had limited knowledge of comps and the how-to's I would get a comp tech buddy to take it from here. Fdisk will obliterate any and all drives and any info on them. Additionally, fdisk is not a learn as you go, graphically pleasant command. It is a no prisoners taken DOS command in a command line environment. You want easy, get an external drive, one that DOES NOT HAVE anything other than w2k programs, commands, loaded into it. You format in anything other than w2k it AIN'T GONNA WORK! Rule of thumb with comps and OS's. You can go backwards (most of the time) BUT you CAN NOT GO FORWARD. Don't forget anything today was built/compiled from yesteryear. Or, in other terms Win7/8 can read/operate most XP and later windows os'....(w2k is a whole other universe though), BUT you can not use '98/XP/ME/Vista to load/operate the newer OS' software/programs/interfaces/etc.

Hope this helps or at least points you in a different perspective


Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Free trip to the Grand Prix

Don't miss your chance to win a trip to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco for you and a plus-one.