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command line propmt for reformating the c drive

by theandy83 / March 25, 2006 7:15 PM PST

Can somebody please tell me the command line prompt for formatting drive c.
i need to reformat my other computer that has windows 95 on it so i can put winXP on it
the computer wont read the disc so i going to reformat
my floppy drive on my primary computer is broken so i cant meke a startup disc to tell it to read the cd drive
i need the command line prompt to reformat on win95


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A couple of issues
by TONI H / March 25, 2006 7:28 PM PST

A W95 system can't be upgraded to XP using the upgrade version of XP....the furthest back XP will go for that upgrade will be W98 so you will need a full version of XP rather than an upgrade version.

If your cdrom is in working condition, you would have received that message when you inserted the XP cd while at the W95 desktop. So I'm suspecting that your cdrom drive is broken unless it was/is able to read OTHER disks you put in the drive. Please check that out ahead of time. Formatting the drive won't repair a broken cdrom drive.

Second....your motherboard may be able to have the boot sequence changed to boot from the cdrom drive first and then you would put your XP cd into the drive and boot up after saving those changes. The XP menu choices will then do the formatting for you prior to installation.

Third....W95 hardware inside that computer may be (and probably is) too old for XP. You also have to have a minimum of 256MB of RAM for XP to run even a little effectively as it's a real hog for RAM.

Fourth....Don't even consider installing XP if you have a harddrive that isn't at least 10GB in size....XP is a huge hog when it comes to harddrive space with everything it installs, and then you have the added issue of updates for it and other programs. (My sister just ran into this with her 6GB harddrive which was fine with W98SE, but wound up with less than 450MB left on the drive after installing XP upgrade and we had to upgrade her RAM, Video card, and her harddrive all at the same time)


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cant get to desktop
by theandy83 / March 25, 2006 7:47 PM PST
In reply to: A couple of issues

my disc is the full version of xp but i cant get to the desktop , (because my win95 is corrupt), even in safe mode, so i have to use command line prompt in DOS

also about win95 being corrupt i bought the computer used so i dont have the windows operating discs

apart from that my computer is p3 600 mhz with 128 ram
the computer i have right now is running xp fairly well and its only p1 mmx 200 mhz with 128 ram
and anyways i plan on upgrading to 512 ram for my p3

also my boot sequence only uses floppy and hard drive
before windows got currupted my cd drive worked well

i am going to attach a external hard drive to it but i at least want to get it set up before i buy one.

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You will be forced to repair the machine. Here's why.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 25, 2006 8:13 PM PST
In reply to: cant get to desktop

Let's say that all the people I know that tried to install XP with boot floppies have encountered nothing but problems.

-> But more to your question, if you want to install XP, it will format for you so that step is duplicative and not needed.

Now what you need to do is boot the XP CD and all will start to install proper. If your machine can't boot the XP CD then you should not install XP on this machine...


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If you can get to a computer
by TONI H / March 25, 2006 8:17 PM PST
In reply to: cant get to desktop

that has a working floppy drive and internet access, you can download a W98SE bootdisk that gives you cdrom support in dos from

Once you get the .exe file, put a clean floppy disk in the drive and click the .exe will create the bootdisk for you.

Once you have it, use it to boot up with on the W95 system and you can then use the FORMAT C: command

Once that is done, put your XP cd into the drive, then change to the cdrom drive letter the bootdisk information gave you (probably E: and this will be temporary as the D: will be used for RAM information for the diagnostic tools)

Once you change to the cdrom drive letter, type:



cd i386/winnet.exe

and press Enter

This should start the installation of XP....if it says something about starting/loading smartdrive.exe allow that.


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if i did format would i be able to...
by theandy83 / March 25, 2006 10:45 PM PST

if i were to format would the computer Then be able to read from the cd or should i stick with the floppy disc idea? because i know someone with a working floppy disk but my other computer is running right now

P.s. what can u run in dos mode that is entertaining in the least bit. even something as simple as calculator would be ok.

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if reformatting it gets rid of all data..
by theandy83 / March 25, 2006 11:12 PM PST

would u be able to run the hp pavilion recovery discs in the computer so that the discs dont know its a compaq(discs were made before hp-compaq merge)
discs are windows ME

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Recovery disks
by TONI H / March 25, 2006 11:16 PM PST

are specific to a computer based on its hardware that came from the factory....if the hardware doesn't match up, the recovery disk will laugh in your face, because it won't have installation information and drivers for what's in the machine you are trying to use the disk for.

I thought you wanted to install XP on this system. Please make a decision about DOS, ME, W95, or XP so we know what to tell you.


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You're confusing
by TONI H / March 25, 2006 11:13 PM PST

apples with oranges....

The W98SE boot disk that you would get would let you format the drive but it would also include drivers for the cdrom you have. Once you have the drivers loaded by the bootdisk, you should have access to it on the E: drive and can then install XP with the command prompt I gave you.

If you are interested in running DOS programs after installing XP, please be aware that there is NO dos with XP....only something that resembles it in order to use dos commands.

I have many older dos programs installed on my XP system that run just fine from the desktop or Start Menu...but most have had to have the shortcut icon for it modified by right clicking the icon, choose Properties, and then using the Compatability tab, change it to run in W95 or W98 mode (since most dos programs would run under W98 just fine).

What is it that you want to do with this machine....? If you want to use it for DOS purposes, you will have to have at least MSDOS 6.22 installed on it without any versions of Windows...and then you would just have a black and white command prompt screen when you boot up without any cdrom support unless you install drivers manually for the cdrom. And you would have to know DOS commands to do anything with it. You would also have to then figure out how to get on the net with DOS and download various programs to install to it that are specific to MSDOS.

If you want a simple calculator, XP has one already, just like all the rest of the Windows versions have had. It's located under Accessories....perhaps you didn't install it?


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what i mean is
by theandy83 / March 26, 2006 12:32 AM PST
In reply to: You're confusing

that while my computer is in dos mode(command prompt)
can u access stuff like calculator or media player or anything 4 that matter(besides scandisk, fdisk etc.)

since my win95 is just corrupt and not erased i still have programs on it

once i get xp on it ill probaly never use dos again

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Sean, Excuse me for being so blunt about his
by retired / March 25, 2006 9:32 PM PST

But unless you are doing this for test purposes or just to see if can be done I personally wouldn't bother to put XP on such an older machine.Even if you succeed in getting the OS loaded you will need MOBO drivers, Video drivers and sound drivers, which may be hard to come by for XP. Sorry about the negativity but i have tried to save many older computers and found it not to be worth the hassle.

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the computer im using right now is older
by theandy83 / March 25, 2006 9:58 PM PST

the computer im using right nowis:
2mb s3trio 64v+ video card
128 mb SDRAM
pentium mmx processer @ 200mhz
Ess audiodrive( grandma and grandpa sound card)
ipex moniter that looks about 6-8 yrs old (got it used)

the only thing new about this computer is its maxtor 40gb hard drive and even that was made in 2001
It runs windows xp service pack 2 just fine(although i am just about positive it wont work with windows VISTA Sad too old

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WOW, a 200mmx with 128 mB running
by Ray Harinec / March 25, 2006 10:15 PM PST

XP just fine, simply amazes this writer. Are you then saying that the other system is NOT that old??

If that is so, Toni H. has given you the easiest solution, using the Win 98 boot floppy.

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while it is running in dos can u
by theandy83 / March 25, 2006 10:53 PM PST

Can u run anything remotely entertaining on dos mode even calculator wouldo.

also i have the need for speed(2nd one!) made in 1996 would it be able to run is DOS due to its very low requirements?

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You would have to have
by TONI H / March 25, 2006 11:19 PM PST

cdrom drivers added to your C: drive and the autoexec.bat and config.sys files in order to install anything from a dos prompt that uses a cdrom. However, I believe that the Need for Speed game was written to be installed within W95 and probably will give you an error message to that effect (must be run in windows) if you try to install it without Windows.


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I suspect that anything that
by Ray Harinec / March 25, 2006 11:41 PM PST

you are trying to accomplish MAY POSSIBLY be done by illegal use of some Operating Systems. Even DOS had a EULA, if I remember correctly. And certainly use of recovery CD's from other systems, using illegal versions of XP violate laws. No accusation, simply an alert.

These forums cannot support helping one use illegal software to accomplish any end result.

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discs are from my ojd pc
by theandy83 / March 26, 2006 12:54 AM PST

that was ubfortunately fried due 2 overvoltage.
so i own the discs legally
the xp disc was a copy of the software installed on my moms laptop
im using that copy right now registered with microsoft and everything

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Your post to Toni about which DOS
by Ray Harinec / March 26, 2006 1:17 AM PST

answered that one.

The one about using the XP copied from your Mom's laptop is one that has slipped through MS's trap.

Have you recently gone to MS update and made any updartes??? Now when one goe there they run a validation check. If yours passes that, more power to you.

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mine is 100% validated windows
by theandy83 / March 26, 2006 1:30 AM PST

i get all my updates no problem
4 some reson it came w/media player 9 so i dloaded 10 and they needed my windows identification and it was ok my moms is also ok

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by nadine south / March 26, 2006 1:11 PM PST

I want to see how this turns out right toni

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