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Format HD with XP

I'm afraid that I don't know what to do with this...

I've always formatted a HD by booting to DOS, and typing in "Format C:\ /s"

...Or something like that. This would wipe the drive, and keep the old, DOS that I could reinstall Windows.

Since Windows XP seems not to have DOS (Or does it? I've heard it's really there, somewhere), how do I do this? Can someone explain?


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If you really want to reinstall....

In reply to: Format HD with XP

...Windows XP, do not reformat beforehand. Just boot up with the Windows XP CD and let setup do the formating.....

The DOS-like thing in XP is not DOS. I am not too sure what to accurately call it; but normally, it is called "Command Prompt". In fact, there are two of them - try Run>cmd and Run>command .

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What about the program files

In reply to: If you really want to reinstall....

on the HD? They'll still be there, even though they will no longer be shown in the Windows Registry. Do I just delete them via Windows Explorer after I'm done reinstalling Windows XP?



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In reply to: What about the program files

The XP installer asks if you want to partition, just remove it, create one and it's clean.

Can I ask why you need to do this? Seems like a lot of work and your unfamiliarity with installing XP shows you may be diving into much more turbulent waters than you suspect.


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Certainly - We're formatting

In reply to: Yes

because the user of the computer wants me to... I know it seems a bit strange.

Among other things, this computer has fallen victim to spyware and numerous viruses, as well as a rogue Norton AV application that seems to not allow him to log in as an administrator.

We've used Spybot S&D, Adaware, and the latest Norton AV (Though, that's not working well, obviously)...

On top of all that, the network card no longer works - As explained by XP - It can't locate drivers... Even though you can uninstall the hardware device and then reinstall it successfully.

I'm not completely sure that wiping the HD will solve the issue with the network card... But it would solve the other issues mentioned above. If the drivers are actually missing, the problem should be solved...Though I suspect that the real issue is with the hardware. It's a dorm desktop computer, which means it's moved around a lot throughout the year... Across the state and all.

Now that you have explained how to format the HD in XP, I remember that I have done it before in the past, on a laptop of another friend here at college. I just didn't realize that I was doing it. Happy I thought of it as simply "reinstalling windows."

Well, I suppose we're jumping into this. If all else fails, I have a backup sitting in my closet just waiting to be used.



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The whirlpool accelerates!

In reply to: Certainly - We're formatting

XP does NOT supply drivers or "detect" any high percentage of hardware. That's for the person installing the OS to do.

The magic fix is... install the drivers. Remember that Microsoft won't do this for you.


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True... We did use

In reply to: The whirlpool accelerates!

the CD that came with the Dell to reinstall the network drivers, but to know avail. As I said, I think this is probably a hardware issue, and we will likely be going to Best Buy in the near future for a new network card.

This will, however, correct all the other issues that have been going on with his computer... And give him a chance at what I used to call a "clean slate" before I got all cynical and such. Happy

Besides, it gives me a chance to learn something I should have learned ages ago.


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Gone forever???

In reply to: Yes

Does a reformat/repartiton completely clean a hard drive so that any data files are gone FOREVER? I was under the impression that the only way you could completely wipe these files was to run a program that wrote 0's & 1's over the entire hard drive.

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You have an interesting point, but

In reply to: Gone forever???

the common understanding of formatting a HD is that you delete the files so that they are gone forever.

After you format the HD, you will no longer have access to any of your files or programs. The reality is, however, if you are an expert computer user (And perhaps trained in data forensics) you could likly get back some of the data that has been deleted. If you recall the Enron/Author Anderson affair, the feds brought in computer specialists trained in recovering deleted data from HDs.

So, the short answer would be that you cannot actually always delete all of your files...However, you certainly shouldn't be formatting your HD, and expect to still be able to access them!

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depends on what file system ya want

In reply to: Format HD with XP

You can still do this after windows is installed
by convert command in dos prompt: convert /? (switches)
My semi yearly cleaning is:
1.Booting to WinXP disc
2.Go to recovery console, type diskpart(admin pwd required if any)
3.Diskpart gives you the option of deleting a partition typing D(delete) then L(when sure)
4.Create partition typing C then exit diskpart
5.At command prompt type your format c: or drive letter with /fs:fat 16,fat 32 or ntfs (format c: /fs:ntfs) when done
6. I then install windows

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