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How do I rid a reluctant EMachine from XP Pro file system?

by triciakaren / November 3, 2004 8:53 AM PST

I previously posted this question referring to the operating system. I was informed by a fellow forum member that it is the file system and not the OS that is clinging to the hard drive.

I am trying to return an EMachine to XP Home after installing XP Pro on it. I have erased and formatted the hard drive repeatedly using the XP Home Boot-up disk. The File System continues to be in XP Professional format (no option is given to choose FAT 32)which prevents a successful install. Any suggestions as to how I can manually change the file system? Thanks!

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Re: How do I rid a reluctant EMachine from XP Pro file syste
by Merl Priester / November 3, 2004 9:04 AM PST

There is no difference between XP home and Pro as far as the file system goes. They both natively use NTFS.

If you want FAT32 and I don't know why, you must use FDISK from Win98 (not recommended).

The preferred file system is NTFS. XP will not create any partition over 32 Gigs with the FAT32 file system.
If you were to partition the drive with a 32 gig or smaller partition as the boot partition XP will give you the option of using FAT32 during the install phase.

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Re: How do I rid a reluctant EMachine from XP Pro file syste
by triciakaren / November 3, 2004 9:30 AM PST

Thanks for your feedback. I am now more confused than ever; however, I think you are the person to resolve this for me!

My son was given an EMachine package recently. There were immediate problems with the computer. The computer came with XP Home installed. He decided he wanted XP Professional because it better met his needs. I booted with the XP Pro disk and deleted the partitians, reformatted the drive and installed XP Pro. Well...XP Pro isn't compatible with the EMachine...at least not his. I then did a turn around and booted with the XP Home DVD, once again deleted the partitians, reformatted and installed. The computer will not install beyond the setup where you name the computer. Support was called...an extended warranty was purchased...they will not do anything because XP Pro is still on the system. This was proved by pushing the F8 key repeatedly during startup. It proudly says XP Professional Edition. I assumed that the OS from XP Pro was staying on the hard drive even though it had been deleted and reformatted. I was told by another forum member that it wouldn't be the OS, that it would be the file system. Now if it isn't the OS and it isn't the file system, why does this computer continue to think it has XP Pro installed when it in fact has XP Home?????
Thanks!

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Re: How do I rid a reluctant EMachine from XP Pro file syste
by David Chan / November 3, 2004 9:50 AM PST

I recently worked on an eMachine which came with XP HE and it came with a set of Recovery CDs.

All I had to do was to boot with the Recovery CD and start the destructive Recovery process.
That eMachine Recovery process uses Norton Ghost method to reinstall back to factory state with XP HE + all programs.

Can you clarify what Recovery CDs came with your eMachine?

I did not see any Windows XP CD with the eMachine I recently worked on.

If you have an XP HE CD you could try and boot into the Recovery Console and use DISKPART to delete all the partitions & create new one/s and then install XP HE again.

I wonder if you use a new hard drive and setup XP HE using the eMachine CDs it should install without any problems.
Perhaps that may reinstate your extended warranty since it's a new hard drive?

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Re: How do I rid a reluctant EMachine from XP Pro file syste
by triciakaren / November 3, 2004 10:18 AM PST

Thanks for your help! I called to get the info on the DVD. There is one DVD which is for recovery and install and it is simply called "EMachine". It supposedly restores the computer to its original factory state which includes XP Home. Other misc DVD's included Games, Learn.com, Advantage, and Lexmark.

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Re: How do I rid a reluctant EMachine from XP Pro file syste
by David Chan / November 3, 2004 11:32 AM PST

Having read your earlier posts and replies on this issue here are some thoughts...

Firstly, having done numerous installations of XP I can say with certainty that the procedure of deleting the partitions & creating new ones followed by a full format will always erase all traces of the previous installation.

Using this method I can switch from XP Pro to XP HE or to W2K and never encounter any problems.

My recent work on an eMachine if I recalled correctly when I boot with the eMachine Recovery CD it launched a Norton Ghost screen and perform the full recovery.

The file system was in fact in FAT32 at the start and at the final stage it automatically went into the process of converting into NTFS if I am not mistaken.

With this in mind perhaps you can try booting with a Win98SE Startup Disk and FDISK and delete the NTFS partitions and then create a new partition and format into FAT32.
Then only boot with the eMachine Recovery Disks and see if it will now let you perform a full recovery back to XP Home Edition.

Good luck.

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Re: How do I rid a reluctant EMachine from XP Pro file syste
by triciakaren / November 3, 2004 1:04 PM PST

Wow! A lot of work to save a little money on a computer! Thanks for sharing your expertise. This makes more sense.I was sure from the beginning that I was not working with a regular PC. I will let you know when (and if!) I get this computer ready to head back to the manufacturer with its correctly installed software!

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WAG.
by Cursorcowboy / November 3, 2004 9:35 PM PST

Don't ask me to explain it but generally when FDISK is used, it does not overwrite the existing MBR routinely. Whether such information between your HE and Pro situation comes from there or not, I do not know.

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Re: How do I rid a reluctant EMachine from XP Pro file syste
by pearljamkornfan / November 3, 2004 3:30 PM PST

Im sorry, I must have confused you a bit there. Both XP Home and Pro can use either NTFS or FAT32, and FAT32 supports larger than 32 GB hdds. As a matter of fact, my HDD is fat32, 80 GB. Thats different. What I was originally trying to do was just clarify that NTFS and FAT32 are merely file systems. Most (if not all) Windows NT, 2000 and XP run on this as the default option, but FAT32 is another option, and less secure. Anyway, I would suggest that you download off the Maxtor website a program called MaxBlast if you can find it. This will erase everything off your HDD, and have an option to copy system start up files. Sorry for indeed leading you into thinking something wrong. Hope THIS clarifies something.

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Re: How do I rid a reluctant EMachine from XP Pro file syste
by billzhills / November 3, 2004 10:52 PM PST

triciakaren,

Just another trick......

XP/2000, Unlike Win9X, pre-pairs the drive for use.
On troublesome H/D such as yours I use Fdisk to delete all partitions. Boot w/CD and allow XP/2000 to set primary partition and format the drive to NFTS.

Bill
.

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