Windows Vista forum

General discussion

How do you format the hard drive from Vista?

by Smackdaddyj / February 24, 2007 11:33 AM PST

I just bought a computer from Gateway with Vista. I like the computer, hate the OS. I used to reformat my hard drives about once a year with XP and had it down pretty good. Can't figure out how to reformat with Vista.

Please help me out here. I want to get this crap off my computer.


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by terryparker / February 24, 2007 12:41 PM PST

To format your hard drive, insert the installation DVD(Vista) and go through the options until you get to choose which partition to install Vista on and just click the button at the bottom that says "Format".
And just to tell all those people who are complaining about vista. Unless you want to have XP forever I suggest you switch to Vista and deal with the problems, because one day you will have to.
Theres a saying, "Don't run away from a problem, Deal with it"

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Vista, running away
by bridgeport37 / March 6, 2007 7:46 AM PST
In reply to: Easy


It is a bit difficult to not run away when you have existing application which will not run with vista.

One complication I have is that I can't seem to get xp cd to go into the reformat action. Seems to complain it can't see hard drive. Now, I am also paranoid about the drivers. It is Comaq Pressario. Good price, but the Vista is killing me.


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DVD with VISTA...
by bridgeport37 / March 6, 2007 7:49 AM PST
In reply to: Vista, running away


That is another issue. The computer has no DVD with vista os. Had to make 7 CDs.


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Format the hard disk
by SateeshGH / March 11, 2007 12:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Vista, running away

I suspect that your notebook ships with SATA hard disk. Windows XP cd does not contain the SATA drivers. That's why it did not detect the hard disk when you boot with XP cd. So, you need to disable the native SATA support option in BIOS or get the SATA drivers from your computer manufacturer.

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Uh.... I don't think you understand!
by jimmyzatl / March 10, 2007 11:34 AM PST
In reply to: Easy

If you were paying attention, you would have noticed that the Gateway has Vista pre-installed. So there *are* no Installation CD to format with.

So how do you, without a vista installation CD, format a drive in Vista?

Next time, please read the post you are answering... it is fundamental.

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Heres the answer
by jimmyzatl / March 10, 2007 11:40 AM PST
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(NT) You have to burn the DVDs/CDs yourself.
by John.Wilkinson / March 10, 2007 2:01 PM PST
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You do not have to burn them yourself
by jimmyzatl / March 10, 2007 3:52 PM PST

You dont have to burn them yourself. You can format a drive from the Control Panel....

Once again, it really pays to read the whole post silly rabbit

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No you cannot...
by John.Wilkinson / March 10, 2007 11:26 PM PST

First, you cannot format the local Windows partition while you are running Windows from it. Before it could complete it would destroy the tools used to destroy itself, leaving a corrupted mass of an operating system behind, and as such Microsoft has built in a preventative measure so that it never comes to that. If you wish to format your primary bootable partition you must do it from outside of Windows.

Second, if he wipes the hard drive, the installed operating system will be no longer. If he does not have a set of CDs/DVDs from which to reinstall Windows he has no way of reinstalling Windows. Basically game over until he orders a set of discs from Gateway, taking both time and money.

In short, I suggest you re-read the Microsoft article you linked to. That only applies if you are creating a new partition out of unallocated space or are formatting a secondary partition. (Microsoft explicitly states that under "
To format an existing partition (volume)" in the text you linked to.)


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See you are still NOT reading
by jimmyzatl / March 11, 2007 3:20 AM PDT
In reply to: No you cannot...

No one ever asked how to format the disk that Vista is running on. We asked "how do you format a drive in Vista"

That was it. And all you need to do that is go to Control Panel, then to Admin Tools, and then to Computer Management, Storage, and Disk Drives.

Please, Please Read befor posting.

There are so many people who just want to be right around here, that they don't pay attention to what is in front of there nose.

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But in the context...
by John.Wilkinson / March 11, 2007 3:36 AM PDT

He said he just purchased a computer from gateway, which, by default, comes with a single hard drive divided into two partitions, one for the OS and one for the creation of recovery CDs/DVDs. He never said anything about installing new hard drives that he now needs to reformat, so the assumption is that he is speaking of the one hard drive he spoke of. And, since there is only one partition on the drive you would want to reformat, containing Vista, it is logical to believe that is what he is referring to.

You could be right. It could be he installed another hard drive, decided not to inform us of that action, and now wants information on how to format it. However, it did not sound that way to myself and others who responded, and the original poster has not responded so we may never know for sure. The question now becomes why, after two weeks, you wish to debate what the original poster meant instead of offering support to those with current problems.


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Its in the details
by jimmyzatl / March 11, 2007 3:59 AM PDT
In reply to: But in the context...

I also have the same gateway. So although the context was lost on you, the details were exactly what I was running into.

I came here looking for a solution to the exact same problem the original poster had. I'm finding more and more dis-information on forums like this due to failure to read the details like "How do you format a drive in Vista" instead of their interpretations like "Oh he must mean the System Hard Drive"

Please pay attention to the details, even your context was incorrect. The context was simply "how to fromat *a* drive" not "the system drive"

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Mea Culpa
by jimmyzatl / March 11, 2007 4:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Its in the details

So in looking again at the original post. I see that it could be assumed that the guy was indeed looking to "reformat" his drive. I have to apologize.

Seems I was caught in my own context....

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installing new hard drives
by SirChaosS / March 7, 2008 1:41 AM PST
In reply to: But in the context...

You touched on the problem I am currently having. I bought a Compaq with Windows Vista preinstalled. I then bought a second hard drive I wish to install. The problem comes in that I do not have a Vista Disc, and I cannot get Vista to partition or format the drive. I have checked the SATA cable, and the BIOS recognizes the new hard drive. Vista does list the two hard drives when I go to Device Manager, yet it does not list it as a drive on "Computer" or like previous post mentioned by Control Panel--Administrative Tools--Computer Management--Storage--Disk Drives. Any help or advice on this would really be appreciated.

Thank You

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Same Problem
by eoinmacnamara / May 9, 2008 7:35 AM PDT

Hey Im having the same problem ,I installed a second hard drive from my old computer which was recognized by vista straight away,even though vista could find no drivers,a simple right click on the drive will give an option to format,However,Vista will not allow the format to commence as the drive is supposedly 'already in use' by another program etc.Im off to chuck the contents of this drive into the recycle bin and see what happens.Maybe this is the problem the original poster had in formatting his drive with vista.

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by pinkjelly_belly1 / October 1, 2008 11:05 PM PDT

Just to let you know I bought a Gateway Laptop with Vista and I got a Vista Installation Disc with it!

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vista wireless problem
by pbzie / November 2, 2007 9:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Easy

I have a new dell and am running Vista. I cannot pick up wireless internet at work. It conects with the router.. it gets a cliet IP but it will not pick up a gateway IP ... I can pick up wireless evrywhere else.
is there someway of dealing with this other than going back to XP?
bty I can pick up the wireless with my other computer that is running XP


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by pbzie / November 2, 2007 9:12 AM PDT
In reply to: vista wireless problem

sorry i postred in the wrong place... i am a new user of this site :o(


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Got the patch?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 2, 2007 10:23 AM PDT
In reply to: vista wireless problem
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reply Vista Wireless problem
by jontsok / November 20, 2007 5:55 PM PST
In reply to: vista wireless problem

Vista does not work properly with unsigned networks even after applying every patch and registry fix I can find. I am now going back to xp as none of the solutions gives a relable fix. The best I can get is a connection which randomly drops out before reconnecting. Fine for browsing, not much good if you are playing a game online.

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Format XP
by carkat7 / April 20, 2008 12:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Easy

What a sad answer below, when someone was asking for help on getting VISTA off of there computer - which is JUNK. But because of people who follow the principle written below, is why Microsoft (and others) put out the garbage like VISTA. They do not have to worry about pleasing customers, nor making it user friendly, becasue people like the person who wrote the STUPID comment below thinks we should just accept whatever garbage is out there. HOW SAD!!!. If we complain about it together, this piece of junk would be replaced by something better. Maybe the below was written by a Program Engineer at Microsoft. People who do not VISTA are dealing with it - by getting rid of it. Microsoft will get the message, like they did with Windows 'ME'.

'And just to tell all those people who are complaining about vista. Unless you want to have XP forever I suggest you switch to Vista and deal with the problems, because one day you will have to.
Theres a saying, "Don't run away from a problem, Deal with it" '.

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Format Button!!!!
by pinkjelly_belly1 / October 1, 2008 11:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Easy

I have tried to do this and have now got 2 windows running on my Laptop, one that works and one that doesn't. There is no Format button to press when you get to this point!!!!!

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If you hate the OS....
by Papa Echo / February 25, 2007 10:08 PM PST

...then have nothing to do with it, even with reformating. If you want to install XP, use the XP CD to reformat, and install XP. You will have to purchase a new copy or migrate from the old (if full retail.) Also remember the mother board drivers for XP - they also want to be installed too.

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Mo problems, Mo problems, Mo problems
by trublubush / March 10, 2007 5:42 PM PST

Once again Vista's vista has been revealed as a logistical mess. Memory problems, compatibility problems, ...formatting problems...; you name it, ...Vista's got it! ...Even OEM politics has been brought into the arena.

All of this makes me glad I'm still with XP! Oh, ...I guess one of these days I'll move to Vista, but not until they've worked out the bugs. As far as I'm concerned, Vista is still in the beta stage and will be there for some time. In the meantime, I'll continue to use an operating system I can rely upon.


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NewAcer Aspire M3610 Crashed using Norton Ghost 2003
by efrenalialy / June 20, 2008 11:27 PM PDT

Hello please help me. I have just bought a new acer aspire M3610. Right after putting it on , I installed Norton Ghost 2003 and from then on my nightmare started.
Even with the Recovery CD from Acer Italy, I couldnt restore my Hard disk. They said that using the Norton Ghostaactually erased everyting in the hard disk. Now after restoring using the recovery CD, the screen always says:
Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software schange might be tha cause. Then you insert your Windowws Vista and restart the computer 2 choose language setting and click 3- Click repairt your computer
If you donont have the disk contact the Admin or the manufarturer
Status: 0X0000225
Info: an error occured wulie attmepting to read the boot config data

Please help me. The Acer people insist that I should format the HD but there is no way to enter into the system. It only allow me to go to the BIOS.
What shall I do? Many thanks in advance.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 20, 2008 11:42 PM PDT

I see you tried to use software that came out before Vista. That's not a good idea. Look in our Computer Help forum for how to erase hard disks such as DBAN and others.

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Acer Aspire M3610 Format HD with dBan
by efrenalialy / June 21, 2008 3:49 AM PDT
In reply to: Danger.

Hello many thnks for the dBan tip. Now after erasing the HD what should I do? Should I format the HD or can I finally use the Recovery CD from Acer to completely restore everything just like when I bought my Acer Aspire?
Many thanks.

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We can't know till we try.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 21, 2008 3:55 AM PDT

Remember that DBAN wipes all connected drives and some don't read the directions, admonishments, tips or advice then write back it destroyed their backup on some connected USB hard disk. Think about it.

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Use of dBan to wipe the Hard disk of Acer aspire M3610
by efrenalialy / June 21, 2008 11:35 PM PDT

Many thnks Bob but unfortunately I couldn't use dBan. My Acer Aspire M3610 is blocked. It doesnt boot on CD/DVD or any media. So with dBan in my hand I feel very frustrated. Than means I couldnt use anynmore my Acer. The hard disk is broken after installing Norton Ghost 2003 (It has Windows Vista preinstalled) as I have read from the answer on my post. So is there still a chance to use my computer.
I restored it with the restore CD form Acer Italy 3 times but after every restoration it goes back to the samne screen saying that "Windows failed to start bec of the hardware /software chage. While the INFO reads: an error hjas occured while attmepting to read the boot config data". Status: 0X0000225. F:\Boot\BCD.
More help please and thnks in advance.

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How are you booting the restore media?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 21, 2008 11:41 PM PDT

I often discover that someone copied the .ISO file of DBAN to a CDR rather than creating a CD from the .ISO (read until you see there are 2 methods there.)

One can always put in a new hard disk (cheaper than a new laptop.) We can put that hard disk into some desktop, usb adapter to get the job done too.

Something seems odd here. My bet is if the restore media boots then we made the bootable CD of DBAN wrong.

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