Computer Support Forum

2nd HardDrive and ReFormatting Question

Question: 2nd HardDrive and ReFormatting Question

Hi all, I've decided to go back to XP after installing Vista on my home PC. All my personal files are on a second harddrive; nothing at all of importance (other than installed software) is on my primary drive.

My question is, can I just remove the 2nd drive from the drive bay when I reformat my machine and reinstall XP? Then would I have any trouble just plugging it back in after XP is reinstalled?

Am I crazy or would this work? I'm not looking forward to backing up 200 gigs of files to blank 4.7 gig DVDs.

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Preferred Solution: 2nd HardDrive and ReFormatting Question

I recommend downloading and running Reimage. It's a computer repair tool that has been proven to identify and fix many Windows problems with a high level of success.

I've used it in the past to identify and fix everything from blue screens (BSOD's), ActiveX errors, corrupt files and processes, dll/exe/sys errors, recover lost memory, Windows update problems, defragging, malware removal etc.

You can download it direct from this link (This link will automatically start a download of Reimage that you can save to your computer.)

Answer: 2nd HardDrive and ReFormatting Question

Yes that should be OK

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I am looking to whipe my harddrive so i can install Windows XP Clean on My computer I am currently running Windows 98SE. I do not have a reformatting disk but i do have the program System Mechanics 4 Professional and there is an option in there to Whipe Your Harddrive. Is that the same as re formmating the Drive So i can install XP Fresh?


Answer:Question On Reformatting Harddrive

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I would like to wipe my whole entire C drive, I know I need DBAN. I have no clue on how to do it at all. I have no clue what an ISO is. I do not have a CD burner or blank CD's. I have the windows re-install disc which I can boot from I have done it before. So does that mean I don't need an ISO???

What I need help with is, I need a full walk through like every step. Please if someone could enlighten me on this I would greatly appreciate this. Yes I know I will lose EVERYTHING on my HD. Please don't try to discourage me from doing this.


Answer:Reformatting Harddrive


I do not have a CD burner or blank CD's.

Then you cannot use dBan or any other third party formatting program (well you could maybe load it onto a floppy or jump-drive).

The windows CD will format the drive. The difference is the windows format just deletes the file table, all the information is still there, windows just won't recognize it. Dban goes through your drive and sets all the bits (1 or 0) to 0. This effectively makes it impossible to recover any information, though is actually uneccessary unless you are having problems formatting with the windows CD.

We actually have a handy tutorial that will walk you through step-by-step, but as our articles are in the process of being moved to another web-server it is unavailable right now.

There are others available online:

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im curious if i were to reformat my computer when i reformat would it swipe the slave hard drive as well as the master or does it give you a choice.

Answer:reformatting a harddrive

When you use the format command, you have to specify a specific Volume address & name.

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Idk if this is the right section, but I plan on reformatting my hard drive, and I was curious if there was anything that I should put on my external that I already haven't thought of.

School Docs

Should I move my games over or should I just reinstall them?

Anything else i should move over?

Answer:Reformatting Harddrive

I think you would know best as you know whats on your computer and whats important. If it was me, i would move my internet bookmarks over and my keepass database.

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i just aquired a dell inspiron 4100 notebook (laptop)...i was wondering how do you reformat the hard drive so i can install a usable operating system (I cannot log into the current one, it is locked) without logging in.

Answer:HELP - reformatting the harddrive - HELP

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The last time I reformatted my HD, I had windows 98 installed and I upgraded to windows XP home. Now, when I boot up, I'm given the option of booting XP or a second option of booting "windows." However, the second option for "windows" won't boot anything. If I choose it, it's like it's only set for a new install of 98--as in waiting for me to reinstall win 98.

I want to reformat my HD again, but I don't want to have both options. I want it to just boot up with Windows XP. I know I'll need to reinstall XP, but I was wondering if you all can give me the basics of what I need to do to wipe my HD and reinstall XP...thanks...

Answer:Reformatting my Harddrive

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Hi, was wondering if someone could point me to an instructional manual of some sort on How to Reformat your Hard Drive. im frunnin XP.

Answer:reformatting harddrive

The XP CD will do it.

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Running windowsxp pro
I recently had troubles with my primary disk drive (with consistency). So I went out and got a 160 to replace it. I set it up in Master and Slave config and I formmated my new disk as a basic drive. As of now, there is no data on the new drive, but I want it to replace my old one.
How can i copy my files from the old computer, and do I need to reinstall windows on the new harddrive? Looking to do away with the harddrive.

Answer:Reformatting Harddrive

Windows xp has a tool to do it all for you ,you can read all about it here.

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hi, i had done this many times before but have never stopped at an error like this from reformatting and installing a fresh xp on to a harddrive. I was trying to reformatt a brand new xp onto the harddrive cause for some reason the old one won't load up to desktop and it says system32/config is missing or something and needs reapir but i had try to repair several times and it freezes. So when i put the xp disc in it ask me to press f8 to agree and stuff to install windows XP just after that, it says at the bottom searching for pervious version of microsoft windows, i had restarted many times and tryed again but nothing ever happens it just says it. I even tryed leaving it to load for 14 hours and nothing happened..... im guessing something from the pervious version of windows was corrupted so it wouldnt install a fresh copy. But i really need u guys help on this. Can someone tell me how to fix this problem all i want is a fresh copy of xp on the harddrive and all the windows gone. Thanks alot =]

Answer:Serious problem with reformatting a 80 gb harddrive

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I am trying to refromat my harddrive, but i cannot acess the windows XP installation disc through DOS. I cant do this because one of my CD-Rom drives isnt working and that is the only one the BIOS recognizes and cant boot from. My other, working, drive is a CD-Rw drive and it doesnt not have an option to boot from in the bIOS. is there anyway that i can get this to work?

Answer:Troubles reformatting my harddrive...

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Hey, I want to completely start new w/ my OS. I did the whole thinkvantage thing (Rescue and restore), and when it shut down and started the process of Rescuing and Restoring, I was left with a black screen and a mouse. I was able to move the mouse, but nothing was showing. So i let it run overnight to see if it was gonna shut down and start back up automatically with a new slate, but it didn't and the same screen was there. Does anyone know how to reformat my h/d and not have that "error"pop up? was I using the wrong option in ThinkVantage to reformat? thanks! I have Windows Vista Home premium T61 laptop, if that matters..Message Edited by carolinc on 11-10-2008 07:50 AM

Answer:Reformatting Harddrive with thinkvantage

I recently brought a ThinkPad with ThinkVantage and ciscovered I need to dual-boot the Win7 Pro installation with a Win XP install to run some legacy software. I prefer not to use Virtual PC. I was able to make a separate drive by shrinking the original c: drive. The problem is getting into the boot sector of the system so that I can erase Win7 (reformat), install Win XP (older system first), and reinstall Win7.How can I get in under ThinkVantage without breaking my machine?

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I am currently running Windows XP and there is a ton of junk on my computer that I just want to wipe out. I have done a formatting before but I can't remember exactly how to do it. I currently have only one harddrive which is c: and I wanna wipe that out and start fresh.

Also I have taken a harddrive from a old computer of mine and I would like to add that to this computer. It still have everything on it from the old computer. It has not been cleaned yet. And I have absolutly no clue how to add another harddrive to the computer.

Any help or advice would really be appreciated.

Thanks cruiser_eh

Answer:Reformatting harddrive and adding a new one

couple of tutorials above -
what else do you have on the PC.
add it as a slave

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I got a major problem, I installed Windows XP over 98 on my computer and it was a success I was working at the desktop without a glitch and then I shutdown the computer for the first time?the next day I turned it on and, it didn?t, and still doesn?t, reach the desktop before it says on a blue xp screen:------------------------------------------Checking file system on C:The type of file system is fat32One of your disks needs to be checked for consistencyYou may cancel disk check, but it is strongly recommended that you continue(below that I get a countdown for if I want to cancel or not)------------------------------------------Here?s what I?ve tried so far:1. I left the timer to go down to let it continue the check and then let try to load up windows2. I press a key (return) to cancel the check and let it try and load up windows(both of these fail in loading windows and the computer restarts itself and after a couple of restarts it just shuts down.)I had a go at trying to reboot with a 98 floppy disk just so I could reformat it but I wasn?t sure how to do this from there all I?ve been told is to put ?format c: /q? in a command, all I had of the floppy disk was a A commandI tried letting the computer boot up through cd-rom, first I set the hardrive to boot from cd-rom instead of A drive but I think it failed, well it tried to boot the desktop up again and it went back to restarting again.I?m totally stuck with what to do, all I need to do and want to do is ... Read more

Answer:Harddrive Reformatting Problem...

You mean BIOS?In BIOS,set to boot from CD first,then floppy,then hard drive.Insert the disc and boot up.

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I am trying to refromat my harddrive, but i cannot acess the windows XP installation disc through DOS. I cant do this because one of my CD-Rom drives isnt working and that is the only one the BIOS recognizes and cant boot from. My other, working, drive is a CD-Rw drive and it doesnt not have an option to boot from in the bIOS. is there anyway that i can get this to work?

Answer:Troubles reformatting my harddrive...

Ummm...try unplugging the drive that doesn't work and see if BIOS will let you boot off the other should.

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Im stuck reformatting my harddrive help apprecitated

ive tried these ways

1) Making a MS-DOS startup disk, rebooting and then starting with MSDOS then it comes up with A:\> and i cant change the drive to C: so i was stuck there

2) I tried starting up with the windows xp cd and going into the recovery console. I then typed


then i hit enter

then i typed "format c: /fs:ntfs"

then i hit enter

Then i typed Y

i then hit enter

it said that it would clean the harddrive but it didnt do anything

3) lastly i tried deleting a partition from starting up with the windows xp cd. I couldnt delete any partitons or make any new ones so i was stuck there.....

Help appreciated

Answer:Reformatting Harddrive (stuck)

Change ur file system from NTFS to FAT32.
NTFS does not support DOS.
U can use XP bootable CD or some third party utilities r available which I am not aware of.

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Happy New Year to You All. I have a Dell Latitude XPI laptop. I had to reformat the harddrive. After Fdisking and formatting the C Drive, when I try to install Win98 from an original disk, I get the error message, (corrupt cab file in setup and can not continue). Although I can load the cab files via "The Ultimate Boot Disk", I still get the same message when trying install Windows in the C Directory. Has anyone ever encountered a similar problem and if so, what do you suggest as a solution. Oh, Dell, not much help, well, NO HELP AT ALL. Thanks for any and all suggestions.

Answer:Reformatting Laptop harddrive

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heres the deal
i have a 250gb harddrive thats had alotta stuff taken off and put on it, i want to reformat it.
i have some things id like to save, so i have an old 40gb harddrive sitting around. unfourtunately it has stuff on it and i would like to wipe it clean so i can put it in the computer and have it set to a slave drive so i can just copy and paste all of the data from one harddrive to the other. then i can wipe the 250gb harddrive, reinstall windows, plug in the 40gb, and transfer the data back.

with all that said, how exactly do i do that? i tried putting the 40gb in but either my computer wont boot (no message, the screen never changes from all black) or it boots from the 40gb harddrive and doesnt recognize the 250gb.

Answer:harddrive reformatting/backup data

Welcome to TSG!
It's possible that the 250 gig HDD has been jumpered to standalone which is not (edit: not always) the same as Master. You need to set both drives' jumpers. The 40 GB to slave, and 250 GB to Master.

If the 250 GB HDD is SATA, then it should be recognized no matter what IDE drives are present... In this case I would go into BIOS and check if they are recognized OK, and then check boot order. Besides boot order of different device types (floppy, CD, HDD, etc.) in some BIOS-es there's an option for setting boot priority of HDDs present in the system.

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Hi all,

First system specs:

Acer Aspire 2000 laptop
XP home
CPU: 1.4 Centrino
Hard drive: 40 GB partitioned into 14GB C: drive and 26GB D: drive
Antivirus: AntiVir

Problem: Had this brainwave last Friday night that I'd go and reformat my computer and take everything back to First Base! All went well (apart from the normal confusion that goes along with wanting to spend a Friday evening downloading a million updates)

Anyway when I've gone to properties after selecting all the files in C drive this amounts to 7.33GB where as when I just right click properties in C drive it tells me that I've used: 8.19GB. Now that's 860Mb that Windows is not letting me access as far as I know.

Could somebody please confirm if this is so? And if there are any ways for me to access this 860Mb? It doesn't sound like a lot but when you've only got 40 Gb to play with it means you lose nearly a Gb!



Answer:I've Lost Harddrive Memory after reformatting! Help!!

If you un-hide the system files in your C: Drive then click properties again and check the reorted size it should now be very close to your 8.19GB

to un-hide all files, in C: drive click Tools > Folder Options > View > and choose "Show Hidden Files and Folders" and also un tick "Hide Protected Operating System Files" > Apply

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Sorry, this is somewhat of a stupid question: I'm looking at purchasing a used X200t or X61t and I want to do a clean wipe with a disk reformat. Are the drivers listed under the model on the website sufficient to get full tablet and laptop functionality back or is there additional software I'm going to need to get the laptop software back to factory condition. Thanks.

Answer:touchscreen drivers after reformatting harddrive and upgrading OS

Good Morning,
Yes, you will be able to get all of the necessary drivers after you reformat by using the following link: and downloading Thinkvantage System Update. 
I hope this helps.

Serge E. Minott

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My hard drive crashed last week leaving a message on a black screen 'disk read error'.

I contacted tech support and they said that the hard drive might be bad and that I should try reformating it with the Windows XP disk.

I tried reinstalling Win XP. The first time I reformated the disk, it took several hours, but the program would not install. The second time, it also took several hours and I got a complex message about some problems. A short version of the highlights of the info is included below.


Technical info:

STOP: 0x0000007A (0xE10226D4, 0xC000009C, 0xBF9A5046, 0x02CE8860)

Physical memory dumped.

I have two questions: Should I simply try one more time to reinstall Win XP?
Is it possible to reformat the hard drive in DOS mode resulting in any bad sectors being isolated as unusable but the rest of the drive space being formated as usable?

sorry this is so confusing. Hope it makes sense to someone...

Answer:Problems reformatting Harddrive & prior attempts to fix

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Hey, I know this question is asked quite often, but everything I've researched hasn't seemed to work. Maybe someone here has a solution?

Recently, I had to reformat the harddrive on my computer. I was using a Zonet 1602W PCI Wireless Card and I believe it may have had something to do with my computer malfunctions (BSOD's, constant restarting), so I purchased a new card.

I've tried installing both of them with no luck. It seems like they connect for a few seconds, but WZC will give me a "acquiring network address" error for eternity. I am unable to do any browsing regardless of how often I hit refresh. From looking at WZC (Wireless Zero Configuration), it doesn't seem to be receiving the packets. The IP address is so I am almost certain this is the issue, but I do not know how to correct this.

Before recently reinstalling, I was able to connect to the router. My computer (has wireless PCI card) is right downstairs below the router, but wiring it is not an option because i'd have to run it across the house.

My computer (downstairs) that can't connect has:
Gigabyte WP01GS Wireless PCI adapter
5dbI antenna
XP (Service Pack 2)

The other computer (upstairs) that can connect has:
WRT54GV8 Linksys Wireless Router
Cable Modem

I've tried uninstalling & reinstalling hardware, software, and various drivers (original and updated).

I've tried using the "repair" feature in WZC (it states "invalid... Read more

Answer:Acquring network address after reformatting harddrive

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after a memory scan a trojan virus was detected; This was removed. from then the laptop does startup but no booting in windows. OS is Vista Home Basic on a Packard Bell laptop..

Answer:does reformatting the harddrive cures an infected laptop me

Make sure when you reinstall, you delete all partitions & format to NTFS.D to Delete the selected partition any thumb drives or other HDD's will probably be infected.

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I have a major problem. Because my laptop was having problems involving the 'blue screen of death', I chose to backup my files to an external portable harddrive before reformatting the entire drive.

However, when opening the backup folder, I discovered that my art folder, located in the 'PUBLIC PICTURES' folder was not to be found.

What is the BEST method to recover the files from the 'PUBLIC PICTURES' folder? I had almost 5GIGS worth of pictures.

I KNOW there is a way to recover the files, but not sure if they will even be located in the Public Pictures folder. Is it possible that after reformatting, Windows 7 relocated the contents of the 'Public Pictures' folder to another place on the drive?

Is it possible to restore the folder to previous versions AFTER reformatting the drive?

Can someone PLEASE help me?? This is seven years worth of photos I saved that I'm desperately trying to recover.

THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH for your patience and assistance.

Answer:HELP!!! RECOVER Public Pictures Folder AFTER reformatting harddrive!!!

Can someone please help me? I'd really need to recovery these files WITH the exact file names associated to them.

Does anyone know of a free method to recover them from the 'PUBLIC PICTURES' folder AFTER reformatting the harddrive?

Would appreciate any help!!

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I'm trying to reformat my aged desktop pc and i run into the following message when it boots with the recover cd in the drive

"Warning - You must remove the HP Personal Media Drive or any other external media drive from the system before attempting system recovery. Data will be erased if the external drive is left in the system. Remove any such deice and press any key to continue."

The only thing plugged into my computer is the monitor. What could this be referring to? Any help is appreciated!


Answer:Reformatting Question

Might be referring to a partition on the drive. Are you sure there is
not another drive connected to pc. Ie, slave drive. Probably a stock
response with the recovery disk.

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The HDD on my current desktop is partitioned. So I have a C:// and a D://. What I was wondering is if I could move all my music/important files to my D:// and then reformat my C:// and afterwards retain my music through the D://?


Answer:Reformatting Question.

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I have my mother-in law's Compaq that has WinME installed and then a VALID WinXP HE on top of it. We want to reformat and clear off everything that ever was... Best way to go would be factory ME CD and then XP upgrade? The XP upgrade won't allow me to do a total reformat, will it?

I don't want that pesky Microsoft validator to tell me that I', using an XP that is licensed somewhere else. I'm thinking that I had to sign MIL up somewhere?

Thanks ahead for any help...

Answer:Reformatting question

the full retail package will allow you to access the partition and thus
reformat prior to the install.

validation is another matter I'll not address.

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Someone i know wants to reformat his pc and doesn't have the cd that came with windows so what is an easy program to reformat

Answer:Question about reformatting

Hell . . formatting is easy . . dozens of ways to do that . . but he probably wants to reinstall his operating system? . . for that he will need a XP CD.

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A friend of mine would like to reformat his hard drive. However, he has not got his original recovery discs and his laptop was shipped without the OEM disc of XP Home.Is there any way in which he can reformat his hard drive without the above items? I have told him that I can't think of any other way, and I'm hoping someone in here might be able to lend a hand

Answer:Reformatting Question

...or give some advice on what he could do next.Thanks =]

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I use a computer running Windows XP Pro and since a few weeks I have troubles as the
computer often freezes.
It started after I got the messages ( see below ) after running my antivirus program.
( Included is a firewall and Anti Spyware )

I now consider to reformat my hard drive but I am not sure it this would remove any
antiviruses or other malware.

Can anybody tell me ?

Your help is appreciated

Anton ABC
* C:\Program Files\InstallShield Installation Information\{A3800A8D-BB15-487E-9296-E1843D2482D8}\RPS SafeConnect.msi
o Some parts of this file could not be scanned because they are password protected. The real-time protection will automatically scan these parts when they are accessed.
* C:\System Volume Information\_restore{A9810597-5075-486E-AD8B-945DDC602D99}\RP526\A0101447.msi
o Some parts of this file could not be scanned because they are password protected. The real-time protection will automatically scan these parts when they are accessed.
* C:\System Volume Information\_restore{A9810597-5075-486E-AD8B-945DDC602D99}\RP527\A0102151.msi
o Some parts of this file could not be scanned because they are password protected. The real-time protection will automatically scan these parts when they are accessed.
* C:\System Volume Information\_restore{A9810597-5075-486E-AD8B-945DDC602D99}\RP565\A0119712.exe
o Some parts of this file could not be scanned because they are password protected. The real-time protection will automatically scan these parts when they are accessed.
... Read more

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Ok, I am just about to get up enough enough nerve to reformat my hard drive and have a couple of questions (for now).

1. After reformtting and before beginning the install of XP Pro, do I need to disconnect periphials (printer, scanner, etc)?

2. Do I stay connected to the internet via cable modem and router or should those be disconnected?

3. I have 2 computers networked. Will resetablishing the network happen automatically or will windows walk me through it, or...?

Any other suggestions before I hit [Y]...?


Answer:XP Pro Question - Reformatting

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If you have to reformat do you unrecoverably lose everything on your hard disk, even in regards to a professional, or a mining of the disk.

Answer:Question About reformatting

No, to the average computer user everything on the target HDD is lost, but to a knowledgable data miner, most of the data on the formatted HDD is still intact. Extraction by a knowlegable data miner becomes less possible if the data areas of the HDD are over-written for example when Windows is re-installed or, a program like free Eraser is used to over-write several or many times, the free space on the target HDD.

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I am in the process of reformatting my hard drive and it always stops on 12%, this is the third time, any ideas?

Oh yah, I posting from another computer

Answer:Reformatting Question

Try cleaning the disk.If that dosent work look for a big scratch.Though ive not tried it are places thta fix CD's.

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Hi Guys
I'm new to the site but have come here quite a bit and read the forums and now that I need some help it seemed like one of the best places to go.
I've been having all kinds of problems with my system freezing and have gone through countless things to try and get it worked out. Now I'm at the point where it seems I need to do a reformatting. I was hoping someone could either give me some instructions on doing this or maybe point me to where I might be able to print up some instructions to follow. I know about backing up what I want to keep so it's after that I need help. Any help would be great, thanks allot guys.

Answer:Question About Reformatting Xp

Hello Bowhunter777 and to Bleeping Computer.url].See the following website for guidance on reinstalling Windows.Clean Install Windows XP

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How would you reformat your custom computer? Reinstall windows? When your changing a motherboard would you need to back anything up on cd?

Answer:Question about reformatting

well if ur going to do any or all of those, you should backup wateva u want to keep.

1) backup all the stuff that you want on your pc.
2) install your new motherboard.
3) go into your bios and select the first boot device to be your optical drive (eg. cd-rom) put your windows cd in your computer and reboot. boot to the windows cd.
4) while setting up windows to install, its going to ask you which partition you want to install windows on. delete your current partition, recreate a new partition using maximum space, and format using ntfs full.
5) continue with installing windows.

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I have a laptop that I need to make a clean install on. The laptop came pre-installed with Windows 8 pro. After the 8.1 update came out, I obviously upgraded to 8.1. My question is, can I re-format the computer with 8.1 media and use the same key? Or do I have to format it with Windows 8 media for the key to be good, and then upgrade to 8.1?

Answer:Reformatting question?

How to download and clean install Windows 8.1 if you have an OEM computer with UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8/8.1 product key. -> link

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I have recently reformatted my ASUS M3A78 with a copy of Windows XP. Now whenever I start the computer I get and error for the Express Gate, and then the computer immediately restarts. When reformatting do you have to redo the BIOS? And if so how do you do that from a flash drive? Also is there any other reason I could be running into this problem and is there a way to fix it?

Answer:Reformatting question

Not to familiar with express gate, rough idea. The bios should not
change by merely formatting. In order to do a clean format, you should
use killdisk, free download this wipes the drive completely as windows
leaves stuff on the drive. You may try looking in bios and disabling
expressgate if there is a option for it. But I would wipe the drive with
killdisk and start over.

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Hey got a question. I was reformatting my computer by putting in the window xp cd and deleting the partition and creating a new one and in the middle of it an error message pop up(not sure which one) and now it won't do anything. Turn on or start. before I bring it in to a shop any1 here have any clues what I could do? Thanks Matthew

Answer:Question about reformatting

and welcome to the Forum

The exact error message would help. Will it now boot from the installation disc?

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My sister has a HP Desktop that has crashed and is now showing the "blus screen of death". We believe that she may need to re-format her computer. Only problem is that she has somehow misplaced the reformat disk that came with it. My old eMachines ran Windows XP and I still have the reformat disk to it.

My Question is....

Will my eMachines reformat disk work on her HP HDD?

Please Advise!

Answer:Question about reformatting a HDD

that HP should have a recovery partion unless its really old. if it doesnt have a recovery partition then call or go to and just order the discs for like 10 bucks. the Emachines disc will not work in the HP comp. it will check something on the motherboard and stop because it will not be detected as and Emachine pc.

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hi there! This is my first time posting. I joined because I am looking for an answer to the question I am about to ask. I hope to stay around and participate in other discussions as well.

I have Windows XP home edition on my computer. I desperatly need to re-format.

I have two hard drives. My question is, can I re-format them one at a time, and if so, can I move some things to one hard drive while the other is being re-formatted so I don't lose it?

I have TONS of MP3 files on my computer, and I need to get them somewhere. I can move all of the other files onto disc, but this is the only thing I can think of to do with the music files.

Any ideas?



Answer:Question About Reformatting

You may reformat the disks separately. I would reformat the data destination disk first, then move what you want to keep there, and then reformat the other disk. Remember, you will need to re-install your OS and all other applications after reformatting, and you cannot simply copy applications back to your programme disk and expect them to work.

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Ok I want to reformat my computer. Will it work with a Windows XP disc that says "upgrade" on it? Or will I need the full version or something.

On the side of the box it says:

This enclosed program will search your hard disk/ or CD to confimr your eligibility for this upgrade. The software will install only if you are a licensed user of one of the following products:

Windows 98
Windows 98 2nd Edition
Windows 2000.

I have the full version of Windows XP Home Edition.

Answer:Reformatting Question

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Hi, sorry if this topic exists elsewhere, but I couldn't find it.

Anyways, I bought a PC in January 2010 (pre-built HP computer) but had to replace the motherboard a few months later (I think March or April of 2010) and I added a graphics card at the same time. I would like to reformat the pc, but don't know if the product key will still be good or not. Will a new motherboard and graphics card cause the product key to not work? Alternatively, is there a program or something out there that will delete a lot of the junk on this pc as if I reformatted it? Basically I'm wondering if I can reformat this pc without having to buy another product key. Thanks in advance.

Answer:reformatting question

Is the new motherboard an HP? Does it have onboard video?

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I have an important question.
My PC is flooded with viruses, and I am throwing in the towel, so to speak, and reformatting my computer.

I have a Dell Inspiron 600m that ran Windows XP Professional.

Here's my issue.

I do not know where my recovery CD is, so I am thinking I could use someone else's? For example, my friend has a Dell Laptop Inspiron 1500 that also runs with WinXP.

1. Let's say he has WinXP Home edition instead. Does it matter? Can I still install WinXP using his disc, provided he still has the serial key?

2. Same type of question. If I use someone else's WinXP installation CD with a valid serial key, will it work and install in on my PC?

Please help

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When should one reformat their computer and how would one know when it's time to do so?

Answer:Question about reformatting

You don't ever need to unless you want to change the cluster size or file system. If you are reinstalling the OS or installing a new OS from scratch you might want reformat, but you don't need to.

It is not something that you need to "freshen"

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I need to reformat my son's computer but can't seem to find the original disc. Can I use a different disc so long as it matches the software, ie XP Home. Is there a actual key # on the disc that would prevent this. I thought I could just reinstall and insert key # that Belarc Adviser found on the pc.

Answer:Question regarding reformatting XP

depends what software is installed. If it came with the computer, you will need a oem os disk to install since the key you find with belarc adviser is oem. The key should also be found on the case. did you check to see if there is a hidden partition for the os? what computer model?

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Hi,I need to reformat my C Drive before reinstalling Windows XP, how do i safeguard all my installed programs? Is it possible to shunt them to my removable laptop drive and then copy them back to either the reformatted drive or my new additional hard drive? I also need to install an additional hard drive so could i make the new drive the master drive instead and install Windows XP on this and transfer my previously installed programs and documents to the new master (C) Drive from the former C Drive without cocking up the registry?Badgerschuff

Answer:reformatting question

The only way to copy the programs is by using a utility such as Ghost, TrueImage or one often supplied with the Hard Drive.However these image/copy the whole partition including the O/S.If you have many years of accumulated 'junk' on the old hard drive then that too will go onto the new drive.It may be best to backup all important files and folders then undertake a clean install or O/S and programs.

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I really want to reformat my PC! It needs it badly!  I'm curious if something will go terribly wrong with my network after I reformat? My PC is directly connected to the cable modem box. It's also connected to a router that my dad's computer wirelessly connects to our internet through. After I reformat, does anyone know if I'll need to do something special so my dad can continue connecting like usual?  If I reformat my PC, can anyone tell me what I'll have to do to make sure the wireless router works again so my dad can keep getting online as per usual? Thanks a lot for reading my question! Mod Edit:  Merged topics - Hamluis.

Answer:Reformatting Question!

The usual setup is modem connected to the source cable. Wireless router connected to the modem.
Sounds like your computer is not using WIFI but is directly connected to the router by cable.
Is that your setup?
Your reformatting and reinstalling Windows should have no effect on your dad's wifi connection. sure to go directly to Windows Update immediately after reinstall of Windows.
Only accept the Security updates to avoid getting stuck with Windows 10 unless you want it.

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Hey fellas,

I've got my sister's Dell Dimension 3000 here and trying to reformat and reinstall XP.

I'm at the point (beginning, actually) where it displays partitions and here's what I've got:

Unpartitioned Space 55 MB
C: Partition1 [NTFS] 34601 MB
Unpartitioned Space 3491 MB

I can't delete the top or bottom unpartitioned spaces (dunno if I'm supposed to or not).

But, when I continue with the installation, I choose the middle partition and get the warning: "you chose to install windows xp on a partition that contains another operating system"...and so-on about multiple OS's.

So, how do I do a clean install? If I continue, am I going to have multiple OS's?

Answer:Reformatting Question

Are you using the CD supplied by dEll?

If you're not, you should have an option to wipe the drive (quick format will take a lot less time, but if you're reformatting due to virus/spyware issues then it's not the best option) right in the windows setup.

The reason you can't delete the other partitions is they're used for backups and recovery consoles from the factory at dEll.

If you wanted to reformat completely, use the hard drive manufacturer's utility (from their website, you usually make a bootable floppy that will erase the drive) to wipe the drive, and then start over with your install disk.

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I reformatted my computers hardrive, intending to reinstall everything from it's provided recovery disk.  However, now when I start the computer, it isn't reading or booting from the cd drive, so won't recognize the cd.  It just scans the hard drive and says invalid boot disk.  I tried pushing F8 to go to the boot menu and reset the order it boots from the drive, but it no longer shows all the loading information and there seems to be no time to do this.  Is there any other way to access the boot menu?  I no longer get a prompt when the computer loads, just the incorrect disk message.  Anyone have any ideas how to fix this?Thanks in advance!

Answer:Reformatting question...

Have you contacted your computer manufacturer about this issue?[glb]Flame[/glb]

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My husband was curious what does it mean when you are reformating your hard drive, what does Recovering allocations mean?

Answer:A question about reformatting...

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My PC has finally hit the wall again after another year of collecting errors, crashes, bugs and viruses. My only issue is that my PC connects to the internet through a wireless card and when I reformat it will not reconize the wireless card because I don't have Sp2 on my XP Pro cd. I was wondering if there is a way I can burn SP2 or a way to get my wireless card running without the service packs once I reformat.

Answer:Reformatting Question With Wireless

You can make a cd to incorporate SP2.It is called slipstreaming and you can find directions about how to do it here:Slipstreamed Windows XP

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Guys, first of all, thank you so much for helping me with the reformatting and reinstalling Windows XP. Everything is Great!!

I saved my Favorites folder on CD. How do I install it on my computer? I tried the "Files & Settings Transfer Wizard" but it won't allow it to install. I would like to put it back in my internet favorites as I have a lot of sites I have saved.
Thanks so much!

Answer:Back after Reformatting! Have a question

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I've been having a very stubborn/mysterious virus problem here: I'm just about to do the factory recovery because I'm stumped and I guess no one here knows anything either. The question is, I have a recovery partition, and recovery cds. Which do I use? Does it matter? I recently reinstalled Windows, but to be safe, I want to do the WHOLE recover thing, and get rid of everything on that harddrive.Now, I also have a second hard drive that ONLY has music and videos on it. Do I need to do anything? It's a Seagate and it came with a CD and the program (drive monitor or smth) off of there runs on my main drive. Before I do the recovery, I'd like to be sure that it won't affect that other drive. It shouldn't, right? Well, just thought I'd ask.

Answer:question about reformatting/recovery

Well...I don't think you waited very long for any serious suggestions...and adding a post every hour on the hour (with changed circumstances) certainly doesn't lend itself to such from anyone trying to figure it out (IMO).

Regardless...that's always a poster option.

System manufacturer and model? So that someone can actually read the instructions for using this recovery partition and/or recovery CDs.

You say that you have a MS XP install CD also...or do you mean that you reinstalled Windows via one of the recovery/restore methods?


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Hi,Just want to ask you guys to make sure that i do the right thing here. I have a PC desktop running windows XP Pro, Pentium 4. A long ago, i had problems with this computer being infected by viruses and trojans. I had used the lavasoft adaware to detect the spywares and have them removed, run the antivirus Norton, run disk cleanup, and run both lavasoft and Norton in the safemode. Yet despite those efforts, the windows still detected spywares on my computer saying that some of my files document have been accessed (those warning from windows firewall as well as antivirus). They came up very often. they even showed up as soon as you turned on your computer and had the windows loaded up. i could go to IE but the IE was redirected to a specific website i.e. some ads of antispywares products despite the default settings i set to go to a specific website when the IE was clicked. Anyway, those were the problems i had until i went to get a new hard disk that got all those annoying things off my back. Now that hard disk(or the old one that's got viruses and trojans) is still here with me. What i'd like to do is to have it reformatted. My question is i heard that you can hook it up to the computer as a slave and then reformat it from there.My question is will the viruses and other trojan invade into my new harddisk if i hooked it up to my new hard disk? what are the things i should watch out for for doing this. They both are seagate but the new one is IDE, not sure about the old one.... Read more

Answer:question on reformatting harddisk

No problem I see if you remove the partition, re-make a partition and format it.  

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Right now I am using XP SP2 32bit and have 4gb of dual-channel ram installed on my motherboard. Obviously I am not getting the full benefit from it, and tried the 3gb boot.ini trick too but it barely helped. So I am considering getting WinXP Professional 64bit, but I am still curious exactly how much of a difference I will be able to make from that transition. I currently idle at about 400-500mb PF usage, and 1-2% CPU usage.

My system specs are as follows:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Nvidia Geforce 8800 GTS (320mb)
4gb RAM (dual channel)
Nvidia Nforce 650i Ultra Motherboard
320gb HD
800wt PSU

If it sounds like it is worth it, I would want to reformat my PC, but the thing is that I have a few older programs installed on my PC which I have either lost the CD key to or have a limited number of installs per key. Is there any way I can backup or save these programs before reformatting? Thanks in advance.

Answer:Question about 64bit XP and reformatting.

I don't think it would be worth it at all. There are very uses you could put your computer to that would require or use more than 3 GB of RAM (even 2 GB is overkill for most people running XP as opposed to that beast, vista), leave alone 4 GB. In addition to the problems you mentioned about some applications for which you don't have the keys/install discs (I know of no way to save them and have them work after an OS reinstall without actually reinstalling them), you should also consider the fact that some hardware may not have drivers that work with 64-bit XP.

This is just my opinion, and you should do more research before you jump...

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basically the question i have is this,

before i reformat my computer im suppose to save all the data i want correct? If so can i save my files to another internal hard drive in my computer?

Also do i have to move the files to my other hardrive in a special way? or do i just drag and drop the files i want to keep? (Example: If i wanted to move an episode of bleach, do i just drag it from one harddrive to another?)
Or do i just use (Start>>AllPrograms>>Accessories>>System Tools>> Back Up) to back up my files?

Last question.
After i reformat my computer, do i have to reinstall my internt connection? Im using Verison Wireless DSL. And if i do have to reinstall it, does anyone know how i can get another installation disk? i lost my it quite a while back :(

Ty in advance

~~The Almight Choad~~

Answer:Question about reformatting my computer.


before i reformat my computer im suppose to save all the data i want correct?


If so can i save my files to another internal hard drive in my computer?

Yes, but be careful that you do not accidently format the wrong hard drive. I would recommend after moving all files over to your second drive, disconnect it before reinstalling windows to avoid the possibility of erasing it by accident

Also do i have to move the files to my other hardrive in a special way? or do i just drag and drop the files i want to keep?

The easiest way would be to drag and drop, but would only be possible if the two harddrives are on seperate IDE channels. If they are on the same channel, you run a high risk of losing data. I had 2 harddrives on the same channel a while back and ended up losing about 10GB of data.

After i reformat my computer, do i have to reinstall my internt connection? Im using Verison Wireless DSL. And if i do have to reinstall it, does anyone know how i can get another installation disk? i lost my it quite a while back :(

You will need to reinstall your drivers, not the network connection. The driver is the software that tells your computer how to interact with your network card. Along with the network driver you will also need to reinstall your video, sound, and motherboard drivers.

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This may be a stupid question, but I'll ask it anyway. I'm installing Windows 7, and I want to start completely "fresh". I have a 20 gig Vista partition now, and 2 other partitions with 500+ gigs of files, including programs and games, etc.

If I wipe the Vista partition, install Windows 7, and then delete all the folders where the programs and games are, will everything be completely cleaned?

Edit for clarification: Sorry, I can see why there is confusion, let me clarify. I want to keep all my music, videos, documents, and large ISO files, etc. These files take up 500+ gigs, and I don't have an external HD that big to back EVERYTHING up. However, on the same partition I have programs installed that I want wiped clean after I install Windows 7. What I plan to do is wipe the Vista partition, so that the other partitions stay the same, and then after delete the the folder with programs on the large partition (D:\Programs) manually.

Obviously, if I go right now and delete a program's folder, there are 'bits' left over. Stuff in the registry, etc, etc. If I do this AFTER I install a fresh OS, will there still be those 'bits' left over?

Answer:Windows 7 Reformatting question

I'm not entirely sure what you are asking.

If you wipe the Vista partition and install Windows 7 in its place, the other partitions will be untouched. You can then do with them as you please.

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I am getting ready to do a clean install of Windows 7 over XP. I want to reformat my 250 GB hard drive keeping the two existing partitions but changing their sizes. I want one partition to be only 50 GB for just the OS. Everything else will go in the other partition. I am backed up with Carbonite and an external HDD. I want to use Windows Easy Transfer however I don't know if WET will allow me to migrate files from the old "C" for instance into a new, larger "F". Perhaps I would be better off to move everything by hand. There are several good tutorials on the installation, but I can't find an answer to this problem.

Answer:Reformatting Partitioning HDD question

If you want to re-size, create partitions, I have used Easeus Partition Master and it works very well. used WET, but I would think it should do what you ask.Hope this helps...

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Sorry if this is in the wrong category...

I just have a quick question. Recently I reformatted my hard drive, and in the process of doing this i accidently began the process to format my backup hard drive because i had it plugged in at the time. It got to about 30 percent and then i realized that it was the wrong drive and i unplugged it in a panic. I then inspected my backup HD to see what got deleted, but for the life of me, i can not find anything that got deleted. I was just wondering if anybody knew how formatting works on PC's? Worst case scenario would be if it deleted random sections of files. I suppose the best case scenario would be that nothing got deleted.

Answer:Quick question about reformatting

welcome to the forum
so then, on your spare drive, if it were songs, they all play?
and if they are pictures, they all are displayed.. and so on?

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I was just wondering if it was possible to reformat a computer using the standard Windows XP Home installation CD without installing Windows. For example, let's say that I install Ubuntu on a computer with one HDD. I decide I don't like Ubuntu (I actually do like Ubuntu but this is just an example) and I want to wipe (i.e. reformat) the computer's one HDD so that it is usable but totally empty and ready to install any OS.



Answer:A Very Quick Question About Reformatting

How to partition and format a hard disk in Windows XP During an Install.

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I'm trying to reformat the computer as it's in a bit of a mess and I think it's probably time to do it.

Previously when I did this, I had a partition on the HDD with a recovery section and an option in the Start menu to restore to factory settings.

However, my computer went into be fixed about a year ago now and the guys made a mess of it and ended up having to reformat the drive then for me. Unfortunately, he deleted this partition and with it, the option in my Start menu to restore to factory settings.

I have a recovery disc I made when I got the computer, but am not sure what I'm doing with this. I also have no Windows disc as it came pre-installed. The remainder of my drivers I can get off the internet so I'm not fussed about that.

Is there anyway I can do a reformat or do I need either A) a valid copy of Windows or B ) to take it back to a different computer shop as the one I originally went to has gone bust since?

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Answer:Quick Question Regarding Reformatting

Is your recovery disc an image of Windows? If so, you can reinstall from that. (Unless you are just talking about a boot up disk or something.)

Otherwise, yes you will need a valid copy of Windows. What kind of computer do you have? You could probably borrow someone else's Windows disk (must be the same version as yours) and use the Windows license that came with your computer.

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I am getting ready to do a clean install of Windows 7 over XP. I want to reformat my 250 GB hard drive keeping the two existing partitions but changing their sizes. I want one partition to be only 50 GB for just the OS. Everything else will go in the other partition. In other words some files presently in "C" will have to go in "F". I am backed up with Carbonite and an external HDD. I want to use Windows Easy Transfer however I don't know if WET will allow me to migrate files from the old "C" for instance into a new, larger "F". Perhaps I would be better off to move everything by hand. There are several good tutorials on the installation, but I can't find an answer to this problem.

Answer:HDD Reformatting/Partitioning question

Get GParted Live 0.4.5-2
Size: 99 MB
License: Freeware
Requires: Win All
Downloaded: 11353 Times
Rating: 4.63 (11 votes).

My note: 99 megs download. Well rated for this type of program


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I want a fresh install so Im reformatting. What's the order for installing drivers, services packs and other windows updates? Like, do I install my drivers as soon as it loads up into windows or should I update and patch windows first? Friend told me some drivers need .net to be installed. Your help is appreciated!

Answer:Quick question, Reformatting soon!

1) Install Vista without using your key - seriously. This is the absolute best tip for a new installation that you're going to get. It's not necessary to input your Product Key to install Vista, so don't use it.

At the point in the installation where Vista asks for the Product Key, click the Next button. A warning will pop up about not inputting the key, so click No on that popup, then on the next screen choose the edition of Vista that you legitimately own - this is an important step here since if you choose some other edition (and you can choose any of them), the key you purchased isn't going to work. The Product Key unlocks the version you bought so... Ultimate needs an Ultimate key, Home Premium needs a Home Premium key, etc.

Continue the installation from that point on, and as long as Vista's installer can see your hard drive controller - whether it's an ATA/IDE controller, SATA, RAID, etc - you should be able to keep going. If not, then you're going to have to provide working drivers so that Vista can do anything at all with your hard drive(s). I'm not going into all that here, you should be able to figure out what drivers you need for your hard drive controllers.

2) Once Vista is actually up and running and installed, hopefully you'll have at least the NIC driver working so you can get online and hit Windows Update for all the critical updates, but read over the list before you choose any of the optional ones like hardwar... Read more

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Okay, I am new here but let me start by saying I have a hp pesario r3000 and it is a laptop. Here is my problem, I am trying to restore the computer because that is what the Geek Squad, said I needed to do. The computer was just a blue screen when I started it. So I get the discs and figure I can do this myself.

I install the windows installer service pack 2 disk and erase the partition, create a new one and then got to install windows xp on it. I get to the screen where it is formatting the partition, it cant finish and gives em an unable to format, disc might be bad or or check some settings. I repeat steps same thing, I just got the disc so it should work. The other disc I was given is a drivers and software disc.

Any help or suggestions. I'm also thinking it might be the harddrive and is their a way to test it without windows and no floppy drive. Only have CD Drive.

Answer:question about reformatting my hard drive

Hello and welcome to the forum . .

You can download and run diagnostics from the drive manufacturer to check the drive

Western Digital

Each will give you the option of creating a bootable floppy disc or CD to run without the operating system

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ok I was thinking about reformatting. If I just took out my old hard drive and put a new one in, then I could just install a fresh version of windows? Also how would I do like 1 part of it for the os, the other part for my files. This wasy i can just reformat the windows part when i wanna do it again


Answer:question about reformatting and hard drive..

Just take a look at the sticky at the top of this forum.

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Hello all,

So I have 3 identical 750 GB Western Digital hard drives. All were formated NTFS.

I formatted one of them on Windows 7 to exFAT because I need to use that specific drive as an intermediary drive to transfer files from the PC side of things to another external hard drive formatted for Mac OSX. So I was going to transfer the data that was on one of these NTFS Western Digital drives to the now exFAT Western Digital drive and then to my G drive which is formatted for OSX.

Here is my problem. When I formatted one of the drives to exFAT, Windows 7 no longer reads the other external western digital hard drives. I go to My Computer and click manage and in the disk management screen it states that drive as being 'RAW'

However, when I bring it to the MAC side of things, all the files that were originally there are (though b/c it is formatted for NTFS I of course can only read them)

The third western digital drive is a backup, but I am afraid to even connect it to my computer. Why won't Windows 7 read my Western Digital NTFS drive any more?

Also just a spec note I am doing all of this on a macbook pro. It is bootcamped running both windows 7 and mac osx. I have to do this because of the requirements of my job.

In any event thank you so much for any help you can provide.


Answer:exFAT/NTFS reformatting question

what is really your question?
what it is you want?

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I am facing the daunting task of having to reformat my Dell inspiron 1520 laptop's hard drive and reloading all my programs. I am saving my data and as everything documents , photos, music, videos etc would all be locate as subfiles under
“Jim” my computer’s name. It also includes the “Appdata” file.

When I download the Jim file on my reformatted disk will that include
All of my previous settings?? I am using Vista
Thanks for any insight or tips to make this long task easier!

Answer:Question about saving files before reformatting HD

Probably not. Data files are just that data. You must input your settings and or preferences into the app after you install it.

You might also checkout the sticky at the top of the page regarding backups. If you make an image file of your disk after you do the clean install, activate windows, etc, then it makes doing the next "clean install" a 5min task.

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I'm kinda pedantic and atm is my comp not "exactly" as clean as I want it :P

The registry i beginning to look a bit messy (I use CCleaner but it still has some problems)

Programs have stopped working.

A lot of old drivers are left from old hardware etc. (by using "set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1" and then watching the device manager a can see a lot of old drivers but I don't know which to uninstall)

Plus some more reasons.

Therefore I've decided to start over again from scratch. I 'm going to reformat C:\ and reinstall windows xp. The C:\ partition only contains winxp so I don't have to worry about backups (more than that I got to have all drivers).

This is my first time reformatting and I'd like to know exactly what the reformatting/reinstalling of OS does. Does it, for example, clean all the drivers or do I need to use Driver Cleaner Pro or clean from Device Manager or something? Because I really want to start fresh and to be in charge of exactly everything that is going to be installed on my comp.

Answer:Reformatting and driver cleaning question

If you format your C drive you will have nothing on that drive until you reinstall windows so you will only have basic windows + what comes with windows. All drivers, documents, files, pictures, movies and games will be gone if present on that drive. Some drivers will be reinstalled with windows.

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So my PC was recently infected with viruses, and I was able to get rid of them with Malware bytes and Microsoft Security Essentials. Anyway, I;m not sure if I completely got rid of the viruses so I want to just completely wipe my hard drive and get rid of it all. When I go to reformat my Hard Disk, Windows says I cannot because it's in use.

I google'd around and some guides are saying that I'd be able to reformat and boot up through the Win. 7 installation disk; the problem is that I don't have a Win 7. installation disk. What do I do?


Answer:Question about reformatting my hard drive and Win. 7

Quote: Originally Posted by Deathstroke

So my PC was recently infected with viruses, and I was able to get rid of them with Malware bytes and Microsoft Security Essentials. Anyway, I;m not sure if I completely got rid of the viruses so I want to just completely wipe my hard drive and get rid of it all. When I go to reformat my Hard Disk, Windows says I cannot because it's in use.

I google'd around and some guides are saying that I'd be able to reformat and boot up through the Win. 7 installation disk; the problem is that I don't have a Win 7. installation disk. What do I do?


If you have a Windows 7 product key, downlaod the installation disc that corresponds with your edition legally from here: Official Windows 7 SP1 ISO from Digital River ? My Digital Life

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Hey, I have a few questions regarding formatting my Acer 3000 C100 Laptop.
First off, its about three or four years old now, and has been in heavy rotation between five family members, and has accumulated numerous viruses and the HDD has filled up to the point that the computer is pretty much useless.
Also, I would like to say that before posting, I have searched online as much as I could to gain information about reformatting, but a few questions still remain.
I could not find clarification between "Product Key" and "CD Key" and I was wondering if there was a difference. One of the articles on this site regarding reformatting advised downloading "Keyfinder" if the CD Key or Product Key wasn't known, and it gave me a code. Then, another post on this site said that keys were usually located on the bottom of the laptop, and I located mine. It was quite different from what the Keyfinder gave me. It was labelled as "Product Key"
What I would like to know is, which one of these numbers do I need to acompany the reformatting disk which will enable me to reformat, and what course of action should I take in the event that I cannot find any of my disks?
(I dont think I will, I've been searching for days, and this computer has been with us through several house moves, I don't think I will find them.)
Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

Answer:Reformatting question - difficult situation

Good questions.. While product key, CD key (and activation key) are sometimes used interchangeably they all refer to the "key" required for paid products in order for you to use them. So you need to review the paid Windows and other vendor products you paid to use as they will all likely require a key. THEn you can figure out how to find keys by product.

If it might also help, here's a checklist to help smooth the reinstall process

Make sure you have your Windows install CDs
Review Add/Remove Programs. Make sure you have activiation codes for any purchased software.
> You can recover your Windows product IDs from your current installation using Magic Jelly Bean tool
Note programs you need to reinstall. Check if they're available for download online or you still have their download CDs
Backup all your personal files/folders
Use DriverMax to backup all your drivers (so they are available if needed after the reinstall)
Reformat and reinstall.

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My laptop computer is having quite a number of problems at the moment - sometimes when I turn the computer on after I've hibernated it, the hibernation data won't load and it will start again from scratch. Sometimes it takes ages for any icons to show in the system tray area of the taskbar when starting up.

I want to reformat the hard drive, but the problem is that my CD drive has some problems, too. When CDs are in there, it keeps reloading them - it will load a CD, then a few minutes later, it will reload it again as though it was just inserted. The CD drive itself keeps popping open randomly. I'm worried that if I try reformatting it with this CD drive, then the computer may end up seriously damaged, and I'd have to take it in and get it repaired.

My question is this: There is an old desktop computer at home with a CD drive. I also have a portable hard drive. I'd like to know if it would be possible to take the hard drive out of the computer, put it in the portable hard drive box, reformat it on the other computer, and install Windows on it. I know that I can format the hard drive on the other computer, but is it possible to install Windows on a portable hard drive in a way that when the hard drive is reinserted into the computer, it will function as if you just bought the computer? Or does this have to be done on the computer itself?

Answer:Hard Drive Reformatting Question

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i am likely going to reformat my computer due to a severe virus (see my other post). my brother told me to find the reboot disc before i reformat it, but i cant find the disc! do i even need this disc? i'm not even sure if my computer came with one. thanks

Answer:reformatting due to virus, quick question

no one knows this?

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I am about to reformat my hard drive, long story as to why, but I am starting from scratch. I know how to install windows, drivers etc. but one thing I am not sure about is configuring the RAID, as I wasn't the one who did it when we installed everything. I am assunming that when I reformat the RAID will need to be reconfigured? I have RAID 5 with three hard drives, each 500 GB. I have a program called Intel Rapid Storage Technology that "manages" the hard drives,but if I am correct I have to set up RAID before installing windows. Can anyone point me to a how-to page or explain how to configure the RAID the same way I currently have it?

If it helps this is a homebuilt comp, i7 930 2.8 ghz, 6 GB RAM, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, Gigabyte motherboard...

Thank you so much for any help.

Answer:Reformatting hard drive, RAID question


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I've been an XP guy for years, never owned a Vista or Windows 7 machine. I'm looking at building a Win 7 machine and I'm trying to figure out if I need to spend the money on an OEM copy or the "one install only" copy. How likely is it that a reformat/reinstall will be needed with Windows 7? I figure with several years of development maybe they've streamlined things a bit.

Answer:Noobie Windows 7 question - Reformatting ever needed?

Save yourself a few bucks on the retail version and get the OEM System Builder version, which basically comes with no support from Microsoft - that's the difference. You can reinstall it if required, and if you ever do have a problem with reactivation, you're entitled to call Microsoft and tell them to get a new key. Technically it's a one-shot meaning once you activate the System Builder edition, it's "locked" to that particular hardware configuration.

The reason most folks offer to Microsoft if and when they're in need of a "new" key to reactivate is the good old trusty "My motherboard fried, so I had to replace it and now I need a replacement key to reactivate my legit OEM System Builder copy..."

Takes all of 5 minutes on the phone (most of that spent waiting, honestly) and you're good to go.

That's about it. Same Windows, just no official product support from Microsoft, but you're entitled to a new activation key as required as long as you fib a little white lie as just explained, and if it's even necessary.

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Can anyone please help me?

I have tried at least 20 times inserting restoration DVD and select boot from CD/DVD rom but every time the HDD recovery utilities window does not come up.
Can anyone tell me why and how to fix this problem?

Note: do I need to create tools & utilities CD?, but under the Protect & Fix tab , there's no such thing.

Thank You

Answer:Question about reformatting Satellite A100 PSAA8Q

At first I must say that I don't know what you mean with ?HDD recovery utility?. As far as I know this older A100 has no HDD recovery possibility, just recovery media. That means you can install recovery image using recovery DVD only.

New notebook models have saved recovery image on HDD and recovery installation can be started using HDD installation option.

Anyway, to start recovery procedure from Toshiba recovery DVD media you have three options:
- Set CD/DVD drive as first bootable device in BIOS settings
- When notebook starts press F12 and choose CD/DVD
- When notebook starts press C buttons and keep it down for 10 seconds. It will force CD/DDVD drive to be first bootable device

Please try all of them and post the results.

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Currently I am experiencing overwhelming problems with a eMachines Desktop computer with XP Home.

I want to use dBan to wipe a drive and reinstall an operating system. Could someone please assist me in the steps. I've done it before, but I was able to use floppies. This time, there is no floppy drive. I can probably figure out dBan and the steps, but after that, how do I proceed with formatting the drive to accept Windows 98SE (which uses FAT32) CD. From there I will use an XP Pro upgrade CD. All this cause I just don't have a full version of XP available. (XP Pro Upgrade CD's are not bootable CD's.)

Also, I tried making this easy by booting from a Win98SE CD (full version), but it isn't a bootable disk, I guess. So, I just would like to wipe the drive w/dBan and format the drive and add operating system - and I need steps cause my biological memory is failing.

Please help as soon as you can, it would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank you.

Answer:Easy reformatting question? Need assistance/steps, please help!

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I have a laptop which has been giving me a hard time lately, and I need to reinstall windows 7 (for the 4th time in 1.2 years). I have never reformatted it before and all I have is the windows 7 upgrade disk that came with it (I got it back in September when all of those free upgrade deals were going on, it originally had vista.) I read that you can have activation issues after formatting the hard drive while installing using the upgrade disc. I think Microsoft let you do it if your email them to activate it, but I'm not sure and I don't know where you would do this. Since I don't feel like formatting it, installing vista, and then reinstalling 7, can anyone help?

Answer:Clean install with upgrade disk reformatting question

We frown on double posting.

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I've tried getting around the stop error (which many here will probably laugh at), and I can't even get to safe mode.

Is there a link to a faq for reformatting a HD with Windows XP? Will the stop error prevent this too? Or is reformatting a way to salvage a decent computer, even though one may loose all previously saved files on it? I'd just like to know what I'm getting into with reformatting... is it overly complicated/super advanced stuff?

Any advice and direction is considered a heroic rescue... Thanks!


Answer:reformatting HD because stop error wont allow safe mode (question)

If you copied down the error codes on the stop error, people here could probably help you, but since you have trouble getting into safe mode, I'm not too sure.

Reformatting is pretty intuitive. You just pop the CD in and restart your computer and an install program will guide you through the steps to install XP. Just remember to format the drive instead of just putting XP onto it or else your computer might just mess up again. Here's a guide of how to format your system.

I suggest you take down what it says on the stop error and post it here. Somebody may be able to help you. Try that before reformatting because it's a really big pain to reinstall all of your stuff.

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I am looking to add another hard drive to my computer in order to backup all of my CD's. What are the main things I should look for when buying one besides capacity? Does buffer size really matter? Thanks in advance for any help!

Answer:new harddrive question

Buffer size is less important for your application.
Most run-of-the-mill HDD available will be fine.

Watch the new SATA interface ones, you probably need a standard IDE unless its a very new motherboard.

As you don't give any clue what your hardware and operating system version is, we cant consider the limitations on size etc that may apply.

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Hello everyoneI had recently added a old hard drive i had lieing around the house into my computer , now i had this issue before and i ended up scrapping my  HD this is the same one but now i have a little more patients than i did back then and im willing to take in some advice for the problem.....Ok the problem is the Maxtor 160gbs will not take a clean install of x-p at all , it will not act as a master hard drive for my computer what so ever , the x-p bios set-up repeats itself over and over again with no installation what so ever going on it formats fine , but it wont install x-p ...... now i decided to link the hard drive up  on one of the spare IDE ports on the mobo which i did i load x-p and use my old western digital hard drive as the main hd and it boots fine i take a trip into my computer and there is my Maxtor sitting there d:\ drive it works and runs fully //// but heres the issue i have, i need the other IDE port for my computers dvd-rom drive ive tried connecting the slave into the main western digtal and then reconnected the same cable aka the master part into the other one with full power going into both hds i get a error message lsass.exe failed then i turn my computer off and unplug the maxtor and the computer runs fine ....Any suggestons lol Tony

Answer:Harddrive question???

I'm a linux geek not a windows one, but maybe your jumpers are set at both master or both slave. Or maybe it's one of those limitation within the OS itself.

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Question: harddrive question

i have a 80 gig hardrive, bu tmy comp, dell xps 400 keeps tellin me i got 70.6 total gigs left wtf?
i do u se hibernate a lot but i dont think this is a problem

Answer:harddrive question

If this is a new drive, then having less capacity is normal, due to formatting the drive.

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Ive got two harddrive's in my pc,20 gig +40 gig.the 20 is set to ide master and the 40 ide pc as all the operating system and programs and everything else on the 20 gig drive.Is there any way to merge the two in to one?so its like having 60 gig and not 20 n 40 .or to get the computer to use both as one.coz at the mo the 20 is nearly full so my pc is slow and the 40 is just sat there doin nowt.

Answer:harddrive question ?

What is your 20GB hard drive full up of?  If the main culprit is your Documents folder, you can fairly easily relocate that to the 40GB hard drive (and then defragment).

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Hey, i was wondering if there is anyway to get my harddrive to work on a completely different setup? I took it out of my AMD computer due to and tried to put it in my Intel setup and i couldn't get it to run. I tried running it as a slave but that didn't work either. The original harddrive works on the intel and the harddrive that i want to move works on its original setup. Is there anyway i can get the AMD hd to work on the Intel setup without having to reformat? Would just reinstalling the vista work?

Answer:Harddrive question...

If you are trying to take the HD from one machine and put it into another and boot the drive as it was installed on the first machine, You will in almost every case have many many problems. The processor is the least of them. You probably wont have the right drivers for any of the hardware, like video, NIC, USB, sound, etc. and most important the chipset is not correctly identified.

It doesn't matter if you install it as a primary or secondary drive or master or slave. It probably won't boot.

If your just trying to add it as a second drive the other machine to copy some data or something, just install it as a secondary master by itself, meaning with nothing else on the same ribbon and you should be able to see it by booting the normal drive for the computer.

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Question: harddrive question

i have a msi p43-c51 motherboard and want to buy a harddrive which is serial ata-600.
will it fit? i'm a bit of a noob sorry, but i think there's many of you that can answer me this in a blink of an eye.

thanks in advance.

Answer:harddrive question

Any SATA drive will work. The motherboard only has SATA II support.

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Question: harddrive question

I have no problem with my hard drive, but I was wondering could I upgrade it with a bigger one. I have a Compaq Presario 6301rsh desktop with a 40GB Ultra DMA hard drive.

Answer:harddrive question

Since you have an older PC, my advice would be to add an external hard drive for file storage.

Although you could install a larger one in the PC, you would also have to "clone" (transfer) the Windows OS and any programs installed onto it. You can find 500GB external drives for around $59. When you eventually buy a new PC, just plug the external drive with all your files into it and you'll be ready to go with no hassles.

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I remember hearing a while back having 2 Harddrive in your computer with only one of them having your OS and nothing else while the other one has all your normal stuff can make your computer much faster at boot up and running games and such. Maybe I heard wrong, but is this true and if so how do I do it? I know how to install a Harddrive yes but is there any special thing I would need to do?

Answer:Second Harddrive Question

adding a second hard drive might help performance slightly, but dont expect any huge gains.

the main benefit of having the second hard drive is storage, so you can backup important files and reformat the OS drive whenever you see fit...

however, for the small performance gain you would need to allocate Window's Paging file on that second drive. Paging file is hard drive space set aside for the operating system to use as if it were RAM. it moves temp files or other files that are currently in use onto the paging file so it can work with them.

by moving the paging file off of the OS drive, there is not so much read and write going on at the same time on the OS drive.

the only special thing you would need to do is make sure you correctly set the jumpers on the new drive and any other devices that share the same IDE cable. (Master/Slave)

then, once you boot into windows, open up disc management (Open control panel, go to Administrative Tools> Computer Management> Disk Management (on the left).)

From there you can partition and Format the new drive

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Question: harddrive question

hi allmy maxtor 120gb hard drive has died and gone to byte heaven my friend has passed on a spare 40gb hard drive with win xp on it as my old comp had win 98 i was wondering if it is a case of just swapping hard-drive for hard-drive or is there more to it then that thanks to all

Answer:harddrive question

It won't work as XP's activation will kick in.You would need to use your XP, in other words reinstall it to the 40gig drive!

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Question: harddrive question

Hi I have been noticing that my fan has been working a lot then I noticed that my harddrive light is on quite a bit.  I noticed that the CPU usage sometimes hovers between 40% and 60%.  I deleted my Norton System Works and that did not take care of it.  My computer also takes about 20 minutes to boot up.  I have a HP zd7000 running Win XP Home 2002 w service pack 2.  I don't know much about computers just adding and deleting programs, web, chat, etc.  Any ideas as to what is causing this? My computer runs fine after awhile even though the harddrive light will come on and the fan will be at its highest level for hours at a time.  It's not hindering my ability to surf the web or use any of the other programs on the computer.  Let me know anybody has any suggestions.  Thanks, Bob GPS the only software I've loaded is Iomega back up pro and I tunes.

Answer:harddrive question

The first thing i would do is run the regular maintenence on that machine...In My Computer right click on C: and select Properties. In the first screen click Disk Cleanup.Next from the same page select tools on top and run disk defragmenter and also Error checking...These will take awhile so grab a coffee and a magazine.Re-boot and see if the symptoms persist.If they do run all your protection programs as well and report back.

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