How to Format Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by bmbavishi, May 28, 2005.

  1. bmbavishi

    bmbavishi n00b

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    I know that this topic has been discussed but i did not got it so.

    What my question is this.
    i have winXP home
    and i reinstalled two time the same OS. so when i start my computer it ask me to choose one of them so i choose the one works.

    now i want to format the whole computer and earse every single thing form my computer.
    so i try to format the hard dirve. and it gave me this error messsage saying:

    "Format cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Format may run if this volume is dismounted first. ALL OPEN HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N)"

    This dismount does not work it then says. "Cannot lock drive. The volume is still in use."

    what should i do.>>>
     
  2. ameoba

    ameoba [H]ardness Supreme

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    You can't format the drive the OS is on while running the OS.

    You should be able to do it from the OS install CD.


    Of course, if the the only reason to format is the OS selection menu, you can get rid of that by editing your c:\boot.ini (it's a hidden system file)
     
  3. MajorDomo

    MajorDomo [H]ard as it Gets

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    When I want a clean drive I usually do a low level format using the HDD's manufacturers utility which is downloadable from their website. You then partition the drive and install the OS......viola', Irish Spring clean :D
     
  4. mhenley

    mhenley [H]ard|Gawd

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    Call me old-school if you want, but I've always had success using the IBM disk utility Wipe. There is another one that works on the same principle called Zap. Both of these were made back in '96, and run in DOS, so a boot disk will be needed. http://www.bootdisk.com/ is a great site for boot disk images, and newbie-friendly write-ups that will save you the hassle of trying to find a geek to explain how to do something...

    The files for both of the utilities that I mentioned, including documentation on how to use them can be found at http://www.digitalissues.co.uk/html/os/misc/ibm-wipe-zap.html

    I prefer the old-school methods of clearing partition data for one simple reason, I want my booting drive to be C:\> when I go into Windows. XP in particular has had a problem with properly assigning drive letters when told to partition and format a drive after booting from the CD. If you already have the utility on a basic boot disk, meaning nothing is loaded but the command.com ( if you think I just typed a website, go to http://www.amishrakefight.org/gfy/ ), then it could take as little as 60 seconds for a Zap, or maybe 5 minutes for a Wipe. Simple, easy, fast, guarantees proper drive letter assignment, and could save you from having to reinstall all over again because Microsoft didn't implement a way to change the drive letter on the system drive...

    Have fun, and don't forget to update the drivers for all your hardware yourself, especially chipset, video, and sound drivers, because the windows update website is worthless for acquiring the latest versions.


    ***tips hat to MajorDomo for his suggestion about manufacturer hard drive utilities*** I prefer generic utilities that work for a drive regardless of manufacturer name, but I cannot deny that some of those manufacturer released programs have some neat little features that help keep a drive healthy and functional.
     
  5. bmbavishi

    bmbavishi n00b

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    Thanks.

    All i had to do was just put the windows Xp cd and follow the insturctions and it formated for me. thank you
     
  6. S1nF1xx

    S1nF1xx [H]ardness Supreme

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    N/M, you already got it. Guess I should read the whole thread next time. :eek:

    :D
     
  7. Phoenix86

    Phoenix86 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Then you'll really like Ultimate boot CD. :)
     
  8. mhenley

    mhenley [H]ard|Gawd

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    just remember that there's a difference between just your regular old generic "it'll do" format, and a true disk wipe and full prep format where there is no question of perfection...


    and yes, I know about Ultimate Boot CD, and although I like it, I'm still an old-school DOS utility fan for hard drive zeroing and prep... because there are some things that don't need anything more than a 1.44.
     
  9. MastA

    MastA [H]Lite

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    how do you do that full prep format?
     
  10. USMC2Hard4U

    USMC2Hard4U [H]ardness Supreme

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    I always do this when I want to format. I have 2 Raptors In raid 0 (16k stripe)

    1) I delete my Raid array
    2) I use western digital's utility disk ( I downloaded from their web site) and write zeros to both of the drives. ( write full zeros, not just to the first so many sectors)
    3) Set back up my Raid array to whatever I want.
    3) Use Win XP Pros CD to FULL NTFS format (not that quick format)

    and their you have it, Totally Clean slate and totally silky smooth :)
     
  11. MastA

    MastA [H]Lite

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    hmmm still that doesnt clean it up fully^^ i used to do that... but correct me if am wrong though...
     
  12. fl70

    fl70 Limp Gawd

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    Agreed. Zero the drive and start fresh.