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Naraku Kasai
27-07-2002, 12:16 PM
I was meant to format it last night, but I've never formatted a computer before, so I didn't know how to do it. I went into Windows help, and then searched their online Knowledge base for the answers but I couldn't find them. I can do everything fine up till the actual formatting, I mean the instructions are simple. The problem is that it says you can't format a drive you're using, which is fair enough. But I can't do it any other way. I'm assuming you must have to go into MS-DOS mode or something to that effect. Anyway, I was hoping for some ideas from you guys and girls. You could even turn it into some sorta FAQ if you had the energy, unless it's an idiot problem and I just missed something in the translation :)
Looking forward to your responses. -Nk.

Dylan
27-07-2002, 12:30 PM
Back up important Data to CD/Remveable media.

Create a startup disk. (add/remove programs > Start up disk)

keep it in the drive and reboot.

When it boots there will be a list of options. choose 'start with cd-rom support' (i think).

when a prompt comes up with A:\> type format c: (i think there is a extra command for quick format but i forgot it.)

It will come up with a warning. Just press Y.

Done. Your hard drive is now empty along with all you problems.

godfather
27-07-2002, 12:34 PM
By default the startup disk may not have format.exe (or.com??) on it, depending on the version of windows. Make sure you copy it across.

Heather P
27-07-2002, 12:35 PM
What operating system?

FAQ#01 details how to setup Windows 98. Suggest reading it BEFORE doing the following. I intend to add the following to the beginning of the FAQ but haven't done it yet.

First BACKUP!
Data, address book, emails, favourites, templates, downloaded zip files, anything else obscure that are non standard.

Second create a startup disk if you do not already have one
Start; Settings; Control Panel; Add/Remove Programs; Start up Disk; Create Start-up disk

Third
If you want to repartition your drive
Start; Shutdown; restart in DOS mode
type "fdisk"
on completion make sure primary drive is set to c:

Fourth
Put start up disk in drive
Restart

(If computer doesn't start using a: drive you will need to go into the BIOS and change the order of start to a: as a first drive)

type "format c: /s/u" (unconditional format with system files)

restart with the a: disk in place (otherwise you will not be able to access the CD ROM)

follow FAQ#1

Naraku Kasai
27-07-2002, 01:05 PM
Great, now all I need is a Windows 95 CD.
Thanks for the help Dylan. -Nk.

loser
27-07-2002, 03:38 PM
why the /s switch for the format?... when you re-install windows it's gonna chuck the new system files on there anyway, so there's not much point. I can't remember if startup disks use the "custom" autoexec.bat and config.sys from your hard drive or just default ones, but say there was a problem in your ones on the hard drive, then you wouldn't want them copied to the startup disk and then back on to your HD after you format would you?...
besides, you advise to reboot with the startup disk in, so again the files on your hard drive are not used until after you reinstall windows anyhow...
I never use the /s switch when reformatting.
something to think about anyway.... ;)

Heather P
27-07-2002, 04:28 PM
There are a number of ways to reformat - all of which are correct.
eg
- later model machine set the BIOS to CD first so you don't need system files
- partition, copy CD to a d: drive, start up without a system disk - need system files on C:
- copy generic CD drivers to DOS so you don't need a system disk - need system files on C:
- use the system disk you created when first installing your OS (if you can find it)

Then there's the size of your disk - whether or not to partition....

Part of the reason for not amending FAQ#1 is I need to think these things through. Ask 10 people and they'll find 10 ways of doing it (and probably 7 out of 10 will work)

Naraku Kasai
28-07-2002, 01:57 AM
That last comment you said seems pretty true Heather, I think I'll re-word my question now and see if someone can give me something nice and specific since it seems a lot harder than my original plan of "Right click and press format and pick the options I want".
Anyway..I'll reword it in the monring.
Time for bed now.

Alistair
28-07-2002, 12:06 PM
Fisrt make sure that your boot disk loads the CD Rom
The easiest way is to insert your bootdisk and restart you computer.
Select dos prompt when given the option then type in "FORMAT C:"
and that will then ask you if you are sure that you want to delete all the info on your hard drive,type "Y" and wait whilst the formatting gets done.
This should take 2-10 mins depending on the size of your hard disk.
Once done restart your PC with the bootdisk in and this time it will stop at the prompt a:
type in D: then hit enter(you can replace D with whatever letter your CD Rom is)
you should now be at the D: prompt
type in "CD D:\WIN98"
You should now be at the prompt "D:\WIN98"
Type in CD WIN98\SETUP.EXE" then hit enter and it will begin to reload windows off the CD

Alistair
28-07-2002, 12:07 PM
Fisrt make sure that your boot disk loads the CD Rom
The easiest way is to insert your bootdisk and restart you computer.
Select dos prompt when given the option then type in "FORMAT C:"
and that will then ask you if you are sure that you want to delete all the info on your hard drive,type "Y" and wait whilst the formatting gets done.
This should take 2-10 mins depending on the size of your hard disk.
Once done restart your PC with the bootdisk in and this time it will stop at the prompt a:
type in D: then hit enter(you can replace D with whatever letter your CD Rom is)
you should now be at the D: prompt
type in "CD D:\WIN98"
You should now be at the prompt "D:\WIN98"
Type in CD WIN98\SETUP.EXE" then hit enter and it will begin to reload windows off the CD

kiwibeat
30-07-2002, 11:17 AM
http://www.cyberwalker.net/faqs/how-tos/reformat-reinstall-win98.shtml

good to read up