View Full Version : Foramtting safely

17-04-2001, 10:14 PM
How do I format completely or partly??
If I format from DOS 'C:\format C:' I will have an absolutely empty drive? Does that include the BIOS? What files will I need to tell my PC that I have a hard drive etc? Because if I format it, it will start up in A:\ only, is that right.

I have been shown 'C:\format\s' which keeps system files, which ones? I want to clean out all my old windows\registry settings etc. completely and re-install Win98se.

Any hints/info on formatting appreciated.



17-04-2001, 10:49 PM
You need to make yourself a boot disk (if you don't already have one) or change your BIOS to boot from the CD-ROM or format the c: drive with format c: /s to transfer the system files (MSDOS.sys, IO.sys and command.com). When you format your drive this will distroy all data on the drive but not the BIOS so your computer will still find the hard drive! Reboot and reinstall Windows & all your apps.

Think carefully about what you need to back up before you proceed - mail, favourites, data files, ....

17-04-2001, 11:05 PM
There are several things you should know before formatting. Firstly, formatting is complete, you cannot format part of a logical hard drive. A logical hard drive being a specific partition on a physical hard drive, if a drive is not partitioned, then it only has one logical hard drive. Secondly, formatting is just a convienient way of saying that you are going to tell the computer that a hard drive is empty. Formatting does not actually delete anything, but rather it resets the FAT(File Allocation Table) such that your system will treat the entire hard drive as free space. As BIOS is not actually stored on your hard drive but in CMOS, it is completely unaffected by formatting. The first step after reformatting, is getting yourself an operating system back onto the newly formatted drive, so that you can use it. The easiest way to do this, is to change the BIOS boot sequence to attempt to boot from CDROM first, and to restart your computer with a Win98 CD in the drive. To do this, boot up your computer, and just repeatedly tap the Del key to enter setup. Once in setup, select BIOS features setup and press enter. In the next menu, select Boot Sequence, and using the PgUp and PgDn keys, change the option so that CDROM is the first listed item. Then press Esc, and select Save and Exit, press Y and then enter. If you now reboot your computer with the Win98 CD in the drive, it will start up the Win98 setup program. Of course, before formatting, you should ensure you have backed up all important information, and after installing the OS, there still remains the job of reinstalling drivers and applications, as well as windows configurations. After the OS is installed, it then remains to enter BIOS setup and change the Boot Sequence back to whatever it was previously. In all, formatting a hard drive is not a job to be taken lightly.

17-04-2001, 11:08 PM
Hi Scotty,
Hmmm! Interesting...

Okay question one...
Is you copy of Win98se on CD-ROM? or do you have a recovery CD that is now usually sold with new PC's?

question two...
Have you backed up all data to floppy or CD-ROM or Zip, i.e. have you saved all your work / art / novels / contacts / mp3's etc

question three
depends on the answer to question one ; )
If Recovery CD ROM then no Problem as this should set everything up for you, providing of course that you haven't added any new hardware like sound cards that have unpronouncable names and even harder to find drivers ; )

If ordinary CD-ROM then you need to create a start-up disk. Win98 will set-one up with cd-rom support, this will allow you to access your CD-ROM after you have formatted your C:\ Drive...

Other steps are required once you have created the startup disk. So cover this off first then we'll take the next steps...