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Thread: Reformat

  1. #1
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    Reformat

    Hey guys, people around here seem to know about this. I've got a dell latop. It got a bad bit of virus, and I can't get it to clean. I've had other issues with it as well. I've decided I wish to reformat the drive, and reinstall Windows XP Pro. System Info:

    NTFS File Storage
    55 GB Hard Drive
    CD/DVD-RW Drive
    Windows XP Pro

    Now, I don't wish to screw this up. While searching online, I only seem to find info on a clean wipe of Windows 98, or ME and then install XP. I have XP, I wish to format the drive (wipe ALL the data) and install XP again. So, can anyone assist me in this?

  2. #2
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    Put in the cd dell gave you and then reinstall windows it should format then install a new copy of windows

  3. #3
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    Aye. Put the disk into your computer, then restart it. Choose to restart from the disk (hit any key) and then choose reformat over [then choose the correct partition, if you only have one then choose that.] Next, wait for it to reformat, usually a blue screen with yellow text, a yellow bar going from 1-100. Once thats done, it will automatically restart, and don't boot from the CD this time-- but dont take the disk out. Then let it reinstall XP again.

    Make sure you have your Product Registration Key!

  4. #4
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    fdisk is usefull

  5. #5
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    My suggestions: Back up all critical files, either to another hard drive, another machine (via network), or burn some to a cd or a dvd.

    Go into bios and put your cd rom drive as the first boot device

    Put in your windows install cd, then boot from it, it will analise your pc. Then you will get to some stuff about partitions. Naturally click on windows drive c (windows likes to be on c, you can put it on another drive (the drives letters are assigned by ide and location on ide) but if you do this you will not be able to take out any drives before that drive and have windows boot properly because the paths will be broken), it will come up with a screen saying you need to format, if you want to type f (I believe it is f). I usually choose a quick format, this is much faster then a full format of the drive, and a full format is generally not neccessary, either way all the data is gone, a full just goes by bit by bit and fills the drive with null date, while a quick fomat just puts in a character that says do not look at this file, so windows cant see it and it is therefore non-existant. After that sit back and the installer will do the rest, even reboot etc.

  6. #6
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    Thanks. It turned out rather easy. Put in the XP disk, went to the recovery console, and simply typed

    format C:

    Easy, no? Format only took somewhere round a half hour or so. Full format. XP installed very fast, and I had it back up and running (and running a lot better, I might add) an hour after that (had to resintall the drivers, antivirus, redownload programs I use, ect). That's for the advice. Nice and clean.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by MstrBob
    Thanks. It turned out rather easy. Put in the XP disk, went to the recovery console, and simply typed

    format C:

    Easy, no? Format only took somewhere round a half hour or so. Full format. XP installed very fast, and I had it back up and running (and running a lot better, I might add) an hour after that (had to resintall the drivers, antivirus, redownload programs I use, ect). That's for the advice. Nice and clean.
    Thats the way I normally do it, works great.

    I find if you just wack in the XP cd and reinstall windows, it doesn't actually format the whole drive.

  8. #8
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    Why would you type in format c? Why would you use the console? You can format the drive during the installation process of windows.

  9. #9
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    reisnstallation

    You are correct.
    quickest way would have been to boot from xpcd. If you follow the prompts to install windows it asks which partition to install in. You can't install 2 copies of xp on the same partition so you get the option to delete the partition and then can quick format (ntfs or fat32). Windows then carries on installing.

    This method would have saved you about 45 minutes.

    dave
    There are no absolutes

  10. #10
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    I initially just read lakers' post, popped in the CD, and merely had when I booted from disk, I wasn't immediately presented with a choice. Thus, why would I go to install XP? However, I saw Recovery Console, and went there. Typed 'map' and got it brought up my partitions. I only had one. so I formatted C: Was rather easy. I was thinking more of reformat, than install. I don't see how much of a difference it actually would make. But since the virus had infected a number of window processes (Several, but I remember one being smss.exe) I don't think I would particularly trust it. At any rate, virii are gone, XP installed. Just as quick, how much faster would it really have been the other way?

  11. #11
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    Talking speed

    I was letting you know for future reference. By doing it the way I stated before you could have saved quite a bit of time as you would have quick formatted the drive which would save 30 minutes and also it would have been a continuous process rather than rebooting.

    The way I described would also have been a better option as you had a virus. There are viruses that reside in the MBR(master boot record) and a reformat will not destroy it. the fixmbr command from the recovery console will sometimes not remove it. The absolute guaranteed way would be to destroy the partition information and then repartition and then reformat.

    I am only trying to help you in regards the future.
    There are no absolutes

  12. #12
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    I reformat probably every 2 months. Its not really planned, I just do, it might be because I am shuffleing around drives, or whatever. But it is no big deal to me any more, I can get everything back to normal fairly quickly. I just install programs like mssql, dw, and ps as I need them and get all my configurations done right away and my updates done right away. I can do it all in about two hours.

  13. #13
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    reformatting

    If you do are reinstalling that often why not modify your boot CD to make it an unattended install. My CD automatically loads all the drivers for my sound card, nic, video,audio & m/board drivers. I don't have to tell it my name,location,cdkey etc etc.

    Due to the nature of my work, I am constantly installing, removing buggy programs so it was in my interest to do it. It isn't that complicated. There are plenty of articles on the internet telling you how to do this.

    dave
    There are no absolutes

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