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Format windows hard drive from DOS

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mig.gentry's Avatar
Member Since: Aug 12, 2004
Location: London, UK
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Ok, so i'm in a big need of help.

I've been trying to reinstall windows on a PC and have made a major balls up of it.

The windows disk i have will only install onto a fat32 drive because it boots from DOS, so i had to do some juggling of partitions and ended up with a large NTFS partition empty and a fat 32 with windows on. So i converted fat32 to NTFS, and combined it with the other NTFS (partition magic from powerquest) but i resulted in the whole drive (just one partition now) being labelled F

So i thought to neaten things up again i would rename it C

I did so but now i cannot boot into windows, the programme warned me of this but i figured it was being over cautious.

So basically i have one NTFS partition with windows xp installed but i cannot access it becasue DOS doesn't supprt NTFS drives.

I need a way to either: Reformat it to FAT32 so i can reinstall windows
OR a way of changing the drive letter back to F: which i reckon should allow it to boot.

All help is welcomed and i promise NEVER to play with PC's again if you can help me get this fixed (whats worse is i'm having to lend my iBook to the person whose computer I broke)
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Member Since: Sep 30, 2004
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Just use a boot disk or CD to get into DOS, then use Fdisk and completely delete all partitions and clean up the mbr using 'fdisk c: /mbr'. Then re-install XP by booting from the install CD.
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In DOS type C: FORMAT total wipe!
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A XP bootable cd should be able to detect the partition that you renamed to c:

Delete the partition from the installation and create a new one and format it with NTFS. Reinstall XP on the new partion on the c: drive and you should be set.

The only thing that is odd is that you said that the XP CD boots from DOS? You have to actually type setup.exe for it to start? If so that is a "bad" xp install cd. A proper XP should always be bootable. Check your disc boot order in the bios to make sure that the cd rom drive is listed BEFORE the hdd.
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Member Since: Oct 25, 2004
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yea it should boot right after you start up the system, it will clean the drive and reinstall XP for you. if you dont know how to get to the bios properties after the bios loads most PC will beep press F8 i think and that will bring it up then just go to the last tab i think that it is and then make the CD drive boot first then the HD second every thing else realy does not matter
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