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Old 07-08-2008, 03:48 PM   #1
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Default Need help formatting my harddrive?

I'm trying to format a dell desktop computer that my friend gave me. When I open the command prompt and type format c:, I get a message saying that the volume is in used and needs to be dismounted first. It gives me an option to dismount the harddrive, but then it says it can't do it. Is there a way to start the computer in dos-mode so formatting the harddrive would be easier?
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need help formatting my harddrive?

Try popping in a XP install CD and boot to that. You should then be able to delete the current partition and reformat it.
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Old 07-08-2008, 04:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need help formatting my harddrive?

i have done that and when the computer restarts to install it, i get an error message saying that a .sys file is corrupted and then it will just restart itself
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Old 07-08-2008, 05:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need help formatting my harddrive?

Do you have the BIOS set to boot to CD first?
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need help formatting my harddrive?

No I don't think I do will that solve the problem?
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need help formatting my harddrive?

Yes it should. Booting to the CD bypasses the OS installed on the computer. From there you can delete the current partition(s) and then reformat the drive as you like.

To enter the BIOS setup. I believe you press either DEL or F2 at boot-up. If I'm not mistaken, pressing F12 at boot will take you to a screen asking which device you want to boot from. If so, Select the disc drive with the XP CD in it.

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Old 07-08-2008, 07:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Need help formatting my harddrive?

For starters, to the OP, you can not format a c: drive while Windows is running from it, it is impossible.

Is the disk you're using an XP disk? or a Dell restore disk?

Atomic Rooster is correct in what he is telling you but I believe you're not giving us all the relevent information.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Need help formatting my harddrive?

I got it to work thanks for all the help guys!
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