Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Want to format partioned drive C:/D:


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Cathryn33

Cathryn33

  • Members
  • 39 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:48 AM

Posted 20 November 2008 - 02:02 AM

My apologies if this comes across as a silly question.

A while back I reverted a Vista system to XP on a secondary HD, which named itself N:

I did have plans to get a dual boot working but have no need to, so I would like to format the C drive, to remove any confusion my PC may have about having 2 operating systems installed (Even though it only uses XP). The C drive also has a recovery partition D, as its a HP system. I no longer need this and would like the drive to be whole again.

When I try to just format the drive in File Explorer, there is an error "Windows was unable to complete the format". I'm guessing this is some kind of safeguard in Windows. So I guess I need to boot to DOS using a boot disk? I have no floppy drive, can I make a DOS boot disk on a CD? And do I need to include a CD driver or something to get it to recognise it or is that all in the BIOS these days?

Also, would there be any risk to my system, having a clean C drive? The other option I'm considering is to install XP on the C, swap the data off the N then format it, so my drive structure is normal. But concerned the 2 installs of XP would conflict. My problem is I have about 1.5TB of data to shuffle around and only 1TB worth of external storage (1.5TB space between the two internal drives), so I can't just clean the lot and start again. Unless I buy another external I suppose ... *insert whinge about how slow it is to copy to and from* :thumbsup:

Oh dear, is this an operating system question or a hardware question?!

Anyway, I really appreciated the help on this forum last time I had a problem and look forward to hearing from someone who can make sense of my post.

Thanks in advance.

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 xXAlphaXx

xXAlphaXx

  • Members
  • 867 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:North Carlona
  • Local time:04:48 PM

Posted 20 November 2008 - 05:21 AM

My apologies if this comes across as a silly question.

A while back I reverted a Vista system to XP on a secondary HD, which named itself N:

I did have plans to get a dual boot working but have no need to, so I would like to format the C drive, to remove any confusion my PC may have about having 2 operating systems installed (Even though it only uses XP). The C drive also has a recovery partition D, as its a HP system. I no longer need this and would like the drive to be whole again.

When I try to just format the drive in File Explorer, there is an error "Windows was unable to complete the format". I'm guessing this is some kind of safeguard in Windows. So I guess I need to boot to DOS using a boot disk? I have no floppy drive, can I make a DOS boot disk on a CD? And do I need to include a CD driver or something to get it to recognise it or is that all in the BIOS these days?

Also, would there be any risk to my system, having a clean C drive? The other option I'm considering is to install XP on the C, swap the data off the N then format it, so my drive structure is normal. But concerned the 2 installs of XP would conflict. My problem is I have about 1.5TB of data to shuffle around and only 1TB worth of external storage (1.5TB space between the two internal drives), so I can't just clean the lot and start again. Unless I buy another external I suppose ... *insert whinge about how slow it is to copy to and from* :thumbsup:


Oh dear, is this an operating system question or a hardware question?!

Anyway, I really appreciated the help on this forum last time I had a problem and look forward to hearing from someone who can make sense of my post.

Thanks in advance.


2.5TB of storage? I wish I had that =P

Anyways, Windows will sage guard its operating systems, meaning if it finds an active OS on the drive it will not format it.

Now if your talking about renaming your main OS (WinXP) drive letter from N:/ to C:/ you usually can't do that. I haven't been able to do it when I tried, It would change a lot drive mappings and render a lot of programs if not the operating system useless.

I would back up all important data and format/install the operating systems how I'd like. However remove your external hard drive when installing Windows or it may install your External Hard drive as C:/ (Happened to me about a week ago)

If you boot a Windows XP disk you should be able to format both OS off your hard drive without problem.


Oh, and this was an Operating system question not a hardware =P
If I am helping you and I do not respond within 24 hours, please send me a PM. :)

#3 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,566 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:02:48 PM

Posted 20 November 2008 - 08:19 AM

<<When I try to just format the drive in File Explorer, there is an error ">>

<<so I would like to format the C drive,>>

<<The C drive also has a recovery partition D, as its a HP system. I no longer need this and would like the drive to be whole again>>

What operating system is installed on C:? Bear in mind that the system boot.ini file may be on C: and that deleting everything on C: may make the system unbootable. That means that all other drives will be inaccessible (possibly).

What you need to do, first...is delete any/all partitions that you claim you have no use for. That means...just use the XP CD.

The result will be unallocated space where your C: and D: partitions formerly took up space.

After doing that...you need to define your wants/whims as far as operating systems.

Louis

#4 Cathryn33

Cathryn33
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 39 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:48 AM

Posted 20 November 2008 - 08:06 PM

Thanks for the replies.

What operating system is installed on C:? Bear in mind that the system boot.ini file may be on C: and that deleting everything on C: may make the system unbootable. That means that all other drives will be inaccessible (possibly).


Vista is installed on C: but is unbootable (ie if I choose C from the boot menu it goes to XP). So I think you would be right that deleting everything on C could make the system unbootable :thumbsup:

After doing that...you need to define your wants/whims as far as operating systems.


I just want XP, preferably on the C and use the other as scratch disk for Photoshop and backup.

I think I know what I'm going to have to do:

I would back up all important data

to externals

and format/install the operating systems how I'd like


Thanks for the tip about unplugging the externals - I did last time I stuffed around with the system as I'm utterly paranoid about losing everything, but its good to have a reminder :flowers:

#5 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,566 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:02:48 PM

Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:51 AM

Hmmm...when you go into Disk Management...can you post a screen shot of what is reflected there, please?

Louis

#6 Cathryn33

Cathryn33
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 39 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:48 AM

Posted 21 November 2008 - 08:53 AM

Let me know if this needs resizing:

Posted Image

Disk 0:
HP C: = Vista Drive, non-bootable (see my post history for details)
D: = Recovery partition

Disk 1:
N: = XP Drive

Disk 2:
Just a USB drive that's sitting in the port atm, ignore.

Disk 3, 4, 5, 6:
In-built card readers, for SD, CF etc cards

Disk 7:
O: One of my externals, the other one is unplugged as just being plugged in seems to slow the system down when you access any file sections (e.g. loading Save As), so I just plug them in as needed.

#7 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,566 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:02:48 PM

Posted 21 November 2008 - 10:46 AM

OK, what a mess :thumbsup:.

This is what I would do:

a. Remove every hard drive that you do not want to be a boot drive.

b. Attach the partition/drive currently designated as N: to the first connector (SATA or PATA) which would be the boot drive.

c. Go into the BIOS...make sure that the boot options have the singular hard drive as the first boot option.

See if the system boots :flowers:.

Post back with results.

Whether it does or doesn't boot...we can do a repair install of XP that will change the drive letter to C: if it doesn't change automatically.

None of the other drives need to be considered at this point, just unplug/remove each from the system.

Louis

#8 Cathryn33

Cathryn33
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 39 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:48 AM

Posted 22 November 2008 - 08:15 AM

Okay, I unplugged everything and took the cable from the C: drive and put it in the N:, leaving the C: unplugged.

I checked the BIOS and the 1TB drive was set to boot.

Windows didn't boot up, I got a message saying something like: "Please restart and insert a bootable disk" .. well I didn't write it down but you get the idea. Looks like the ...

system boot.ini file may be on C:


indeed.

So, I guess the next step is to boot from the XP disk and repair the install. Will this wipe everything from my current setup? I am guessing so anyway. I've backed everything up to the externals and I think I've located all the drivers I used last time (the system is too new for XP to have the drivers built-in or something, which makes reinstalling a bit of a nightmare for someone like me).

The only question remaining is whether its worth doing. I've been having some odd lockups, can't find any viruses on the system and wonder if its because there is a Vista ghost floating about, so would just like to clean things up a bit to minimise the crashing. So I suppose it is.

I don't suppose its possible to just copy the boot.ini file off onto the 1TB drive? No, that would be too simple!

#9 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,566 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:02:48 PM

Posted 22 November 2008 - 09:03 AM

I've not tried anything in the way that you've approached it...so I can only outline what I would do :thumbsup:.

I would just do a repair install, as I previously stated, on the single drive. That will give you new system files, the drive letter will change to C:, and your boot.ini file will be set up properly.

No data files will be adversely impacted, no programs will be adversely impacted...but you will have to reinstall critical updates which have appeared since the preparation data of the CD used. If the CD contains SP2, you will need to reinstall all critical updates since SP2 (over 100 of those).

IMO, the easiest way to do such would be to install SP3 on the system, after it's running properly. Make sure that the Windows firewall or some other firewall is active before doing any critical updates.

I've not tried to move the boot.ini file...in fact, I don't see how such would be possible. If you boot into Windows, you should not be able to move system files. You should be able to copy it and then move it...but I believe it would definitely need to be edited in such case...and I don't think you can do that from another install. You can try it, if you like.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=h...mp;aq=f&oq=

Louis

#10 Cathryn33

Cathryn33
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 39 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:48 AM

Posted 22 November 2008 - 10:28 AM

The repair install sounds good, I didn't realise I could do that without losing everything.

Thanks so much for your help, hopefully I'll post back in a little while saying everything's perfect :thumbsup:

Edited by Cathryn33, 22 November 2008 - 10:29 AM.


#11 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,566 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:02:48 PM

Posted 22 November 2008 - 11:01 AM

...LOL...and if things don't work the way we planned, we'll try again :thumbsup:.

Louis

#12 Cathryn33

Cathryn33
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 39 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:48 AM

Posted 22 November 2008 - 12:20 PM

Well, the good news is I now have a 1TB XP bootable C: drive :thumbsup:

The bad news is I have to reinstall all my drivers and programs as although they are still on the HD, they don't actually run. Guessing its partly because they're looking for N:/ and partly because they aren't installed with Windows (there is almost nothing in the Add/Remove Programs section. I had prepared myself for that anyway, so just in the process of getting the system looking normal, etc.

Just considering whether I should reformat the drive and go through the Windows install again .. or do you think it will be fine to just delete the old program data and start again with new installs? I don't want old stuff floating around confusing the system.

#13 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 56,566 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:02:48 PM

Posted 22 November 2008 - 03:37 PM

What type of disk...did you use to conduct this repair install? I suppose that I should have asked this before now, but I tend to always think of MS XP CDs (because I have no other kind).

A MS XP CD should have left all programs fully operational.

Louis

#14 Cathryn33

Cathryn33
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 39 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:48 AM

Posted 22 November 2008 - 08:09 PM

Err, its a green book with a CD attached ... Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition. Does that help? Red spine that says "For distribution only with a new PC", although in fact I bought it with a hard drive, which is also fine according to the computer shop.

I'm in Australia and its "Licensed for distribution only to specific countries within Asia-Pacific", but I wouldn't think that would make a difference - it all seems very american in the language, defaults, etc.

#15 Cathryn33

Cathryn33
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 39 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:04:48 AM

Posted 22 November 2008 - 08:15 PM

Actually, it looks like I may have jumped to conclusions thinking that applications don't work. My virus protection and the first office program (Excel) I tried both had errors so I thought none worked, but after having a sleep I'm now going systematically through the programs from Program Files in the File Explorer and most seem to be working.

Sorry about that!

ETA: The error I'm getting with the Office applications is "Not enough memory or disk space to run Word/Excel/etc" Now, I have nothing open except IE (haven't sorted Firefox out yet) and File Explorer. I have 4GB memory intact during the memory count on reboot, but just noticed I only have 3.25GB when I go to Control Panel/System - not sure why that would be? I have 4x 1GB sticks installed. There is currently 343GB free on the HD.

Edited by Cathryn33, 22 November 2008 - 08:26 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users