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Unable To Format C:

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#1 aminag


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Posted 01 January 2006 - 03:43 AM

First please understand I am not very literate in computers. My son's computer suddenly froze when starting up. Windows XP will go through the welcome screen (slowly) and then his background comes up with no icons. We tried to do the alt, cont, del but it tells us that it has been disabled by the administrator. After others tried to correct the problem with no success it was agreed we would reformat the C: and then reload all of his systems.

We finally got to a part in the start up where I could break out to DOS. When we try to change the drive with A:\>CD C: it replied Drive C: not responding or out of internal memory .

If we try A:\>format C: it gives us the standard warning and asks if we want to proceed (Yes/No)? if we type Y it just sits, any thing else just goes back to the A:\>

If we try A:\>Erase C: it tells us Out of memory error.

I have used my extremely small bit of computer knowledge up. Can someone help me? I would appreciate it (a teenager with a broke computer does not make a mom's life fun).

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#2 ssteve60


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Posted 01 January 2006 - 05:27 AM

This could possibly be a RAM failure.
If you're lucky and have more than one stick of RAM installed, try removing one. If the problem persists, re-install that stick and remove another.

If it is a RAM failure, likely the computer will speed up immediately when the offending stick is removed.... providing there is other RAM present.

As for desktop recovery, you can try entering Safe Mode (F8 on boot up) then try using System Restore from there. If your desktop comes back, then no problem. If not, you'll likely have to format and reinstall windows. If RAM was the problem, then reinstallation should now be no problem.

This may not be the problem but it can eliminate RAM as the problem and it's cheap and technically easy to do. It's worth a try.

#3 usasma


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Posted 01 January 2006 - 09:11 AM

Are you trying to format C:\ from the Command Prompt in Windows XP? If so, it won't happen (because Windows is still using the C:\ drive).

I'd suggest booting from a bootdisk to format - then, if you get the same error, you're most likely looking at a hardware problem.

As ssteve60 says, it could be a memory failure. Try running one of these free memory testing utilities to see if the memory is a problem (they're installed on a floppy and you boot from that floppy):

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#4 aminag

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Posted 01 January 2006 - 06:35 PM

Thanks for the information! Could I bother you further? As far as possibly being in Window XP when trying to format the C drive. The only way I can get to the dos prompt command is to do a hard restart with the mother board disk in the cd drive. Then when when it gets to the cd boot, I hit pause/break (I believe that is what does it, I always forget). This then takes me to the A drive prompt. This is where I try to format the C drive, change to the c drive, or erase the c drive.

#5 Herk


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Posted 01 January 2006 - 10:36 PM

What kind of computer is this? Do you have a Windows XP disk? You need to go to the BIOS and set the boot order to boot from the CD-Rom first, then with the XP disk in the drive, you can reformat and reinstall Windows.
You can either start over or just do a repair install. Here's some help for the clean install: Clean Install and here's one for repair install: Repair Install

#6 Rimmer


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Posted 01 January 2006 - 11:08 PM

Could I bother you further?

That's what we're here for! :thumbsup:

:flowers: to BC aminag.

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