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Reformat Vista without disk?


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#1 dagambler

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 07:21 PM

Hi there,

I have a Toshiba laptop (A350) running Windows Vista. When I start the computer it normally goes to a blank screen. If I tap shift while it reboots it will go to the safe mode screen approximately one out of ten times (the other times it does nothing but show a black screen).

I just want to reformat the hard drive and start over. The issue is that I don't have the original recovery disks (I can't even remember if I made them, it was a couple years ago).

I just want to reformat the computer and start over. I can deal with the loss of data.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can do this. I'm hoping I'll eventually be able to get myself to the c:

If all else fails, could I just install Windows XP? I actually have those disks.


Thank-you in advance for your help.

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#2 Broni

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 08:27 PM

Installing XP on a computer designed for Vista may be a pain, mostly because of drivers.

Your Toshiba may have recovery partition.

Hold down the 0 (zero) key and turn the laptop on. Keep holding down the zero key until the TOSHIBA logo appears, where you should start tapping the zero key repeatedly. Stop if the unit beeps or when the TOSHIBA logo disappears. The screen should flash ** HDD RECOVERY MODE ** for a split second, then load the Toshiba recovery program right from the hard drive.

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#3 dagambler

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:27 PM

Thanks for your help.

I got to the part where I was restoring everything to the out of the box settings. I clicked okay and my screen showed some fuzzy lines before turning completely black (as has happened at most steps when trying to do things with the computer). I'm wondering if the hard drive is pooched.

My fingers are crossed that my computer is actually doing something but it doesn't seem like it.

#4 Broni

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 09:32 PM

It could be number of things, hard drive, video chip, motherboard.
Hard drive, we can check...

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 (or http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=28744&hl=hard+drive+diagnostic)
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), to make the CD bootable.
For Toshiba hard drives, see here: http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Path=ServicesSupport/FujitsuDrivesUSandCanada/SoftwareUtilities#diagnostic

Note : If you do not know how to set your computer to boot from CD follow the steps HERE

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#5 dagambler

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 10:51 PM

Thanks for your help Broni. I have everything working fine now ... hopefully it stays that way! :-)

#6 Broni

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 11:09 PM

Could you reveal a secret of you've done? :)

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