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Old 04-24-2008, 04:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How can i format HDD

I have a

Biostar TForce 550 SE motherboard

AMD 64 X2 DUAL CORE PROCESSOR

Seagate barracuda 80g hdd

Trying to format and reload windows xp home. I got part way through it and it started coming up with lost DLL files and then locked up. I had no choice but to hold power button until it shut off then waited a few minutes and restarted. It came up with the checkdisk and i let it run. It found a bunch of orphaned files and restored them. It got to the screen of installing windows with 39 minutes left and thats where it stops over and over. I would like to totally wipe the drive clean and start over but i can see nothing in the motherboard manual.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can i format HDD

The XP installer itself can see the current primary partition deleted and a new one created for replacement. Any 3rd party drive partitioning program or tool can do the same as far as seeing the current clutter wiped clean.

Once you have the detected primary listed and highlighted you simply choose the delete option instead of pressing enter to see Windows installed onto it. After the XP installer will display the total amount of unpartitioned drive space available for seeing a new primary created.

A good brief 4 page article including screenshots that will take you right through this is seen at Clean Install Windows XP - Create a Partition

The MS page for how to partition and format drives gets a little too wordy and lacks there as seen at How to partition and format a hard disk in Windows XP Once you have followed the basics outlined in the article you will have a good laugh at how easy it was to start with!
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can i format HDD

Load your windows disk in as if you where going to install it as normal, when given the option to select the partition you should have the option to delete the current partition, (XP should see it as if it was a new drive) then reinstall as normal.

Or if you just want to delete the data on the drive an start from fresh download Gparted an burn it to CD an format your HDD with that, make sure to use NTFS an not FAT.
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can i format HDD

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Originally Posted by Chris Chadwick View Post
Load your windows disk in as if you where going to install it as normal, when given the option to select the partition you should have the option to delete the current partition, (XP should see it as if it was a new drive) then reinstall as normal.

Or if you just want to delete the data on the drive an start from fresh download Gparted an burn it to CD an format your HDD with that, make sure to use NTFS an not FAT.
GParted won't format a drive. It's an effective partitioning tool but the XP installer would still be the thing to see a new primary formatted as part of the installation process. The one thing MS did right in that area is seen with Vista where you can resize as well as use a separate format option now seen on the installation disk as well as in the Disk Management tool for secondary partitions there.

GParted is still used here since either version of Windows tends to leave 1-8mb of unallocated drive space when using the installer to create a new primary. That's not space reserved by the installer for the mbr either as some would have you believe but a simple lack of full hardware detection. The Linux drive tool is a bit more thorough in that regard.
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can i format HDD

You can delete the partitions with Gparted, which is pretty much formatting. Delete the partition, and then reinstall your OS.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can i format HDD

Once you delete the existing primary you can easily create the new one while booted with the GParted cd. From there you restart with the XP cd in to see Windows go on as the installer formats the new primary.

For ease and unfamiliarity with GParted or any other 3rd party tools the entire process can still be performed with the XP cd by itself. Once you get a little more familiar with how to partition and format drives as well as seeing Windows installed you can take advantage of the far better results seen with the Linux tool.

It becomes second nature pretty fast once you have done it a few times. For the time being I imagine you are only interested in seeing Windows running without any fuss about downloading and burning a separate tool.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can i format HDD

Deleting partitions is not formatting. It just removes MFT records and file organization, but the data is still there, FBI and some company tools can recover it.

Formatting a drive is changing all values back to 0, better format utilities go over the drive many times randomly changing values from 0 to 1 and back and forth before settings all back to zero one last time.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can i format HDD

A program like Active Killdisk and others are more or less "zero fillers" that repeatedly write binary zeros to a drive to be more thorough then even a full rather then quick format an installer will see. That goes into a totally different catagory of drive tool there however for security like when selling a used system to insure all personal data is permanently wiped.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can i format HDD

Even Then if FBI or other servies wanted to find data on a HD they could, only way to be sure is to wipe the drive a few times, then physically destroy it into several thousand pieces, then scatter it all over the place.

Then I would feel safe.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How can i format HDD

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Originally Posted by Ste View Post
Even Then if FBI or other servies wanted to find data on a HD they could, only way to be sure is to wipe the drive a few times, then physically destroy it into several thousand pieces, then scatter it all over the place.

Then I would feel safe.
Irreversible chemical reaction works better to make sure it's never ever coming back; i.e. taking a blow torch to the platters . Although, if you're that paranoid, or diong THAT much illegal stuff...lol...
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