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Solved: How to format hd WITHOUT reinstalling XP?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Pistol Slap, Jul 4, 2007.

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  1. Pistol Slap

    Pistol Slap Thread Starter

    Mar 16, 2007
    I have a drive(A) that I was using as a temporary OS while I scanned another drive for lost files, and now I want to wipe it and use it as a storage drive.
    Even when I switch slave/master priorities between it and the other drive(B) I reinstalled Windows on, there is always a conflict where A is always given boot priority over B, so I can't boot up with the windows on B to format the other drive.
    I am simply trying to get the one drive(A) back to the state it was when I bought it, so it can be used as a data drive.
    I tried using Recovery Console FORMAT command by 'FORMAT c: /FS:NTFS' but the first time apparently it formatted it, but it didn't work (everything was still on the drive), and the second time, which is where I am at now, there is still a boot confilct where I cannot even boot B up with A plugged in because I get the error 'ntldr is missing' every time.

    Please keep in mind that whenever I format a drive or do any sort of 'dangerous' operations of the sort, I always completely disconnect any other drives, so there is no danger of formatting the wrong one.

    I would think it would be easy to get a drive back to its store-bought state, but it really doesn't appear to be.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. ozrom1e


    May 15, 2006
    Install the drive as a slave drive on the secondary IDE cable and when the drive is recognized by windows use the format to do the format and you are all set. Use the format command when in my computer right click on the drive and left click format.
  3. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

    May 24, 2003
    First Name:
    If you can boot up B when A is disconnected then with just A connected boot up with your XP CD and do as if you are going to install XP, ie don't press R.
    When you get to the 'where to install to' screen Delete the partition then exit the install.
    Now re-connect B and boot up XP and use Disk Management to format A.
  4. Pistol Slap

    Pistol Slap Thread Starter

    Mar 16, 2007
    Actually, I solved it. There was a very practical reason why these things were not working properly. Before I posted this I did all of what you suggested and more, and the fact that it was not working was the illogical part. Oddly enough, I decided, ok, if it keeps giving the wrong drive boot priority, then let's do the most retarded thing.
    So I switched the drives manually so the data drive was master and the boot drive was slave, and it worked just fine.
    How odd, I thought, but completely coinciding with the illogics that had been taking place already.
    I still had another problem, however: the problem of my pc continually 'forgetting' I had hard drives, and crashing, not detecting them until I disconnected them and reconnecting them. A sh1tload of machine check exceptions that I knew weren't caused by a faulty hard drive, cuz i just got a new one and it still happened on it, and not consistantly with either of them.
    All this was making my job much more difficult than it need to be.

    Now, one large thing I had noticed was that there was huge amounts of dust inside my tower(3 years worth, even more because of my frequent hard drive problems I ran it with the tower wide open), chillin out with all my hardware. I suspected this may have been impeding performance.
    So I completely unplugged and dissasembled it, deattatched every piece I could, then used a fan and compressed air to blow the sh!t out of it. Now do you believe this? There were fekkin SPIDERS and webs in my tower!! How rude! I even had to use tweezers to get rid of deep-rooted dust bunnies. Damn I was thorough. After I put it all back together and it looked brand new again, I plugged it back in and its working better now than it has in well, two years.
    And oddly enough, it stopped being confused about boot priority, and I had to switch the orientations back to their logical positions to have it work properly. (I did have a slight bit of confusion lol when the boot list showed my Channel 0 Master as a random assortment of ASCII and greek letters and just wouldn't boot, and I had no slave. I quickly realized that I had both of the drives I was using set to master and my poor pc just didn't know what to think or do.)

    But would you believe it? Such a multitude of insane illogical happenings and their resulting torrents of questions was solved by simply doing a through hardware cleaning. Goddamn. That's almost a joke.

    Let that be a lesson to those of you who are as smart as I was prior to yesterday.


    -Pistol Slap-
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