Solved: How to reformat a hard drive/downgrade from Vista to XP?

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stellablue19

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I am going to sell my old laptop on ebay and am trying to make sure it's working perfectly just as if it were brand new. Problem is, I have upgraded it from XP Home to Vista Home Basic, and am having trouble getting it back to its original XP state.

What I am trying to do is wipe out the OS altogether/reformat the hard drive so that I can start fresh and install from the XP discs that were shipped with the computer when I purchased it. Can anybody walk me through step-by-step on how to do this?

I have downloaded KillDisc, but for some reason can't write the program to a bootable CD from either of my machines - I get an unknown error. I don't know how to make Vista boot from a CD, anyway, so even if I were able to copy that to a CD I would have been stuck...

The machine is a Toshiba Satellite Pro M15-S405.

Any advice would be much appreciated! I really want to do this myself because it seems like something that should be pretty simple - It just seems like the challenge is in getting rid of Vista! :-( (Oh, and I no longer have the windows.old file on the computer since I have used a shredding utility to get rid of personal data - that might be contributing to the problem of downgrading to XP...)

Thanks!

Thanks!!
 
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Are you burning the image to a CD? You can't just copy the image to a CD for it to be bootable and work.

On this page; http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm

click on How to burn CD from ISO image file? When you click on that link a new window will open and you can download and install Active ISO Burner to burn the image.

Install Active ISO Burner, download the image file and burn the CD and it should be bootable and will overwrite the hard drive.
 

stellablue19

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I am following the steps below, but am stuck at Step One - finding my ISO path. Here is the screenshot - http://www.ntfs.com/iso_burner_free.htm. :confused:

I try to browse, and no matter where I browse to, I can't make anything happen that can get me to the step where I "burn ISO!". I tried choosing my CD/DVD drive, no luck. I tried choosing the folder where I downloaded the iso installation files on my hard drive with no luck. Also tried choosing my flash drive where I had also downloaded the iso installation files.

I'm trying to search for help on the Active Disk site, and on the internet (download.com etc...) but can't find any help to get me past this step. Any advice? Thanks!



win2kpro said:
Are you burning the image to a CD? You can't just copy the image to a CD for it to be bootable and work.

On this page; http://www.killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm

click on How to burn CD from ISO image file? When you click on that link a new window will open and you can download and install Active ISO Burner to burn the image.

Install Active ISO Burner, download the image file and burn the CD and it should be bootable and will overwrite the hard drive.
 
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Put the restore disc one in the machine and reboot. Look on the bios screen, it should say something on the order of push f2 to restore, reimage......it could be any key, not necessarily f2.

Hit that key and it should boot to the disc.
 
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Skivvywaver, the poster is not trying to reinstall Vista, he or she is trying to zero fill the hard drive.
 
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What iso file are you trying to burn? You need an image file (an iso) that you can specify to burn. You need to download the iso file from the link above.
 

stellablue19

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OK, I'm getting a step futher, maybe - but still problems. Here's what I have done...

1) * I had missed this step until just after my previous post - now I have done this -- "download bootable ISO image of active killdisk to burn CD" - I have downloaded this to my C drive and it is located at C:\Program Files\LSoft Technologies\Active KillDisk FREE Suite

2) So now I have a whole bunch of files within that folder, a lot of them are applications associated with killdisk and ISO burner. I try to run the killdisk active ISO burner from here, and now I get the correct path in "step one" which is - C:\Program Files\LSoft Technologies\Active KillDisk FREE Suite\KILLDISK.ISO.

3) I click on "Burn ISO!" and it seems to be working... but then I get this error message...

Error burning CD/DVD: Unknown/No Error!
As a workaround we recommend you to:
Decrease writing speed
Use other types of CD/DCD writable media
Update drivers for burner to latest version
Use other burner or burn on the another machine

So should I just systematically go through those steps?



Elvandil said:
What iso file are you trying to burn? You need an image file (an iso) that you can specify to burn. You need to download the iso file from the link above.
 
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win2kpro said:
Skivvywaver, the poster is not trying to reinstall Vista, he or she is trying to zero fill the hard drive.
Yes, I understood that part. The poster is also trying to reinstall the XP home that came with the machine, right?

The restore discs with XP home would wipe Vista and reinstall XP in one operation. Unless I am missing something this is being made harder than it should be.

The free space can be wiped by numerous programs after XP is reinstalled if that is one of the worries.
 

stellablue19

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Yep, I'm trying to get it back to XP. I tried booting the machine with the 1st restore disc in, but it still kicks directly into Vista unless I hit F5, then I can get the choice to start up in safe mode and all of those other choices, but none of them are to boot from the CD. I guess I'm not sure how to get into the BIOS screen ... is it because of Vista?

Oh, and other burning software - I have Roxio also.

And by the way - this board is so helpful, thanks everybody for taking the time to help me troubleshoot this!! :)


Skivvywaver said:
Yes, I understood that part. The poster is also trying to reinstall the XP home that came with the machine, right?

The restore discs with XP home would wipe Vista and reinstall XP in one operation. Unless I am missing something this is being made harder than it should be.

The free space can be wiped by numerous programs after XP is reinstalled if that is one of the worries.
 
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OK, I got this from a google search. Put the CD in the drive and reboot. Tap the C key while booting. Tap it like every second or two as soon as the machine shuts down. That is "supposed" to get it to boot from the CDrom.
 
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Also, if that doesn't work. Tapping f2 is "supposed" to get you into the bios to change the boot order.
 

stellablue19

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It's working!!! Thank you!!!!!

:D


Skivvywaver said:
OK, I got this from a google search. Put the CD in the drive and reboot. Tap the C key while booting. Tap it like every second or two as soon as the machine shuts down. That is "supposed" to get it to boot from the CDrom.
 
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