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Formating on a Laptop without a floppy drive?

Posted on 1998-02-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have a Toshiba laptop without a Floppy drive and I need to re-format the hard drive. I'm wondering if this is possible without having to buy and install a new floppy? If it is what would I need to do in order to format and re-install windows 95.  
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Question by:bugged
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Accepted Solution

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wrussell051197 earned 200 total points
ID: 1127158
This is going to be tricky, and if you mess up, you are going to end up with a blank hard drive, and nothing you can do about it short of buying a floppy drive.

I'm assuming you are installing Win-95 from a CD-ROM, if not, disregard this answer.

Restart the computer in MS-DOS mode.
Once the computer is restarted in DOS mode, check to make sure that you still have access to your CD-ROM drive. If not, you are going to have to load the drivers for DOS mode. Once you have access to your CD in DOS mode, simply format the hard drive as normal:
FORMAT C:
DO NOT REBOOT YOUR COMPUTER...
at this point, the drivers for the CD-ROM should still be installed in memory, and you can simply type
D: (or whatever drive your CD is)
D:\> Setup
and it should install windows just fine... Make sure however that your version of windows does not require another version to already be installed...
You can also reinstall win95 without formatting your hard drive, but this usually doesn't fix win95 related problems...
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 1127159
This is kind of like shaving with a straight-razor while wearing a blindford.  One slip and you've cut your throat!
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Expert Comment

by:richb
ID: 1127160
You may not really need to format the disk.  Here is what I would do:

Run "chkdsk /f" to at least see what is biting you.  
Log onto the CDROM.
Delete everything from C: except command.com, autoexec.bat,
config.sys, and the system and CDROM drivers called up in autoexec.bat and config.sys.
  (c: remains bootable, with access to CDROM)
If possible, "sys c:"
  (refreshes the boot stuff on C:)
Install new operating system from CDROM to C:, abstaining from formatting C: in the process.
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Expert Comment

by:magigraf
ID: 1127161
bugged...

In my humble opinion, I do prefer richb solution here.
There is NO reason whatsoever to FORMAT your hard drive. (unless you want to solve a hard disk problem)
Have you forgotten the DELTREE command??
Just copy it to your root directory and use it to wipe clean what you don't want.

Also don't forget to keep in the root, the usual necessary files.

Regards

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Expert Comment

by:wrussell051197
ID: 1127162
jhance is correct about one slip... I would have to agree with them that if you don't need to, don't reformat, but if you have to, that is about the only way you are going to be able to do it.

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Author Comment

by:bugged
ID: 1127163
Great! This seemed to work. Thanks!
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