format hard drive

Posted on 2000-04-22
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
i want to format my hard drive. i need to know what are the correct steps and how to keep my cd driver so i will be able to reinstall windows.
Question by:raanan99
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Author Comment

ID: 2739654
Adjusted points from 100 to 200

Accepted Solution

sorgie earned 200 total points
ID: 2739991
If you are using win98 and have a bootdisk it will give you CDROM support
If you are using WIn95 then go to and download a boot floppy with cdrom support. If you don't have a 98 you can get it there also.

Use the floppy to boot your machine
type fdisk then select the view option make sure you have a primary partiton and it is set to active

If not you can create one from the fdisk menu and set it active. If this is your present HD that you have been using then the partition should be set and active already

Exit fdisk and at the a:> prompt type
format C: /s this will format your disk and install system files.

once the format is complete insert your CDrom type the CDROM drive letter: to change drives to your CDROM  at the prompt type setup.exe or it may just autorun when you close your cdrom drive.

follow windows direction

Good Luck

Expert Comment

ID: 2739996
Assuming you have at least DOS or WIN9x installed.
- Open a DOS-Box
- type in     format a:
- type in     sys c: a:
- copy the following files from your HD onto the diskette:,,, himem.sys,

I will send you an autoexec.bat and a config.sys via email immediately after I get info from you.
Also, I'll send you a standard cdrom driver which will work with any ATAPI drive.

Just post your email address herein.

Best regards
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Expert Comment

ID: 2740002
oops...shouldn't be an answer, yet...sorry.

You'll need a file called "oakcdrom.sys". This is a general cdrom driver.

your autoexec.bat will look like this:
a:\mscdex.exe /d:mscd001

your config.sys will look like this:
device a:\oakcdrom.sys /d:mscd001

That's all you need to format and reinstall your system.
Your cdrom will be recognized. Then you'll format your HD with the format command located on the diskette (you've created right before).
Let me know if you need me to send you the system files and the oakcdrom.sys.


Expert Comment

ID: 2740468
If you are using win98, create a startup disk at control panel>>add/remove programs option.

just insert the startup disk you created to floopy drive and restart your PC.
When option prompt up, select the enable CD-ROM support option.

put your win98 cd into CD-ROM (let say your cd-rom drive is D:\)just type d:\dir and hit enter.This step is to try if your CD-ROM works, if there are directories in this drive, means that it works. After this, you can continue with formating (format c: /s) and installing win98.

If you are using win95, you can go to to get your right startup disk and your cd-rom driver, (usually oakcdrom.sys driver will works for most of the cd-rom)

After getting these, restart to DOS and type edit to autoexec.bat with this:

a:\mscdex.exe /d:abcd
and also edit the config.sys with this:
device a:\oakcdrom.sys /d:abcd
the above line looks like that because your cd-rom driver is in a:
if it is in d:\ , just change the line to d:\

try your cd-rom drive before you format!!

good luck!

Expert Comment

ID: 2740477
P/S: you need to restart first after edit the config.sys and autoexec.bat

Expert Comment

ID: 2740606
first of all make a starrt up disk under windows.  then find all the drivers u need in order to use ur computer e.g sound card, videocard drivers.
back up anything u want. also make sure u have a CD_ROM BOOT DISK (a disk with mscdex on it, this will alow u to use ur cd under dos in order to reinstall windows.  u should have one with ur pc on disk some where.

when ready to format ur pc, reboot it and put in ur start up floppy disk in the a drive it should boot u into dos and u should see A:\ appear as the prompt.

now format ur c drive ;  format c:

let it format ur C drive for u

when done remove ur disk, and reboot quickly put ur cd rom boot disk in (the one with mscdex on it) and let ur computer boot of it.  it should say something on the screen abour mscdex device cd0001 or somein similar.

put ur windows cd drive in ut cd drive type the drive letter in of this drive in dos e.g
e: or d:

this should be ur cd rom drive now, so simply type;

and if all goes well that should work well thats way i do it ur only prob will be if u dont have ur cdrom device drivers for under dos, do a search for them if u aint got them

good luck
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 2740777
The only advise I could offer is that once you have created your bootdisk use it and make sure it works and you can see your cd-rom prior to doing anything drastic to your harddrive. Dave

Expert Comment

ID: 2741541
1. click Start --> Settings --> Control Panel
2. Click "Add/Remove Program"
3. Select "Startup Disk", insert a blank floppy and select "Create Startup Disk"
4. After the stratup disk made, restart the machine with the startup disk and select "With CD-Rom"
5. On the DOS prompt, submit format/q c:
(suppose you want to format the C drive)
6. After format finish, insert the Windows Disc and start installation by submit "setup"

In fact, if your machine spport boot from CDRom, you no need to warry about CDRom driver for DOS.
However, if you want to have a floppy which can bootup CDRom, give me your email address and I'll send you a drive which can bootup most CDRom even from notebook

Expert Comment

ID: 2741597
I thought I said all of this???

Expert Comment

ID: 2741632
Oh sorry sorqie, I apologize for copying your secert method in harddisk formatting and startup disk making. In fact, I am too stupid even copy the other's answer which missing part of them.
And please raanan99, even you found that my comment can solve your problem more easily and simply and want to accept it as answer. Please don't do that because sorqie's comment much worth than mine.
I just simply read the question, give my comment if I know the solution, which is What I suppose everyone will do in expert-exchange.
Next time I will check clearly to make sure I haven't copy other's knowledge before submit comment.

Best wish,


Expert Comment

ID: 2742495
The person asking the question can select who ever they feel has solved their problem or helped to their satisfaction. No one referred to you as stupid. If you read the protocols used on EE you would not be so sensitive.
When people repeat what others say and the time frame is close it is understandable. When it is the next day you can at least reference others who have the same suggestions.


Author Comment

ID: 2743171
thank you.

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