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How do I format my hard drive in windows 2000 pro

Posted on 2003-10-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-14
I have continuous trouble with 2000 w/ sp4 (constant restarts). I did a dual boot 2 months ago and it worked ok until yesterday. Now it's doing the same thing. I want to format my hard drive and install xp home edition. (i've been told this is better) I don't know how to format the hard drive w/ win 2000. Can someone please advise me on what to do?? Thanks.
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Question by:cmiersma
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Rob Stone
ID: 9607376
Put in XP CDROM and boot from CD.  Then format in the text based setup.

You can't format the WIN2000 system drive whilst in 2000.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Rob Stone
ID: 9607389
If you are using NTFS then use the Windows 2000 CDROM and in the text based setup delete the partitions.

Then use the WinXP CD to create and install on a FAT32 partition. (I don't think XP Home supports NTFS).

Personally I would stick with 2000 over XP Home.  If you go XP go Pro.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Stone
ID: 9607398
You can also uninstall SP4 if thats when the problems started in Add Remove Programs if you took a backup of SP3.  Then just keep the critical/security patch's up to date.

You can use FDISK as well to remove the NTFS partition.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 9607410
Why cant you upgrade

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/howtobuy/upgrading/advisor.asp

Stone79 : xp home  support NTFS

Sunray
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Expert Comment

by:sunray_2003
ID: 9607417
Just right-click the hardisk part which you want to format and click on format
Then you can start formatting


Sunray
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Expert Comment

by:bkoehler-mpr
ID: 9607544
Download the low level disk formatter from your drive manufacturer, make the boot floppy, and format the drive.  I only do this on unstable systems to make sure the disk isn't the issue.  Be sure all (and I mean ALL) data is off the drive before formatting.

I personally don't like XP Home, and prefer XP Pro (can be added to a domain, has better security, Remote Desktop, etc).

If you still have stability issues after your rebuild run a memory tester (I prefer Memtest86), if that passes for a day or so run a graphical burn in tester (like SiSoft Sandra or BurnIn Pro) to see if your graphics card or CPU is the issue.
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Author Comment

by:cmiersma
ID: 9608336
Thank you all for your quick response. A few more questions:

Stoner79: My current installation of 2000 pro came on the computer. It has a pattern of becoming increasingly unstable and things suddenly discontinue working properly then when I receive the critical updates from Microsoft the SP4 renders it unusable, ie. can't connect to internet or only intermittantly and sudden restarts etc. I have the disk for XP home not Pro so I was hoping to not have to purchase another version. Let me just clarify, if I just put in the XP cd then I can just follow instructions to format from there?

Sunray 2003: I can't upgrade on an already unstable system can I? Besides I have the cd for XP Home so shouldn't I just format and do a clean installation? I appreciate the link to the upgrade page w/ the upgrade advisor but currently I can't even connect with the internet on that computer (I'm using my husband's computer in his office and going back and forth to my office to repair mine) I'm not sure I understand your last statement... "just right click on the part I want to format" where do I find which part I want to format? Shouldn't I format the whole hard drive and start over?

Bkoehler: I'm not sure I understand your instructions: I can't download from the drive manufacturer because I can't connect to internet. What do you mean make sure all data is off the drive before formatting, I thought that's what formatting does? in your comparison to home vs pro you said can add to domain, better security remote dest top etc. Do I need all that from a home office? I do run a small business from that computer which entales a great deal of online activity and I have anti virus software for security is this not right?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:bkoehler-mpr
ID: 9609058
If you are posting a question you probably have access to the Internet (this site), and thus the ability to download files from the Internet.

Low level disk formatters are distributed by hard drive manufacturers.  These programs allow for better formatting diagnostic information then generic OS formatting programs, being specifically written to work with the hardware.

In my lexicon the word data refers to files that are of value to me.  Formatting a drive clears all files from the drive, thus if you would lose data if you formatted the drive without backing up first.

I always recommend XP Pro over XP Home.  I find basic access control a must.
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/howtobuy/choosing2.asp

Either way turn on the ICF (Internet Connection Firewall).
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:bkoehler-mpr
ID: 9609127
Regarding the questions you asked of the previous posters:

Upgrading over the top of an existing OS should always be the last resort. Always start clean with a Windows OS if you have a choice.

Windows 2000 is a solid OS on most hardware systems.  OS stability becomes a software issue when poor drivers or unstable software is added to the system.

If you rebuild in XP and still have stability issues run the memory and hardware testers I recommended in my earlier post.
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Author Comment

by:cmiersma
ID: 9609549
Ok bkoehler,

I have access to the internet from my husband's office computer. On my computer, the one with the problem I can only get intermittent access to internet and sudden unexpected restarts. So far I've had this computer for less than a year and windows 2000 consistantly has trouble. Before yesterday it would do things like, pages and pictures would not load completely in web browsers and I would get error messages when closing outlook, and word, etc. frequent system freezes etc. Then yesterday I got an email from my anti-virus PC-Cillin  saying I needed to upgrade when I tried to upgrade it would not install the upgrade or uninstall the old version. Now it's inoperable but cannot be removed. It also had said that I needed to load critical updates from Microsoft. So I did which included SP4 and now my system will not maintain an internet connection (I'm on cable) and it will suddenly restart with no warning or reason why. I've been backing up my data as best I can in between restarts. I went through this same problem about a month ago and did a dual boot with windows 2000 but now here I am again with the same problem so It must be the operating system. I've heard that XP is more reliable and does not have these problems. I'm at a loss what to do but I've got to get my system running ASAP as I have client work this weekend and need my computer. What do you recommend I do??
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Rob Stone
Rob Stone earned 200 total points
ID: 9613002
If XP Home supports NTFS there is no need for a Low Level Format.  Just boot the computer with the XP Home CD in and run the setup.

When it gets to the part about which partition to install it on, there is an option to delete the current partition. Do that and then create a new one.  It will be blank then with a fresh install.

There's no need to over complicate this.
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Accepted Solution

by:
bkoehler-mpr earned 300 total points
ID: 9614256
I'm a bit concerned with the stability of the system.  I agree that rebuilding the system is the best testing solution, and the disk probably doesn't need a low level format.

Frequent reboots could be just OS stability issues, but you'd want to be sure.

I would do the following:
Download a RAM tester:
http://www.memtest86.com

Run the RAM test overnight, or at least for a few hours.  The system has to have issues for this to detect a problem, but if it does you know the source of your problem.

After installing the OS (before installing anything else) download Sandra:
http://www.sisoftware.co.uk/index.html?dir=dload&location=sware_dl_x86&langx=en&a=

Run the Burn in test continually for a few hours.  If your machine passes both tests you have a pretty good idea your problems were OS and not hardware related.
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Author Comment

by:cmiersma
ID: 9614994
Y'all are so wonderful helping me with this. Bkoehler, I tried downloadting memtest86 but after download is complete I try to open it and it says it is not an archive and to try downloading again. I've downloaded several times, to c: drive to a: drive, open from current location but I can't get it working. Should I try this again after I've formated and rebuilt? I have an internet connection at least for now but no doubt I will lose it soon. I'll wait for your answer but I think I should just do what stoner79 says and just do it now and then run the tests later.
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:bkoehler-mpr
bkoehler-mpr earned 300 total points
ID: 9616067
I just downloaded from the following link
http://www.memtest86.com/memt30.zip

I agree with Stoner79 (you really should reinstall).  I personally prefer and recommend a clean rebuild; upgrading over the current OS may bring the current issues along.

Run the tests after reloading the OS.  Memtest86 actually makes a dos bootable floppy, thus you could run this at any time, but Sandra would require a rebuilt and stable OS.

Best of luck.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:mrochac
ID: 9629673
Very simple, boot from cd, follow on screen instrtuctions. no matter what type of disk you are using, it will ask you if you want to format it either way before you install it. XP is not much different then win2k other then the pretty colour.

Resus
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Author Comment

by:cmiersma
ID: 9630874
Thank you Stoner79 and bkoehler for sticking with me on this. I did the install with XP and formatted by following the directions. I also ran those tests (memtest86 and Sandra) and everything seems to operating just fine now. It must have been trouble with the 2000 OS. Thanks again for all your help.

cmiersma
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Stone
ID: 9632548
Cheers :-)
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