Fresh installation of Windows 2000 Professional

Posted on 2006-03-27
Last Modified: 2010-04-13

I'm trying to install a fresh copy of Windows 2000 Professional, but first I would like to delete the two partitions that I have on my hard disk. (Both partitions have also Win2K Professional as OS). But before doing that, I wish to format my drive in order change my file system to FAT32 since I'm not too happy with NTFS.

So I followed the following steps :

- First I inserted Win2K CD on my CD Rom drive
- I chose the option "Clean Install"
- My computer has restarted in Setup mode
- I chose the Setup option and not the Recovery Console
- Then a screen appeared and ask me to either begun the setup, to exit setup or delete one of the partitions
- I chose the delete option and press "D" several times, but nothing happened!
- So I was obliged to begun the setup...
- After the reinstallation I noticed that my computer was not totally cleaned. All my prorams have been removed but there was still a serious portion of data which has not been erased and some folders (like "WINNT") have duplicates.
- As I backed-up all my important data to another computer, I wish to clean this one completely and formatting it to FAT32.

Then I tried to format it using the Command Prompt, but I received the following notice :

"Format cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Format may run if this volume is dismounted first. All opened handles to this volume would then be invalid. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N)"

If I choose YES or NO, the reply is still the same that is: Cannot lock the drive. The volume is still in use.

Formatting in Recovery Console doesn't work either, I tried it a couple minutes ago. I also tried to delete my drive (C) by typing "C:\WINNT>DELETE C:" But it says "Access is denied". :(

What should I have to do to solve this problem?

Awaiting your reply.

Question by:sinanakcer
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    create, or download, you a win 98 boot diskette.
    Run the FDISK command which will completely wipe out the partions.
    Then create you a fat32 partition prior to next step, or just go on with setup CD.
    Then run your setup CD for fresh install.
    Been a long time since I did this, but pretty sure the steps above are correct.
    2000 and XP have a "diskpart" command, but the fdisk will work.
    Here is a link explaining the syntax for Fdisk

    LVL 2

    Accepted Solution

    I'm assuming you changed the boot order in the BIOS and booted to the Win2K disc...there will be a number of options once at the Windows setup, you want to install and not repair, then choosing either format using NTFS, format using FAT32, leave file system intact, etc...

    You'll want to choose format using FAT32 (I recommend NTFS but that's a different post), don't choose 'express'. It will then ask what partition you want to install on, choose C:\ (assumption being made here) and follw the prompts, this should get you going.

    'fdisk' will format as well once booted to DOS through the boot disc, once formatted, you'll switch drives in DOS to your CDROM drive (assuming D:), once at the D: prompt, type setup. Here's the boot disc...

    However, formatting through the Win2K setup should suffice. If this is what you already did, it sounds as though you chose 'leave file system in tact'.

    Good Luck!

    Author Comment


    Thank you for your reply! I have downloaded the necessary application file for booting my drive and will try it tomorrow morning. But for your information I haven't touch the boot order in the BIOS Setup, I even haven't enter into BIOS for a couple of months.

    Anyway, now something else is eating me... I begun to hesitate for the file system I will set before formatting the drive. You recommended to choose NTFS, but I'm not very sure about it. When I bought my computer in the year 2000, it had Windows 98 installed in it and the file system was of course FAT32. Three years later, in 2003, I set up Windows 2000 Professional as OS and continued with FAT32. I haven't met any trouble, only I had to wait approx. 4 minutes every time I started my computer (for the activation of all the programs). In the meantime I have never changed my hard disk, I use the same disk since 2000. It's capacity (with FAT32) is 18,6 GB. So my question is this: If I would decide on NTFS file system, will this capacity remain the same, decrease or increase? And also will it faster than FAT32?

    Looking forward to receiving your reply.

    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    The reason it came configured with FAT32 is that NTFS volumes are not recognized by Windows 95/98/Me. NTFS is more 'new school'. A couple benefits to NTFS, NTFS supports disk quotas, allowing you to control the amount of disk usage on a per user basis, NTFS supports file compression. FAT32 does not. The primary benefit, FAT32 drives are much more susceptible to disk errors than NTFS as NTFS volumes have the ability to recover from errors more readily than similar FAT32 volumes. One more note: the maximum partition size that can be created using FAT32 is 32GB.

    HD space should remain very similiar, however, if you're going to reformat an 18GB drive and start new, perhaps buy a bigger drive, they'll getting pretty cheap. You can buy a 60GB Western Digital HD for under 100 bucks....

    Hope this helps!


    Author Comment


    That worked fine! I succeeded to format the drive without problem and then installed a fresh copy of Windows 2000 Professional as I desired. I chose NTFS for the file system and the capacity remained the same (18,6 GB). When I will have more money I'll buy a new HD according to your advice.

    Thanks for your support!

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