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How to format C on a laptop without a CD

LFC1980 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-17
There's a box of laptops (all XP) that are going to charity. BUT all need to be wiped completely before being sent out.

Whats the best way to do so....there is no CDs with any of the laptops or a floppy drive on them.
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To the best of my knowledge, XP will not allow you to format the system drive within Windows. You would need some for of removable device or command.com and format.com on a seporate drive or partition. Even then you would need to boot to to a different drive/partition so that the XP installed is not running.

Another option would be to find an adaptor that will let you connect the laptop HDDs to a desktop/server and format them as slave drives individually. They do make USB to IDE adaptors that support desktop and laptop drives. You can find those for around $20 US and up.


whats about some sort of software i could burn onto CD and then boot into it on each laptop ?

If you are able to boot from a CD on all of the laptops, you should be able to use any windows OS CD to format the drives. You may be able to build a bottable CD that runs a batch file and automatically fdisks and formats the drives but I am not very well versed in building complex .bat files.

From your original post, I had the impression that booting from CD or floppy was not an option.
Steve AgnewSr. Systems Engineer
Follow the procedure below to make a bootable floppy disk.  Then copy Format.com from c:\windows\system32  

To copy this, go to a CMD prompt (start menu / run / cmd.exe click OK) type in:

   copy c:\windows\system32\format.com a:

Procedure information from help to make a startup disk.  Boot with the disk, format c:

To create an MS-DOS startup disk
The MS-DOS startup disk you create will allow you to boot into MS-DOS.

Insert a floppy disk into your computer's floppy drive.
Open My Computer, and then click the floppy disk drive to select it.
On the File menu, point to the name of the floppy drive, and then click Format.
Under Format options, click Create an MS-DOS startup disk.
Click Start.

Creating an MS-DOS startup disk erases all information on the floppy disk.

To open My Computer, click Start, and then click My Computer.
The MS-DOS startup disk only allows the system to boot into an MS-DOS prompt. The disk contains no additional tools.

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That will do it rather nicely from a floppy or CD

I have used and did all solutions offered to me, and I had no success. The question was " why does my laptop go off and on the internet"?  I have a Gateway M350 laptop with built in wireless.
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