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clean hard drive

Posted on 2007-03-31
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I have two operating systems on an older machine.  Windows 2000pro and xp.  I would like to erase 2000 but cannot access the program.  At startup the option of which OS to use is there but it won't let you select 2000.  When I install the 2000 disk it won't open.  When I try to remove xp it says it is unable to do so.  How do I erase both and start over?
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Question by:Marget
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17 Comments
 
LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:Yuray
Yuray earned 25 total points
ID: 18828613
do you have any installation disks(2000, xp)? go in your BIOS and in advanced settings adjust the first boot device to be able to boot from the CD. Then boot from it and there you will be able to format any of your partitions.
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Expert Comment

by:r-k
ID: 18828828
Alternately, if you want to do a secure erase, so no one can ever recover data from the drive, then download the bootable floppy or CD from the following site and run it folllowing the directions:

 http://dban.sourceforge.net/

Caution: don't use the above without backing up anything that may be useful - it erase the entire disk forever.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18831293
or use a bootdisk from www.bootdisk.com
run fdisk from it, and delete all partitions
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 18832408
You should just boot the XP disk and do a clean install.
When tou get to the disk space and partition section,just delete the partitions,recreate and reinstall.
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Author Comment

by:Marget
ID: 18837675
It will not allow me to format the drive, either in 2000 or xp, it says the drive is in use. any help with that?  Maybe I'll try the bootdisk,  I want to be able to use the drive again.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 18838302
Did you use a drive overlay program at any point in time?(Maxblast,Seatools,etc)
Sounds like you got something messing with the partition tables.
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Author Comment

by:Marget
ID: 18838926
No, I haven't allow I don't know the previous owner of the machine.
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Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 18839340
How big is the drive?
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LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
Sylpheed777 earned 50 total points
ID: 18841245
If you don't have any data that you wanna get from the 2 OS,s you can always just boot using a XP bootdisk. and format it that way. Destroy the Drive partition completely and then reformat.

using a bootdisk to read might have problems reading NTFS partitions.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18841617
fdisk has no problems with NTFS
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Author Comment

by:Marget
ID: 18843258
The drive is 40 g.  I downloaded a dban boot disk.  It finished without changing anything saying it had experienced bad sectors.  No change to the machine at all.
sylpheed is an xp bootdisk different than using the xp program disk?
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 18843587
as said, you can use a bootdisk, even a windows 98 bootdisk with fdisk
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:pgm554
ID: 18843729
Bad sectors?
Depending upon manufacturer,you should run their diags and see what's up.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Sylpheed777
ID: 18848054
WinXp boot CD, not the floppy disk. You'll have to boot up completely from the CD. so you completely bypass anything that's on your HDD. Any WinXp installation CD should be bootable from CD. Remember to set in your bios to boot from CD before HDD also.
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Author Comment

by:Marget
ID: 18857474
I have tried to follow the above suggestions.  When Iboot from the CD and go into safe mode it allows me to request a format but the message resulting is:
format cannot run because the volume is in use by another process, all open handles to this volume would be invalid, force a dismount of the drive, (yes)  cannot unlock the drive because the volume is in use.
Have I done all that can be done or have I not followed the suggestions properly.  I need step by step, for example is fdisk on the CD
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LVL 32

Assisted Solution

by:r-k
r-k earned 50 total points
ID: 18858557
I have a feeling your system is not booting from CD. If you know to go into the BIOS (setup) at power on (usually by pressing F1 or F2 as the power is turned on), go there and check the Boot options. If the hard drive is listed before the CD in the boot order, reverse that so the CD should be the first boot device, then save your BIOS settings and reboot with the XP CD in the drive.

(Which CD are you trying to boot from? Does it seem like a full XP install CD?)

More information about steps here:

 http://www.whitecanyon.com/reformat-hard-drive-window-xp.php
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Sylpheed777
ID: 18861774
no it's not booting from the CD.

from the CD it should be something like this

Load the CD in, then turn on the PC. immediately after bios boots it should try to detect if tehre's anything in the CD. If there's a legit booting thing in there, it'll ask, "press any key to boot from CD" and wait for awhile. During this you press anything. THen windows XP installation will boot up. It's a blue screen, you can't miss it.

IF this doesn't load up means you're not booting from CD. To boot from CD, go into your bios, and set your boot order 1. CD, 2. HDD. as long as CD is before HDD.
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