Discussion in 'Technical' started by Galactus, Sep 21, 2005.
Printable version of Format XP. updated 3-20-05
If you currently have an XP CD (not Restore media supplied by
the OEM) and simply want to Clean install XP, select the Clean
Install link below with a step by step guide to Clean install XP.
Before formatting a hard drive, make sure you have backed up
all the important data and anything that cannot be replaced
from other sources.
Need a boot disk? You can get images to create all types from
Hint: It is usually not necessary to format XP to correct a problem.
You should first try to find a solution from the Microsoft Knowledge
Base, the Microsoft newsgroups, manufacturer web sites or if
you suspect a virus, get the latest virus definitions from your
AV manufacturer's web site; you can also run one of the many free
web format virus scans.
As a last option before resorting to a format and reinstall, a
Repair Install will usually fix file corruption problems and leave
your applications and setting intact. Updates not included on the
XP CD used for the repair install will need to be reapplied and
should be applied before connecting to the internet. Updates can
be downloaded and burned to CD media prior to the Repair Install
or clean install.
The alternative to applying the SP updates after the repair or
clean install is to slipstream the updates into the XP CD.
Check for links in the Clean Install link below as they will be
the latest updated links for slipstreaming.
The Repair Install is not a fix for and will not remove a malware
or adware problem, but it will restore files affected by the malware
or adware applications after they are removed.
Identify the file system you are using.
To identify, follow the steps below:
1. Double-click My Computer on the desktop or from Explorer right
click the My Computer Icon.
2. Right-click the disk that you want, and then click Properties.
3. Look for the File System entry.
* If the disk is formatted in NTFS, your options for returning to
Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me are limited. The Win 9X
based operating systems do not read or recognize NTFS, and you
cannot convert the disk to use the FAT or FAT32 file system. The
bootable disk that you use and the drive on which you want to
install Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me cannot use NTFS.
Microsoft does not support any third-party solutions for converting
NTFS to FAT or FAT32.
* If the drive is using the FAT file system, you can install any
operating system. If the drive is using the FAT32 file system, you
can install Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2) or later.
The above was copied from:
Format XP by booting from the XP CD
BIOS must be set to boot from CD before hard drive.
1. Formatting an XP System Disk by booting from the XP CD is accomplished
by loading the Recovery Console by typing R at the first window.
2. After selecting the Windows installation you want to access and typing
in the Admin password [leave blank if no password was created] you will
see a command prompt.
3. Type Map & press ENTER
4. Note the letter designation of the drive you want to format. [write it down]
5. Type format x:<space>/fs:fat32 then press ENTER, where x is the drive
letter you want to format. Substitute NTFS or FAT if desired.
6. Type Y to confirm your selection and then type exit & press ENTER to restart
7. To view other format commands, type format<space>/? & press ENTER at the
RC command prompt.
Format XP by booting from XP CD using an aborted setup
Note: I find this method to format a NTFS partition more time consuming than the
use of FDISK from MS-DOS, but if a boot disk is not available use this method.
1. Formatting an XP System Disk by booting from the XP CD and using the setup
routine is initiated by selecting ENTER at the first window. Example follows
in step #2
2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the options below
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
Windows XP to run on your computer:
To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.
To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.
To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
3. After selecting ENTER you will be prompted to accept the EULA and then be
given the option to choose the location to install XP. You choices will
include deleting partitions. Choose to delete the XP partition and any other
partition you want to remove and then press ENTER.
4. Choose F3 to end setup.
5. You will need to use a boot disk or boot from the OS you want to install to
format the unallocated space.
Format Non-System Hard Drive or Partition using XP Disk Management
To open Disk Management
1. From the Start menu, click Run.
2. In the Open box, type diskmgmt.msc, and then click OK.
3. Select the drive or partition you want to format.
4. Right click the selected drive or partition.
5. Choose format from the list.
For more information select from the toolbar or from the right click menu.
Remove NTFS file system and Reformat with Win 98/Me Boot Disk
Check Dr. D's for specialized boot disks.
Click on boot disk from the web page tool bar.
1. Format with a Win98/Me Startup disk.
2. Use a Windows 98/Me startup disk to delete the non-dos partition.
3. Boot from Startup Disk.
4. Load FDISK by typing "fdisk.exe" at the "A" prompt without the quotes.
5. Say yes to large disk support <Y-N>...........? [Y] ENTER
6. Enter choice #3 to "Delete partition or Logical Dos Drive" Press ESC to
return to FDISK options
7. Enter #4 to "Delete Non-DOS Partition". Select the Non-DOS partition by
typing the number and then ENTER. Press ESC to return to FDISK options.
Note you cannot delete a NON-DOS partition located inside an Extended
partition. You can use the DOS utility called delpart.exe from a DOS boot up.
Download link for "delpart.exe"
8. Reboot with startup disk and load FDISK.
9. Say yes to Large disk support as above.
10. Enter choice #1 Press ESC to return to FDISK options
11. When asked if you want to use the maximum size for the partition and make it
active, type Y if you want to use the whole drive, or N if you want to set a
maximum sized for the partition.
12. After setting the size, reboot.
13. If you want to install another OS; after reboot: Type format X: at the
A: prompt; where X is the drive/partition letter designation.
14.If you want to reinstall XP clean. After setting the size, reboot, remove the
disk from the floppy drive and insert the XP CD in the CD drive.
15. Boot from the XP CD and do a clean install to the new partition.
Format XP on a Fat/Fat32 file system with a Windows 98/Me Boot Disk.
1. Boot from a Windows 98/Me Startup disk or a boot disk with specialized content.
2. Type format X: at the A: prompt; where X is the drive/partition letter
Michael Stevens MS-MVP
I use a belt sander
One notice of interest though, is that the XP Home version does not have a Repair XP option, only XP Pro has that abilility. Also, when you format the hard disk drive, it's very critical to use a Win98SE boot disk with the FDISK utility to delete the partition, create the new partition, and make it active. This will insure a trouble free clean install of the new OS.
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