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Cant format hard drive. Help!!!

Discussion in 'A+' started by Robbb_uk, Sep 6, 2004.

  1. Robbb_uk

    Robbb_uk Bit Poster

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    Hi all,

    I seem to be having some trouble formatting my hard drive. I thought I'd try it as I'd like to start my computer over and it would be good practice for the A+.

    Anyway, I right click on C: in windows explorer, click format then ok, and I get this message:

    "Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other programs that are using the drive, and make sure that no window is displaying the contents of the drive, Then try formatting again."

    Didnt have any luck with this, so opened command prompt, typed format c: and got:

    "Format cannot run because volume is in use by another process. Format may run if this process is dismounted first. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume?"

    Then i type y and get:

    "Cannot lock the drive, volume is still in use"

    Can someone help me please!

    Rob
     
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  2. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster

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    Rob,

    Is the C drive where you have windows installed? If it is you're going to have to use either a boot disk or boot CD such as the windows installation CD.

    Phil
     
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  3. Robbb_uk

    Robbb_uk Bit Poster

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    yes it is. I just created a boot to ms-dos floppy, only to find that when i got to msdos, it said my command file was missing, please state where to find command.com eg c:\windows\command.com

    Didnt get that!
     
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  4. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    Rob

    What that message means is it can not find the comand.com file.

    IMO the easiest way to fomat your HDD is to either make the set of boot disks from the windows/linux cd or if possible boot from the cdrom and format the HDD that way.

    HTH

    :biggrin
     
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  5. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster

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    Ok, the easy way to get hold of a boot disk is to just go to http://www.bootdisk.com/ and pick the flavour of bootdisk you want to use :)

    Much easier than that if you are installing XP or 2k would be to just boot from the windows installation CD and you'll get the option to blow away the existing partition during the Dos part of the setup, no need to mess around formatting the drive before hand.

    If you're installing ME, 98 or 95 (though I can't think of any reason that I'd install 95 now other than for nostalgia) then I'd go the boot disk route, format then copy the installation files to a dir on the HDD then run setup from there, doesn't half save some faffing about swapping CD's later on.
     
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  6. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    speaking of nostalgia i installed Windows NT 4 server last night on VMWare
    was going to install workstation but found my copy to be missing :/

    needs service pack 6 to install the vmware tools and hence get higher than 8 bit color though, lol
     
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  7. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Not much I can add. Phil is on the money regarding the bootdisk suggestion.
     
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  8. punkboy101
    Honorary Member

    punkboy101 Back from the wilderness

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    Hey Rob_uk


    I guess from what you said on the other post, your still havin probs. Just out of interest, what OS are you trying to format/reinstall?

    If it is win 9X, I have had problem's with boot disk's not working (especially win95 disks), and it was due to a certain file missing, but for the life of me I cannot remember what file that was! :oops: It was however, something to do with creating a bootdisk the way you are describing.

    I will continue racking the brain, in the mean time if you could let me know what OS you are using, I may be able to help.

    Also, did the link that Phil provided not help? :scratch


    Andy
     
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  9. Robbb_uk

    Robbb_uk Bit Poster

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    cheers for the reply punkboy, its windows XP im running. basically i create the boot to ms-dos floppy, and when i boot,the comp tells me in dos that the command.com file is missing. im at my wits end!
     
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  10. punkboy101
    Honorary Member

    punkboy101 Back from the wilderness

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    Have you downloaded the XP start-up disk program from the MS site? You will need 6 floppies, I use them at work when a machine won't boot from CD.


    Also, have you tried booting from CD, you don't alway's need to use floppy disk's. There is an option in the bios that decide's the boot order e.g floppy -> HD -> CD Rom.

    Try setting that to cd-rom first, then it should start the installation. A few steps in you will be given the option to format the drive.

    You might want to play with that to see what you get. Let me know if you can't find the boot disk creator on the MS website, or have any questions about accessing the bios ect. :)


    HTH

    Andy
     
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  11. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator

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    Download this file from bootdisk.com and run it. It will create you a windows 98 bootable floppy, its just like the one that you can create from in windows 98 as described here.

    You will find the 2000 and XP boot disks are a little differnent from the 98 boot disks but I'd suggest you download them and try them out to familiarise yourself with how they work. you can download the XP disks them from here: PRO & HOME

    To create a Windows 2000 Professional bootable diskette you will need four 1.44MB diskettes and the Windows 2000 Professional CD.

    From in Win2K Click Start / Run / browse to the CD-ROM drive.
    Open the "BOOTDISK" folder and double-click makeboot.exe and click ok to launch the program to create the diskette.

    Users can also easily create an Emergency Repair Disk by clicking Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and opening Backup. From the Backup window click the button for Emergency Repair Disk and follow each of the steps.

    or download it from here

    HTH

    BTW, if you feel that you your question has not been answered by all means bump the thread to remind everyone you still need help :biggrin
     
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  12. Robbb_uk

    Robbb_uk Bit Poster

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    hard drive formatted! I chose the boot from CD option and deleted the partition and formatted hard drive as part of the windows XP installation. Seems silly that i was stuck for so long now!
    Cheers for all your help guys
     
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  13. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    We've ALL been there, and done that, Robbb - don't worry for a second, mate.:D
     
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  14. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    Im actually quite surprised you had to go thru all that..when I built my PC and installed XP for the first time I didnt have to any partitioning at the time...just set the BIOS to boot from CD and away she went...when I reinstalled I made a partition but I still set my BIOS to boot from CD and did it from there. the only occurance I have had with this is when I was trying to install both 98SE and ME on the 40GB hdd...which was causing me such a headache that I couldnt install them both even tho I partition the drive thru XP on the Disk management facility and made them both the primary partition...perhaps thats where I went wrong cos after I removed the partitions and made one PRI and one EXT I still couldnt install ME after I installed 98SE :cussing any help guys???
    Plus I also have Win NT 4.0 Server and I want to put all 3 OS's on the 40GB HDD...but in order to do this without removing XP I have to unplug the 80GB hdd first...so if you guys know of a way to put all 3 OS's on one hdd please I am all ears...and eyes...dont ask why I have NT 4.0 server I thought it was workstation..it was given to me by a lecturer when I was in college 6yrs ago and this is the first time I have installed it.
     
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  15. JohnnyBoyClub

    JohnnyBoyClub Banned

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    From now on for all people who read and go with this stuff , easy way to formata hard drive that has windows installed on it is to insert in cd-rom the windows bootable disk and format it from the setup steps from there, if you have any problems with that too you should deek a disket with console on it to run the format from there ( i don't think many computers has floppy though ) - Remember before any messing and before starting any of this project you should backup your data using any free program that you find, i personally recommend spam http://www.spam.com because you can backup it online but is your call and your computer and you choose what to put in it .

    REgards
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2010
  16. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Hey Jonny,

    Welcome to CF, perhaps you should introduce yourself in the new members area.

    Also, just to point out, this thread is properly ancient, nearly 6 years old ... :)
     
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  17. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Necro Post FTW.
     
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  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    My spamometer's pegged.
     
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  19. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    You can make a usb flash drive bootable these days you know.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
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  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    and... you've just copied the spam. X|
     
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