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View Full Version : Massive Windows XP Problem, For the Love of GOD HELP!!!!


johnkeel105
08-28-06, 05:46 PM
Recently I went over to a friends house and apparently we made a large mistake. We installed Windows XP over Windows XP on the same partition. The files from the old Windows XP stayed right along with everything else on the hard drive. This is causing some serious application problems and connectivity problems with the internet.

I would really appriciate it if someone could inform me on a way to completely reformat the hard drive to allow a perfect clean install of windows. We have a Windows XP install disk but it will not delete the C: partition or reformat the hard drive. Any information would be helpful. Thanks!

rewt
08-28-06, 07:00 PM
What do you mean Windows XP install disc won't delete or format partition?

Are you using some kind of system recovery/emergency repair/Upgrade disc or something? If so, trash it and purchase a retail copy of XP.

Retail copy definitely has the ability to reformat your hard disk to do a clean install.

johnkeel105
08-28-06, 07:43 PM
Well it is a Dell Restore disk, but it is an official copy of windows. Came with the booklet for Windows Xp and everything. Problem is that we don't know how to reformat the hard drive to install it. When we try to delete the partition it says that there are files on the hard drive that the install disk needs. I hope that claifies further.

crainger
08-28-06, 08:31 PM
Well it is a Dell Restore disk, but it is an official copy of windows. Came with the booklet for Windows Xp and everything. Problem is that we don't know how to reformat the hard drive to install it. When we try to delete the partition it says that there are files on the hard drive that the install disk needs. I hope that claifies further.

Your gonna need to follow the instructions from Dell and boot from the restore disc. This disc will only work in the computer it was purchased with. You wont be able to start the install from within Windows.

johnkeel105
08-28-06, 09:39 PM
Well we already did the instrustions and well they didnt include formating the hard drive. So we are left with a copy of Windows XP installed over Windows XP. On startup it thinks there is a dual boot for Windows XP and Windows XP. Only one of them works. Hopefully someone can shed light on an easy way to completely reformat this hard drive.

rewt
08-28-06, 10:11 PM
Download and burn Knoppix Linux CD or DVD. Boot the computer from it.

Use Qtparted utility to format a new NTFS partition. Save and Reboot.

Boot from Dell recovery disk. Follow instructions.

Rakeesh
08-28-06, 10:12 PM
Well it is a Dell Restore disk, but it is an official copy of windows. Came with the booklet for Windows Xp and everything. Problem is that we don't know how to reformat the hard drive to install it. When we try to delete the partition it says that there are files on the hard drive that the install disk needs. I hope that claifies further.

If this is truely the case (which I kinda doubt given that it is dell who usually doesn't screw around like that, but I have seen other brands do this) then you aren't ever going to reformat it without a stock OEM or retail copy of windows XP. The fact of the matter is that whoever made that install disk was cheap and relied on the hard disk for a significant portion of the data needed to restore everything back to a sane state. Almost needless to say there are numerous disadvantages to doing this.

The most obvious being that if your hard drive is totally trashed, your f*cked unless you go to the manufacturer and have them repair it. Another being a situation that you are in, whereas the data being used to do a recovery is altered or otherwise corrupt or damaged.

Download and burn Knoppix Linux CD or DVD. Boot the computer from it.

Use Qtparted utility to format a new NTFS partition. Save and Reboot.

Boot from Dell recovery disk. Follow instructions.

Well, if what he is saying is true about the installer needing data that is already on the hard disk, then doing this would make his system absolutely not recoverable without getting another copy of XP. The best thing for him to do is call the PC manufacturer and ask them what to do.

But if you want to go that route, I have a faster and easier solution if you don't know how to use a partitioning tool. Open up a terminal window and type this:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=10M count=2

That should make it appear to any OS install tools that the hard drive is completely blank and fresh off of the factory. A side benefit of doing it this way is that if there was ever any kind of virus residing in any boot areas of the hard disk, it is guarenteed to be nuked.

johnkeel105
08-29-06, 05:41 AM
Thanks for your help guys :) Just for claification where exactly would I find the terminal window. Sorry I am asking so much, I just don't want to miss any details.

j0j081
08-29-06, 06:18 AM
I am confused. Do you have an actual copy of XP or is it combined with a Dell restore disc? If you have an actual copy of XP all you need to do is boot from the cd and you'll be able to delete the C partition during setup then install fresh.

john19055
08-29-06, 08:25 AM
It sounds like it is not a real full edition of windows XP ,because you should be able to set in your BioS to boot from CD and then it will let you delete the partition and create a new one so you can do a clean install.

johnkeel105
08-29-06, 03:08 PM
It boots up like a regular windows cd but it just wont let us delete the C: partition.

rewt
08-29-06, 03:17 PM
Thanks for your help guys :) Just for claification where exactly would I find the terminal window. Sorry I am asking so much, I just don't want to miss any details.

In the knoppix menu on the taskbar. Use the one that says root.

But like AlphaWolf_HK says. If the disc depends on files on C:, then deleting that will completely hose your system.

You should try installing on new hard disk first. That way you know what happens if C:, or the data on it, doesn't exist.

Did you call the manufacturer for help?

johnkeel105
08-30-06, 08:46 PM
Thanks for your input, My friend got it worked out as far as I know. Also thanks for telling me about Knoppix. Checked it out it is quite cool, not extrememly useful as all my software is for Windows XP, but cool non the less! :)

rewt
08-30-06, 10:28 PM
Glad to help.

For the record, Knoppix is able to run Windows software too, using Wine. Though I admit it isn't practical to do so in most situations.

I have it lying around mainly for an emergency disk. Like in case Windows crashes and won't boot, and I need to check my e-mail or something ;)