format a HDD and reinstall XP?

Microsoft Windows xp professional w/serv...
March 27, 2010 at 17:37:01
Specs: Windows XP
I want to sell a machine that works, but has problems. I want to wipe the HDD then reinstall XP from scratch. Can I use "format x: fs:ntfs" then later put in WinXP CD? Will this work like a first time, new install?

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March 27, 2010 at 18:30:36
You can format the drive with the XP cd. No need to format it first.

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March 27, 2010 at 18:32:28
Just boot from the Win XP CD and use that to format, no need to do a separate format. Besides, you cannot format Windows while Windows is running.


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March 27, 2010 at 18:33:18
I would only use System Recovery to put it back like it came from the manufacturer.
You have 2 options, one is with a Backup. Don't use that Option.
I can get to System Recovery by tapping the F11 key when I turn my computer on. eMachine.

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March 27, 2010 at 18:44:31
I have tried to reformat using a windows XP CD but it would not remove all the old "stuff". The machine had Symantec AV which had an expired license. I wanted to install a copy of MCAfee but had to remove the Symantec first. Now matter what I used (including Norton Removal too) the McAfee install always says that Symantec is not totally removed. I've been thru the registry a couple of times and can find nothing left. Since I'm going to give the machine to someone else I think I'd like to wipe the drive first and that should (I think) clear up the Symantec AV problem too.

So, is using "format c: fs:ntfs" then installing WinXP a reasonable option?

What I was going to do is boot using a "BART PE" CD then format the C drive. Once the format was done, I would remove Bart and put in WinXP CD and start from scratch.

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March 27, 2010 at 19:14:15
Why do people insist on making a simple job so complicated.

Boot form the Windows XP CD. Delete all partitions in sight. Recreate one for the Operating system and reinstall it.

Nothing is going to prevent you deleting a partition once you have booted from the Windows CD. Everything that deleted partition goes with it.


System Recovery will only works if you have an OEM machine. Not all computers are OEM.


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March 27, 2010 at 19:29:42
Perhaps something else is wrong with the box. When I try to boot from the WinXP CD and I do not get the option to reformat or repartition.

I bought this box cheap at a garage sale, so I don't know what all was done to it before. I figure I've spent 8 hours fighting it already. I just want to clean it up and make it ready to sell or (more likely) donate.

I understand that a reinstall from the WINXP CD would seem to be simpler, but it does not seem to want to work. I figured I could by-pass all the "junk" I've been encountering by just wiping the drive and starting over.

So I'll ask again... is there any reason why this will not work... (1) boot from BartPE CD, execute "format c: fs:ntfs", then (2) try fresh install from WinXP CD?

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March 27, 2010 at 20:15:25
"When I try to boot from the WinXP CD and I do not get the option to reformat or repartition"

What do you see then? If you have a standard M$ XP disc, you should have to go thru these steps:

- at Windows Setup screen, press Enter to begin
- press F8 to agree to the license
- next screen shows the existing partitioning & gives you options to create, delete or use the existing
- next screen is the formating

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March 27, 2010 at 20:15:50
Perhaps there is something else wrong with the machine (BIOS maybe) as I have tried multiple times to reformat/reinstall using WinXP drive -- but it will not do so. When booting from WinXP CD the boot seems to start, but then quickly failsover to booting from HDD. In short, when I attempt to boot from WinXP CD's I do not get the option to reformat/reinstall. The only CD I can successfully boot from is BartPE.

I've fought this machine for at least 8 hours now and have come to conclusion that it will be easier to just wipe it clean and start again.

So can someone say if this is a problem...
(1) boot from BartPE; execute "format C: FS:ntfs"
(2) install WinXP CD and install on the "like new" HDD

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March 27, 2010 at 21:46:44
mmm... Let's go back a wee bit...

Make/model of system under discussion?

Have you set the first boot option (in bios) to be CD/DVD?

Is the XP disk you have a retail or OEM full/Upgrade version; or is by chance a recovery disk?

As to your proposed path to wipe the drive etc...

Not having used Bart's disk not commenting from experience... But in theory yes it orta to work. But again ensure DC/DVD is first boot device (in bios).

As you acquired the box from a garage sale.. I'd be very inclined to rebuild it (as in wipe/re-install) regardless of how do it; rather than try to remove some items etc...Otherwise you have no real idea of what's on it etc... Better to rebuild it for whatever purpose you have in mind anon...

Also rather than install McAfee etc.. (which will cost ££/$$ anon) consider/install avast ( as it's free (for home use); and works without hogging resources etc. (unlike Norton - and as some suggest - as does McAfee ).

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March 27, 2010 at 21:56:05
It really sounds like you do not have a 'Microsoft' XP install CD. If you have set the CD as first in the boot sequence, it's probably not booting from the CD because it isn't bootable and/or is not a Microsoft install CD.

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