Articles

Solved Format hard disk from DOS

May 12, 2010 at 15:27:42
Specs: Windows XP

I want to format my hard drive and reinstall XP Home with SP1. I have an MS-DOS boot disk made with the Win XP format . When I boot from the floppy I come to the DOS prompt A:\ . I can get the DIR "directory" to tell me what's on the floppy but that is all! If I attempt to CD "Change Dir" to the C:\ and am given the reply, "Bad command or file name". I can't even edit a .BAT file. What am I missing. Any standard DOS command gives the same resulting message, "Bad command or file name". What am I missing. I thought I was knowledgable, I have an AAS in Computer Information Systems. The DOS disk contains the following 13 files. EGA2.CPI - EGA3.CPI - EGA.CPI - KEYB.COM - KEYBOARD.SYS - 2,3,AND 4.SYS - MODE.COM - COMMAND.COM - DISPLAY.SYS - AUTOEXEC.BAT - CONFIG.SYS. I have all the system / software disks that came with the computer when it was new. I just want to go back as to the begining for a fresh start. Currently the system has Win XP with SP2 and when I boot from the Windows install disk, I get the message, "This computer has a newer version of Windows", so it won't let me start over. I uninstalled SP3 and rolled it back to SP2 but for the life of me there is no WindowsXP-KB#####-SP2-x86-ENU.exe file in the add / remove program utility even when I show updates. Just for kicks I went to the CMD line in windows and tried to format C:\, but as expected it said the drive is in use and asked if I wanted to unmount it. I said yes and....well of course I can't do that either. Please does anyone have any suggestions?

See More: Format hard disk from DOS

Report •


✔ Best Answer
May 12, 2010 at 16:03:06

Download a file to create a win98 or WinME startup floppy from bootdisk.com. When you get the floppy made, boot from it and run 'fdisk'. Hopefully it will let you remove any partitioning from the c: drive.

Another option would be to download 'DelPart'. Put it on a bootable floppy and run it. DelPart is a free utility that will remove stubborn partitions that fdisk can't delete. It is perfectly safe, as long as you are careful and delete the correct partition.

DelPart
http://www.russelltexas.com/delpart...

(edit) Hopefully your install will then run ok..

The three most important things in computing:
1. Backups, 2. Backups and 3. Backups.



#1
May 12, 2010 at 15:35:32

A DOS floppy has very little when it boots. You don't Change Directory (CD) to a drive you type the name of the drive like "C:" will switch you to the C: drive.

A:>c:
C:>

To format you type "Format C:" but I would not do it this way because it sounds like you do not have a Windows System CD. You will need this to put Windows back on after you format the drive.

Also to edit a batch file you have to use COPY CON.

>Copy con autoexec.bat
echo hello
^Z
>autoexec
>hello
>

If you do not know DOS I recommend you don't use it. It is a dead OS. Also, DOS only Formats FAT32 and Windows XP uses NTFS which DOS will not be able to see.


Report •

#2
May 12, 2010 at 15:36:29

I have an AAS in Computer Information Systems.
You have Adult-onset Ankylosing Spondylitis? Wow, that must suck.

If I attempt to CD "Change Dir" to the C:\ and am given the reply, "Bad command or file name".
CD is a built in function of COMMAND.COM. Chances are, CD is there, but C: (and by extension, C:\) is not. (MS-DOS doesn't do NTFS, you see)

I can't even edit a .BAT file.
You'd need an editor to do that.

I get the message, "This computer has a newer version of Windows", so it won't let me start over.
There should be an option when selecting the partition to format the partition. You should do that.


Report •

#3
May 12, 2010 at 15:40:32

No matter what I type from the A:\ I get the same message "Bad command or file name" That's all I get "Bad Command..."

Report •

Related Solutions

#4
May 12, 2010 at 15:42:36

A:>c: Invalid drive specification. The only reason I'm trying the DOS route is that I can't figure out how to format the drive. It is the only one on the system and I just want to start over.

Report •

#5
May 12, 2010 at 15:43:31

Because you probably do not have the files needed. Like posted only com commands will work. Format was an executable. If you do a DIR is there a Format.exe on your floppy.

"A:>c: Invalid drive specification."

Because your C: drive is formated NTFS which is not read able in the old DOS system.

LIKE WE SAID YOU CAN NOT USE DOS.


Report •

#6
May 12, 2010 at 15:45:21

There should be an option when selecting the partition to format the partition. You should do that. I don't know how to get to that point.

Report •

#7
May 12, 2010 at 15:53:15

The install CD for XP says there is a newer version of Windows and will not let me get to that point. The system currently has SP2 and the install has SP1. I can't figure out how to get SP2 off.

Report •

#8
May 12, 2010 at 16:03:06
✔ Best Answer

Download a file to create a win98 or WinME startup floppy from bootdisk.com. When you get the floppy made, boot from it and run 'fdisk'. Hopefully it will let you remove any partitioning from the c: drive.

Another option would be to download 'DelPart'. Put it on a bootable floppy and run it. DelPart is a free utility that will remove stubborn partitions that fdisk can't delete. It is perfectly safe, as long as you are careful and delete the correct partition.

DelPart
http://www.russelltexas.com/delpart...

(edit) Hopefully your install will then run ok..

The three most important things in computing:
1. Backups, 2. Backups and 3. Backups.


Report •

#9
May 12, 2010 at 16:09:32

Is this a Full XP Disk or an Upgrade Disk?

Can you boot to the computer at all, If so goto Add Remove Programs in your control panel and check the check box in the upper right hand corner to see updates see if you can remove the SP2.

If you can't then boot to the Recovery Console which will give you a command prompt. Then type DISKPART which is like the old FDISK. This will allow you to remove the partition.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654


Report •

#10
May 12, 2010 at 16:20:42

It is the full XP Home that came with the computer. This old computer is still working, no problems I can boot from hard, floppy, or CD-ROM. I checked the update box in Add / Remove but there is no SP2 file such as WindowsXP-kb#####-sp2-x86-enu, which is what I should be able to locate. But it is just not there but I am assured that the system is running SP2 because the original CD has SP1 and I can't install windows because I get the message, "This computer has a newer version of Windows" and will not go any further. I know understand that the system has NTFS and I can't use DOS. Maybe I'll try and download a 98 or ME boot and try the FDisk as suggested. I'm bound an determined that I'll make this work one way or the other.

Report •

#11
May 12, 2010 at 17:00:44

WinXP's installer doesn't do as much hand-holding as the typical WinXP user is used to having. The format option is there, you just have to look for it. It's literally presented in a footnote on one one of the screens.

Report •


Ask Question