unable to format 'C' drive

Evesham / DESKTOP PC
September 12, 2010 at 04:54:59
Specs: Windows XP, 1.6/512mb
I am trying to format the hard drive on my old computer so that I can recycle it.

When I try in Windows, it says that it cannot format drive. Quit any disk utilities using this drive and make sure no window is displaying contents of drive.

I have also tried in DOS and I get the message:

Format cannot run because the volume is open by another process. Format may run if this volume is dismounted first. ALL OPEN HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME THEN WOULD BE INVALID. Would you like to try to force a dismount of this volume? (Y/N).

On entering 'Y', message reads "Cannot lock the drive. The volume is still in use".

I am using the computer in 'safe' mode and am signed on as 'Administrator'!

Can you offer a solution?


See More: unable to format C drive

Report •

September 12, 2010 at 05:15:08
You cannot format the C drive while the operating system is running.

Do you understand what a format does?

It wipes out all data on the disk. If you format the C drive you wipe out the operating system. Is that what you intend? Are you going to do a clean install before disposing of the system?
If all you want to do is wipe the drive then you can use a bootfloppy with suitable formatting tools such as FDISK or killdisk to wipe out the partition. You can even use an XP Install disk to delete the original partition and create a new one without actually completing a new operating system install.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

Report •

September 12, 2010 at 06:00:09

Just to add to Richard's post, you can burn a bootable cd of killdisk if you don't have a floppy drive.

Report •

September 12, 2010 at 07:26:17
Thanks Richard. I am just trying to ensure that there is none of my data left on the machine before I (free) cycle it and understood that formatting the disk was the safest option. I am not really worried about keeping Windows XPon the machine and won't be re-installing it before disposing.

Unfortunately I no longer have the XP but will give the FDISK or killdisk a try.

Many thanks for your help......Simon

Report •

Related Solutions

September 12, 2010 at 07:27:21
Many thanks Grasshopper - I'll give it a go.

Report •

Ask Question