Solved clearing pc and reinstalling os

January 13, 2014 at 06:55:55
Specs: Windows Vista
Need to reset PC to factory settings.
Originally Win XP Pro installed but then installed Vista which went on X (virtual drive?). This will not format as write protected. Tried all ways to get rid with no luck. 2 hard drives knocked out (shown in Bios as none)
Seems only way is to clear out all PC and reinstall either XP Pro or Vista!
How can I do this please as only way is to use Hirens boot disk.

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✔ Best Answer
January 20, 2014 at 11:53:50
Gparted boot disk

http://gparted.org/livecd.php

create disk set boot order to boot from it, then you should see disks to format etc

A thank you would be nice, if I have helped.



#1
January 13, 2014 at 07:52:53
You don't need Hiren's. Just boot off the OS disk, delete ALL partitions, create one or more new partitions, format using NTFS, then proceed with the installation.

EDIT: I should have commented on this: "2 hard drives knocked out (shown in Bios as none)"

If the BIOS doesn't detect any HDDs, you'll need to find out why. You can't do anything (partition, format, install, etc) if the drives aren't detected. Either both drives have died or there's something wrong with the connections. Did you mess with the cables? If they're IDE HDDs, are you sure the master/slave jumpers are set correctly? It's best not to have 2 HDDs on the same data cable, but if you do, one must be master & the other must be slave.

message edited by riider


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#2
January 13, 2014 at 15:24:19
mmmm If using the cable-selct arrangement (CS on the drives' jumper settings) you can have both on the same ribbon (if it's a ribbon that allows it…). The "master" drive will be at the end of the ribbon and "slave" in the middle.

http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/...

more detailed info...

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/if/i...

Also have you managed to safeguard your data on any of the drives as they are - "before" you go about any form or reset/restore to factory status? Factory reset will erase all data on the drive that it is going to reset/restore to factory status…; so wise to copy all your personal files to external media first (typically DVD and/or another external HD). And then check you can access the copies OK on at least one working system - before going down the reset path for real...


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#3
January 13, 2014 at 15:52:54
I generally do not recommend Cable Select jumper settings which are to make factory assembly easier. It is simpler for the user to decide ahead of time which of the drives will be Master and set the jumper accordingly, setting the other to Slave. To me it is more straight forward and less likely to make a mistake . This is of course assuming IDE (PATA) drives which with XP is very likely. SATA drives do not have this issue but requires another step in order to be able to install on them.
Either way, it is best to install the operating system with only one hard drive plugged in to keep Windows from installing parts like the boot sector on the other drive or accidentally choosing the wrong drive to install on (like the older or slower drive).
In any case, the hard drive must show up in the BIOS before any OS can be installed. Post whatever you do show and anything you have already tried (so we won't repeat those suggestions) and your system specs for more detailed help.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#4
January 14, 2014 at 10:07:54
Hard drives worked fine before this problem. Not touched cables or jumpers.
Forgot to say that there is RAM drive on B but can't format as this is also read only.
Already tried system disk but of course this does not work because hard drives not available. It looks as though the only way is to get rid of ram drive and virtual drive but how can this be done?

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#5
January 14, 2014 at 17:51:40
If these are IDE drives and both are not being seen by BIOS, try replacing the ribbon cable since a bad cable or connector to the motherboard could cause both to suddenly be absent. This is more likely if you or someone else has moved anything within the computer's case recently (the connectors do not tolerate much tugging on them or the wire ribbon).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
January 20, 2014 at 08:18:10
Nothing works; surely there must be some way to clear computer altogether.
Is there a software package which would automatically do this?
I can't be the only one to have problems and need to do this.

message edited by syb-pi


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#7
January 20, 2014 at 08:51:45
Just to clarify…

You want to totally wipe/erase all data from the drive(s)?

If so.. then consider the frequently misnamed low level format.

I say misnamed as what is generally called a Low Level Format these days is more correctly (so I have read and been told in the past…) a Mid Level Format. A true LLF will totally wipe a drive - and unless you have specialist knowledge and utilities is very hard to recover any data from it. It also will not work with modern drives; try it and you will render the modern drive useless… It was often run from a dos prompt. Somewhere (way out there/over the rainbow) I have links and details of how it was dun...

But for modern drives the MLF will wipe a drive - by writing zeros to the whole drive.

Most manufacturer once provided a utility that allowed this approach; often a download of a set of utilities on their websites… I seem to recall that the Maxtor (Seagate?) set worked with quite a few makes of drive; but open to correction there…

You don't say what make of drives are involved here; so perhaps provide those details - make/model/capacity etc.? It may then be possible to advise which utility to to use and where to find it?

Dun a wee trawl - and found this:

http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5...

Haven't used it; can't comment other than to say it looks like it will do an MLF?

My own experience in this area is dated; was applied to EIDE drives; not at all current with how it might/might not work with SATA.. Possibly others can/will advise and update as appropriate?

This is a very informative and detailed all about it it…

http://everything2.com/title/low+le...

http://everything2.com/title/Low-le...

message edited by trvlr


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#8
January 20, 2014 at 11:53:50
✔ Best Answer
Gparted boot disk

http://gparted.org/livecd.php

create disk set boot order to boot from it, then you should see disks to format etc

A thank you would be nice, if I have helped.


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