Solved Format XP hard drive

January 26, 2015 at 13:31:56
Specs: XP
I have an old IBM thinkpad without disc drive. I'm at the C prompt, don't have any XP/ME software, and want to give this laptop away, but want to erase everything on the drive. I'm in safe mode.
I get to "Format cannot run because the volume is in use by another process...would you like to force a dismount of this process?" I enter "Y", and get "Cannot lock the drive. The volume is still in use."
Any ideas?

message edited by Ockham

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January 26, 2015 at 15:59:48
✔ Best Answer
You state you have not disk drive. I assume you mean you have no optical (CD/DVD) drive? Thinkpads should have come with an optical drive so is yours broken or what?

You can't format while inside Windows if that is what you are tying to do.

If you perform a system restore that should be good enough for what you wish to do. If you have sensitive data on the hard drive formatting will make it harder to recover data but not impossible.

Your hard drive should have a restore partition which can put the laptop back to factory state.

Post the full model for help with how to do that. Also explain your statement about having no disk drive.

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January 26, 2015 at 16:03:28
"Format cannot run because the volume is in use by another process"

And that process is Windows. Basically, you're telling Windows to self-destruct. Does your laptop have a floppy drive? You should be able to format by booting from a WinME startup floppy. Or if the Restore partition is still intact, you can try doing a factory reset.

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January 27, 2015 at 06:43:58
Many thanks to OtheHill and rllder. I of course intended to say "no CD/DVD drive". And it does not have a floppy, either. And I did say I have no XP/ME floppies.
I'm happy just to give it away, which I'll do as soon as I can get out of the house. So far, 18" of snow and not a sign of a snowplow.

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Related Solutions

January 27, 2015 at 18:51:24
I wonder how desirable an old laptop with a blank hard drive and no optical drive to install an OS will be. But anyway, does it boot from USB? If so you can create a bootable usb drive with wipe/partitioning/formatting utilities on it. Here's one method:

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January 29, 2015 at 08:53:54
"I did say I have no XP/ME floppies"

But you can download them if need be.

18" of snow? Is that a lot where you come from? A couple of months ago we got 7 feet over 2 days! lol

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January 29, 2015 at 19:39:58
Hey, hey, hey, now. Quit making fun of global warming.

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January 30, 2015 at 05:00:12
18" of snow is a lot if the plows aren't running.

Stupid snow. Personally, I've had enough of the crappy winter. Bring on Spring!

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January 30, 2015 at 19:55:11
Several years ago I was drivng from western Nebraska to Denver. I went west into Wyoming to catch the road from Torrington to Cheyenne. Then a heluva spring storm hit. I figured well it's March and I was heading south, how bad could it be? But the more I drove the worse it got. The snow was so deep I could hardly tell where the road was and it was getting dark too. I eventually found myself directly behind a snowplow and thought I had it made. Then the snowplow turned around and headed back. I continued on and in about 10 seconds I was in the ditch. Fortunately one of the vehicles behind me was a 4WD and they gave us a ride into Cheyenne.

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