How to format all drives?

November 10, 2010 at 00:49:01
Specs: WinXP, 256Mb
I want to format (ie. completely delete) all my drives (C: and D:). My system is on C: and while I *can* format D:, is there anyway to *completely* format C:?

Thank you.

aqz


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#1
November 10, 2010 at 03:42:31
Boot from a Windows XP CD. You cannot format C: drive if it is the system drive while it is in use.

Stuart


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#2
November 10, 2010 at 06:14:29
And then what? I know the way to format C: AND install WinXP, but what I'm interested in is formatting C: WITHOUT installing anything on it.
I just need all my drives empty. Nothing on them.
How do I do *that*?

aqz


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#3
November 10, 2010 at 07:48:38
Post one applies, Formatting and installing are two different process. Once the format is complete you just terminate the installation.

If you want the drives empty just delete the existing partitions and do not create new ones.

Stuart


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Related Solutions

#4
November 10, 2010 at 07:56:34

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#5
November 10, 2010 at 08:10:18
I booted from the WinXP CD. So I wind up at the screen with the list of partitions.

My system partition being C:\, if I understand correctly, I have to press D (to delete the partition), then L (to confirm)?
Is this right?
Is drive C:, after pressing L. officially erased? Or do I have to do another step?

aqz


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#6
November 10, 2010 at 08:55:23
Thats it. Do the same will all partitions.

Stuart


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#7
November 10, 2010 at 10:37:47
Well, there is a problem with this. If StuartS's theory is correct, any partition is erased RIGHT after one presses L.
However, if (and only if) I then press Enter (to continue installing Windows on the allegedly *empty* drive), a new dialog pops up saying something like "Erasing all files on drive..." and "This may take a few minutes".
This seems to indicate that at the time the L was pressed, the drive was NOT actually erased- else why does the warning of erasing files appear ONLY if you do this supplementary step?

aqz


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#8
November 10, 2010 at 10:58:44
aqz your description is inaccurate.

After you have hit L and confirmed you go back to a screen listing partitions. If you had properly confirmed you would have only available space and you could not proceed to installing since install would only let you create a partition before you could install.

What StuartS told you is fact and has been this way since NT

How to properly post a question: http://tinyurl.com/2fsqqmu


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#9
November 10, 2010 at 11:46:22
You are obliviously not deleting all partitions. If you just delete the existing system partitions Windows will then attempt to install on any existing partition it finds that that is big enough, even one on a different physical drive if one is available. Delete all partitions and you will be prompted to create one before any installation can take place.

No files can ever be written to a disk that has no partitions on it.

Stuart


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