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Format a Hard Drive

By kblax
Dec 1, 2005
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  1. I think my hard drive is corrupted because I tried to reinstall Windows XP and it froze. So I got a different XP CD and it froze in the same exact spot. I'm wondering if anyone knows how to get in the hard drive and format it without the use of Windows. Can anyone help?
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    how are you trying to reinstall XP? from within windows or by booting from the XP CD?
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    Does this happen while you're formatting or installing Windows?

    There's a few possible issues. But these things may be possibilities.

    Failing drive? Check with these diagnostics..
    http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7602.html

    Memory problems? Test with this memory diagnostic
    http://www.memtest.org

    If it happens while you are installing Windows, it may also be due to a bad CDROM or bad CD. And the problems don't stop there. :)
  4. kblax

    kblax Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Its happening during the install. I'm using the CD. I have an extra CD-ROM but it doesn't fit b/c I have a Dell Dimension 4600C, and it looks like the CD-ROM drive is for a laptop and I can't find a laptop drive. And Rick, should I try that Darik's Boot and Nuke.
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    There should not be a reason to use that program. But you may want to verify your drive's physical surface is good by running a drive diagnostic... (It's probably Western Digital, but you can use a utility like IBM's DFT which works for all drives.. WD recommended though if really is WD)

    I know the 4600 uses a regular CDROM, but I'm not sure about the 4600C. Is it one of those slim ones? Those use a half-height optical drive which may or may not have a standard IDE connection on them. If they don't, the board probably has a standard IDE connection.. You may just need to get another IDE cable with the same size 40 pin connectors on both ends.
  6. kblax

    kblax Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Yeah the HD is Hitachi so I'll use that diagnostic. Do I just burn it to a CD and then run it on the messed up computer?

    Yes the 4600C is a slim one. The CD-ROM connection is much smaller than standard 40 pin connectors. How much does one of those run for at a Radio Shack or similar store?
  7. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    if you have a spare eide cable that has 2 device connections make a temp setup and use the other device.
    set the HDD as master and the new device as slave
    on boot the bios should see it.
    if it still stalls, need to down load and burn ultimate boot CD
  8. kblax

    kblax Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    In order to do that I would need a cable with a double connection that has one normal connection and one connection that fits for the CD-ROM currently in the computer.
  9. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    I thought you said you had a reg spare cdrom
    if not guess that approch won't work
  10. kblax

    kblax Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I do have a spare CD-ROM but my original drive has a special connection b/c its in a Dell imension 4600C, its a compact desktop. The CD-ROM drive looks like it belongs in a laptop. So I would need a double connection IDE cable with two different connections on the one end.
  11. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    most machines have 2 connections on the cable
    I guesss this newer mass produced stuff doesn't
    could try circuit city or compusa ya know local comp store
    have no idea as to price
    I buy em buy the box
     
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