XP sp2 reformat

By profbobbyb
Jan 4, 2006
  1. My system will not allow me to reformat my hard drive because it says that the hard drive cannot be dismounted because it is in use. From my reading I understand that it appears to be a partitioning problem. But I don't know how to get around the situation and reformat my hard drive. The system will not run without XP running. I cannot get into the DOS Command window without having XP running in the background. I tried changing the BIOS settings to have the computer start from either the floppy drive or the cd drive and it still automatically starts XP - no matter what the BIOS settings are set to. The system allows me to come in as the Windows Administrator, but again XP is running the show. If it makes any difference this is a Compaq Presario laptop.
  2. DragonFury

    DragonFury TS Rookie Posts: 63

    1) do u have the xp disc in the drive and are u tring to reinstall windows ? 2) and is the Hdd partitioned into 2 ? 3)or u tring reformat a back up drive ? if it is the first one barrow someone else win xp disc ( a non restoration disc need the Oem version ) and then after you press f8 to agree press esc to enter the partioning portion and then press d ,enter then L ( if memory serves right ) to delete it then make a new partition . shut off laptop and then use ur restoration disc . if it is the second ? one then do the same as procedure 1 but instead of deleting the c: ( as it will tell you windows xp is installed on it and it will list both drives there ) delete the second partition ( it will not hurt the primary drive or primary partition ) then after deleteing that one set up partition ( DO NOT FORMAT THE DRIVE AT THIS TIME ) after doin so restart comp boot into winodws and then use windows to format that drive .... if it is a usb or external ( ? 3 ) unplug it goto friends or family's desk top computer hook it up there and then format the drive .
  3. profbobbyb

    profbobbyb TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Procedure does not work

    Thank you for your reply, BUT your detailed steps do not work.
    Pressing F8 upon start-up and then hitting ESC takes you to a screen that simply launches XP.
    We are talking about step-one in your list of scenarios - formatting the internal hard drive c:

    I have been able to get the machine to attempt to boot from the cd drive - but my versions of XP-Pro only include sp1 and XP comes back saying that the cd software is an older version of XP-Pro and it won't allow me to proceed because I've downloaded sp2.

    I made a Boot Disk from but the computer will not boot from the disk, or if it is happening, it just goes straight into XP-Pro.

    There has to be some way in DOS to "freeze" the internal hard drive c: so that it can be formatted from the DOS Command screen?? I just don't know how to accomplish this task.

    I'm going to look thru Control Panel and see if there is a way to format the disk from there.

    If you can help any further, that would be greatly appreciated.
  4. mickzer

    mickzer TS Rookie Posts: 101

    Hi profbobbyb,

    I think you can uninstall SP2 from Add-Remove Programmes,.so that then you can format the drive with the XP Sp1 CD. I think I am right about that anyway!!!

    HTH mickzer.
  5. DragonFury

    DragonFury TS Rookie Posts: 63

    when u use a Oem version of windows and u got it in the cd drive it will say boot from cdrom press any key , then it loads all kinda of stuff then the set up of windows it then asks you to press enter then f8 to agree to the terms blau blau blau .... then at that point press ESC and it brings you to the Partion portion Of windows ..... Thats why i stated a Oem Version of xp ( restoration disc is what compaq supplied you with and Oem is Just plain windows Xp nothing else .... ) as the Oem will allow you more freedom to do things .
  6. profbobbyb

    profbobbyb TS Rookie Topic Starter

    sp1 v. sp2

    The original OEM cd with XP-Pro came with sp1 which has now been updated to sp2. It keeps stating that there is a "newer version" of the software installed on the computer - therefore you cannot move forward - as there is not even a button to activate the installation process.
    As suggested by another reader, I'll see if I can uninstall sp2 and go from there.
    Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,
  7. DragonFury

    DragonFury TS Rookie Posts: 63

    ? the only time u get that message is when u tring to install windows in windows .. not thru dos . i got win xp sp2 installed and i can use the first win xp with out sp1 and sp2 and still format install windows . it shouldnt matter if you got first win xp disc or one with sp2 . the only thing i can think of is that the boot order is messed up in bios ur hdd is still the first thing it boots from . i would recheck the boot order and make sure it is set as first boot device is cdrom..
    these are the most common bios settings to boot from various drives on your comp .

    Ie. first boot device : hdd
    second boot device : cdrom
    third boot device : floppy

    this will allways boot from the hdd and bypass all other boot devices

    to boot from cdrom should be like this

    first boot device : cdrom
    second boot device : floppy
    third boot device : hdd

    this will ensue the bios searches the cdrom / floppy for any boot commands if non are found it will resort to the last one on the list which is the hdd ..

    you may not have something like this but it will be similar to this . that is the only reason why u cannot boot from cdrom or floppy . unless ur windows xp disc is damaged or the device is damaged ......
  8. SultanGris

    SultanGris TS Booster Posts: 158

    also, when booting to a cd, it will say press any key to boot from cd, if you dont press anything, it will bypass it and boot from the HD.

    i find that a good old win 98 boot disk works wonders, boot to it, fdisk, and format, then install windows xp, it will convert to ntfs,

    dos wont give u no lip, u wanna format, it will format. lol
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