Formatting Laptop Problems

By Ben_tomlinson88 ยท 5 replies
Jan 12, 2005
  1. Ok ive got an IBM Thinkpad which the hard drive is totally screwed, it has a partition on the hard drive from when i have re-installed windows a couple times before. I need to delete these partitions so that the hard drive is good as new.

    (Its running windows xp at the moment)

    Now If it is possible to remove these partitions through formatting can i do it? the laptop doesnt have a floppy drive so i cannot use a win98 boot disk, What can i use instead...i can use cd roms and usb ports...if these are configured at the time of booting? i have no idea bout this type of stuff so i really need some help.

    thanks for your time
  2. 3vilc

    3vilc TS Rookie

    if you have a cd writer in another computer you could make a bootable cd. this is a good idea as boot floppies tend to die just when you need them and have no other way to boot a machine. assuming the laptop is cabapble of booting from cd, most laptops can especially if it has no floppy drive.
    easiest way to do this, using a good computer and a good floppy disk create a windows 98 startup disk, xp disks are no good as these tend to boot straight to the setup program,same with the xp cd. if you dont have a windows 98 machine you can download premade bootdisks as well as the standard windows ones from this is a simple matter of downloading and clicking on the file and it should write the disk automatically. once you have a working boot floppy, use Nero and choose to make a bootable cd, under the boot options tab choose 'floppy emulation' and select your a: drive as the source and burn the cd, if you want you could also and the xp install files to this cd so you can install from it aswell. burn the cd and it should copy everything on the a: drive to the boot sector of the cd. all going to plan if you now put this cd into the laptop it should boot from the cd just as it would if you were using a bootdisk. you can now use fdisk to delete the partitions and create new ones, its best to leave the partition blank and let the xp install program format it. you should then be all set.
    if you dont have access to a cd writer maybe someone can lend you a bootable cd of thiers.
    ps. you can run windows xp setup from a dos/win98 boot disk by executing i386/winnt.exe on the xp cd

    hope this helps

  3. Ben_tomlinson88

    Ben_tomlinson88 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    can i get nero from the website?
    also does the demo version of nero entitle me to burn the boot cd?

    or do i have to buy it?
    Also i forgot to mension that i cant acess the actual partition on the PC taht i want to it still as easy to format as you say? thanks!

    thanks for your help

  4. 3vilc

    3vilc TS Rookie

    according to the nero website the demo version is fully functional for the trial period so this should be fine.
    what cd burning software do you have? i may be able to tell you how to do it with the software you have.
    if you want to download nero the url is although this is almost 30mb, a lot to download to burn 1 cd.
    when you say you cant access the partition at all, do you just mean you cant boot from it?

    if you want you can email me directly at 3vilc*at*free dot net dot nz
    (replace "*at*" with "@" and " dot " with "." of course)
  5. Ben_tomlinson88

    Ben_tomlinson88 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    err well to be honest mate i dont realli know, i think that 'my documents' that i used before i re-installed windows is on the other patition as i can get into them. does this help? i think i should be able to format them anyway...thanks. btw i will download nero cuz i got broadband anyway.

    thanks for you time
  6. 3vilc

    3vilc TS Rookie

    ok get nero, make or download a bootdisk and burn to bootable cd. if you want this to also be an xp cd to save swaping disks copy the i386\ folder from the xp cd to ur hard drive somewhere then add this folder to the bootable cd before you burn it.

    now with any luck the laptop will boot from the cd you just made. you will get an A:\> prompt exactly as you would with a 98 boot disk. you can now use fdisk to check the drive partitions, i think its option 4 on the fdisk menu 'view current partions' or something to that effect. there should only be one and it should be labeled as C:, there may also be a very small partition at the begining of the drive maybe no more than 10mb or so, do not delete this as it is likely the setup files needed by the laptop. esc back to the main menu and select 'delete primary partition' once deleted exit and reboot. once the cd loads again go into fdisk and view the partitions to check it was deleted. now you can go back to the main menu a 'create a primary dos partition' use the default settings and it should be ok. again reboot the machine, if you copied the xp files to the boot cd you can leave that in, otherwise put your xp cd in. from an xp cd just install as normal. if using the cd you made you can type x:\i386\winnt.exe at the A:\> prompt to start the xp setup, where 'x' is the drive of your cdrom.
    after setup up windows again you should have a nice as new laptop again.
    im guessing you probably at the moment get that annoying menu when you start it up that says choose operating system to start and lists 'Windows XP Professional/Home' like 2 or 3 times :)

    hope this gets you somewhere and good luck
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