Reformating question

By lpete301 ยท 37 replies
Mar 1, 2008
  1. I have an emachine that died. The power supply killed the motherboard for the second time and it is now out of warranty. I put the HDD in my Sony that is still good. (We purchased a new comp to replace the emachine. ) Any how I want to restore the Sony to its original state due to massive amounts of extra programs my kids dont use anymore and who knows what else is slowing it down. My problem is the emachine hdd is not useable due to the version of winxp that is not compatible with the sony components. I want to use it as a slave to the original Sony hdd. I have backed up everything I need to a flash drive and am ready for the reformating.

    When I look in My Computer it shows the emach hdd as drive E and drive F. Should I just insert my restore disks and hope that it turns E and F into one big drive? Or is there a different way to handle this. My biggest problem is that my restore disks are slightly scratched and Sony does not make the restore disks for my PCV-RX550 any more so I cannot order new ones. I am a little scared to use these disks because of the scratches, but Sony is no help. I really need a fresh start on this computer. Is there a way to revert the Sony hdd to its new state without reformating?

    Thank you for any help I can get. By the way the new comp is running Vista and the Sony and emach are/were running xp.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    There are devices that will polish the discs to you can usually use them, unless the scratches are very bad. Cost is about $29 to $50.
    A new version of Windows XP Home OEM costs $64 to $84, or WXPProfessional OEM
    That is really your best option. You will need a full version of Windows XP Professional to fix that Sony fully. Cost is high. $300 to $400.
    Then you download all the drivers and applications from Sony and get to work installing and adjusting.
    Hope is not a tool. You have work to do.
    Or you can replace the eMachines motherboard for $159.95, then the drive will work with the restore disks.
    There is no free ride.
    We cannot advise you on anything that involves piracy or unauthorized copying.
    Properly done, you can remove all partitions, then reinstall Windows into one partition that will enable the full use of the drive that is now E and F... using the Windows OEM disc, or the eMachines disc on a new motherboard.
    Don't know how you managed to buy both an eMachines and a Sohy. That is truly bad luck.
    By the way, the motherboard ruined the power supply, not the other way around.
  3. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The Sony has been good to us. We have had it since 2002 with no issues other than it is running out of space and is filled with kid junk. I have a polisher for the disks, but there are two decent scratches that I dont know if it will take them out or not. I did not realize that a new winxp program was so inexpensive. I can do that if it comes down to it. I will not replace the motherboard for the emachine...for reasons I am sure you can understand. That thing has been nothing but problems, considering we got it in 2004 for about 400 after rebates with a printer that has been excellent, I think we got our $$ worth.

    There is no piracy or illegal anything here. I have two computers that both run manufacturer installed versions of win xp, and I am using a dead ones hdd as extra storage. I just want to reinstall the programing to the hdd for the sony with the original restore disks that came with the sony to its original hdd.

    I guess I may not have been clear on my question and I do understand what you have said so far, but I really could use some clear instructions.

    Do I insert the first restore disk and restart my computer? Or do I need to do anything to the other hdd from the dead computer first? How do I remove all partitions?

    I really do appreciate you taking the time to help me.

  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    If I understand what you're attempting here, you just want to take the HDD from your eMachines and use it in your Sony for extra storage yes?

    If this is the case, you don't have to install an OS on the drive. You can just format the drive and toss whatever you want on it.

    If both HDD's are of the ATA interface, configure your Sony HDD to be the "Master" drive and the eMachine's HDD as the "Slave". If one or both of your drives conforms to the SATA interface, just plug it in. Boot into Windows on your Sony HDD, and you ought to see the eMachine's HDD in "My Computer". Right click the drive and click "Format...". This will clear all the data on that drive and you ought to be able to store any data you care to on the drive now.

    If that's not what you're looking to do, I'm sorry for wasting your time :(.
  5. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The sony is set up as the master and the emach. is set up as the slave. I did that right, the instructions were on the drives themselves. In My Computer I can see the emach listed as drive E and F. I would like these two to become one, like a E only drive; just for storage of pics and music. If I right click on the E drive I can format it by itself, but what I dont get is how to merge the two (that is E and F) or if I have to leave them separate. No matter what I am going to reformat the C and D drives because of all the garbage that my kids have installed. So is it just better to run the recovery CD's with out messing with the E and F drive? The first responder said something about removing the partitions, and I'm not sure how to do that and wether or not I would do that before or during the Sony recovery?

    BTW, your not wasting my time, I just hope I'm not wasting anyone elses.

  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    If you are running Windows Vista, it is possible using diskmgmt.msc. Let us know if you are using Vista or not on your new PC. That will determine if you need to use a 3rd party software.

    ** Edited because I rambled on about RAID, but I misread your post. I thought the thread author wanted to combine two physical drives into one partition, not just a single drive and two partitions into a single one.
  7. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    Rick, I could be wrong but I think there are two separate partitions on the eMachines HDD assigned to E and F. They just want to merge the partitions, but I'm not sure what freeware is out there to do that or if it's possible with the XP CD or Fdisk. I've always been spoiled with a copy of Partition Magic.


    :( You edited your post....
  8. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    you don't need the recovery disc's
    all you need if you have data saved
    is go to my computer right click go to manage
    find the 1st partition of the old drive you better be sure
    and delete it then do the same for 2nd partition
    it will then show up as 1 big unformated drive
    format the drive and bobs your uncle
  9. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Zenosincks...You are right. It is a partitioned hdd. It has both a NTFS and Fat32 with win xp operating software on it. But since it is from a completely different computer I can not access the drive easily. I was able to copy emails and word docs off of it, but I can not run anything on it (that is the emach hdd).

    My new computer (a HP) is running Vista, but it has nothing to do with the Sony that has the old emach hdd in it for storage.

    So if I understand correctly: I need to delete the partition on both the E and F drives to make them one big drive. Then use the recovery cds to reformat both the original Sony and the one big emach drive?

  10. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    You should just be able to delete both E and F, create a new partition on that HDD and then just reinstall the OS on your C drive. You don't need an OS on your slave drive to store data (unless you just happen to want one on there).
  11. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    why do you want to re-install the OS??
    if you have a cd dvd burner just copy info to drive
    then make iso and burn to new disc's
  12. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    Err... what?
  13. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I dont get what you just said. I dont understand the shorthand.

    What I want to do is this...

    1) Make emach hdd one big drive and use for storage. I dont need the current useless OS on it, I just need it blank and usable and not two separate partitions that show up as drives in My Computer.

    2) Make original Sony hdd like new. No extra programs nobody is using on it. Like it was when we first got it. Just with more storage from the emach hdd as a slave.

    So I know this sounds really stupid, but what steps do I take to make that happen? I am running Win XP Home Edition.

  14. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    the Op is worried about the sony disc's right?
    make a new set right
    still don't know why a re-install with good working system??
    not stupid just don't have experiance is all
    I'll slow down
    do this first
    go to my computer right click manage then go to disk management
    when you see the drive you want to reformat it will show up as 2 partitions drive
    delete each partition then reformat as 1 drive from this console after you do this you can then re-install OS if you like
    if you like you can leave the 2nd drive unformatted and then re-inall OS then format that 2nd drive latter
    your worry about the disc's being bad if you had blanks I would burn images of them as a backup
    I don't think they are running vista from the sony
  15. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    Ipete301, if you are running Windows Vista, according to Rick you can use the diskmgmt.msc utility to do what you are interested in.

    To get to the diskmgmt.msc utility, go to Start>Run>diskmgmt.msc>Ok.
  16. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    One more thing, I know the "one big drive" will show up as a single drive. I just dont want two separate drives from the "one big drive".

    It is not the best working system, It can be slow and hang and more than likely has bits and pieces of leftover deleted programs all over the place.

    Can I make copies of the Sony recovery CD's? I thought there were restrictions on doing that. Besides my main concern is that the #1 recovery cd has two decent scratches on it, so I am not sure it is even a good readable disk and Sony does not make this set anymore and so I cannot order an new set of recovery cds.

    Does that make sense?

  17. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Zenosincks, I am not running Vista on the computer that I am dealing with. You guys have great information...I just wish there was an easier way than having to wait for individual answers and pages reloading.
  18. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    You ought to be able to make a .iso image of the recovery CD, and then burn the .iso as an image to any CD you want to. You will need a third party software to do that unless Vista comes with software that will do it. I wouldn't know :p I still run XP.


    Misunderstood you, sorry. Yes, this is frustrating at times. Can be confusing with just text and other people posting random unrelated stuff. :(

    If you want to type to someone instantly come by the IRC channel :D.

    Channel: #3dspotlight
  19. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sure I could do that if I knew how. I have never heard of a .iso image. I am a dental assistant this is not my thing, but I am trying to learn. Thanks for being patient.
  20. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Where is the IRC channel and how do I get there?
  21. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    I'm going to bed
    I'll look at this later

    good luck
  22. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

  23. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK Zenosincks, I cant seem to get it to connect. It takes forever and I am getting tired. So can you tell me exactly how to handle this conundrum that I am in?

    Do I delete the partitions? Do I not do anything and just start my restore disks?

    I need to get this done in the morning otherwise I dont have time to take care of it till next weekend.

    Thanks, Linda
  24. lpete301

    lpete301 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am trying to connect one more time.
  25. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    I'm not sure how you would go about it honestly. I've always just formatted both partitions and used a third party software to merge them. The software isn't free though.

    What you can attempt to do (not sure if it will work), is boot off the XP CD, delete both the E and F partitions. Now your eMachines drive will be left empty and unformatted. Create a new partition on the eMachines HDD and you ought to be finished with this drive.

    Then just go about reinstalling Windows on your Sony's HDD.
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