Cannot reformat hard drive on XP

  Colonelkaye 21:33 22 Dec 04

Hi, my daughters PC running XP Pro has been systematically rebooting for no apparent reason for over a month now. There is no pattern to it and I can only assume a virus of some sorts.
However, to take drastic action I am looking to format the hard drive and start clean but I cannot get an MSDos prompt to start the process. I have tried using safe mode with a prompt but it wont format the drive as it says it is in use.
I am sure their is an easy option but I cannot think of it. Please help???


  Technotiger 21:40 22 Dec 04

Hi, reformatting seems a bit drastic - I would try other channels first - eg, a simple one, but, make sure that when last closed down via Start>Shutdown that this was not left on the Option to Re-start, and then forgotten. I have seen this happen on this Foreum before. Merry Christmas. If a reformat is required then you should be able to do so using Fdisk (a Floppy).

  VoG II 21:40 22 Dec 04

Download a boot disk click here then restart with the floppy in the drive.

  quack 21:44 22 Dec 04

Enter BIOS at start up and change Boot Seqence to show CD ROM as first boot device. Put XP Disc in drive and reboot machine. It should then boot from the CD and you only have to follow the on screen instructions. XP will format drive and overwrite any previous installation. If you cant do this let the machine boot and then place the XP disc in the drive and when it asks what you want to do choose New Installation and then follow on screen instructions.

  Colonelkaye 21:44 22 Dec 04

Thanks for that response but the PC reboots when you are in the middle of some work - not when you shut down? Or have I misunderstood you? Reformatting would rid the PC of any virus surely as at present I cannot get the PC to start up.
As soon as Windows says "Windows is starting" it reboots again. Now on a complete cycle !!

  JoeC 21:48 22 Dec 04

have XP SP2 and a Umax scanner installed ? If so have a look here

click here.

If not, try a repair of XP by configuring computer to boot from CD by going into BiOs. Once done, put WinXP CD in the tray and reboot.

When the Press any key to boot from CD message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.

Press ENTER when you see the message To setup Windows XP now, and then press ENTER displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen.

Do not choose the option to press R to use the Recovery Console at this time.

In the Windows XP Licensing Agreement, press F8 to agree to the license agreement. Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.

Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup

  Colonelkaye 21:57 22 Dec 04

I have tried the XP Disc in already. Booting from CD - goes through the motions of loading the usual bits at the bottom of the screen and when it says "loading windows" it reboots again. Cannot get to the stage of choosing repair etc.
What next coz at present the PC is now unusable?

  JoeC 22:00 22 Dec 04

Download KillDisk from

click here

and then try starting computer with floppy to erase hard drive.

  Technotiger 22:11 22 Dec 04

I know you are trying to be helpfull (and I am not trying to be funny/sarcastic either) but how can he do that when pc will not start ?? Cheers.

  Technotiger 22:13 22 Dec 04

Ooooooops - I am/am NOT on form tonight - I just reread original thread - sorry JoeC :-((

  Colonelkaye 22:14 22 Dec 04

Thanks Joe C for the idea. As Techno says, ordinarily that would be ideal but I cannot get to that stage - especially after looking at the site and realising you have to launch the disk from a zip file. Cheers anyway.

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