format option greyed out

  sunny staines 17:47 07 Oct 06

running dual boot xp pro on C vista on D i want to re format d drive ewhere vista is.

when i go into disk management the format option is greyed out.

tried via cmd but get"all opened handles to this volume are now invalid cannot lock the drive. The volume is still in use"

anyone got any suggestions please.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:53 07 Oct 06

Disconnect from net, switch off antivirus software and retry.

Programs like Bitdefender etc prevnt drives from being locked.

  Jak_1 18:01 07 Oct 06

Also try doing it in safe mode.

  Ray5776 18:24 07 Oct 06
  sunny staines 18:55 07 Oct 06

disabled all security programs & net then tried again in cmd. format started and counted up thought most of the drive then stopped and said "cannot format a system partition"

any other idea's please.

  sunny staines 20:57 07 Oct 06

i installed vista RC2 over RC1 in the end but wanted to reformat first. All went OK. But i would like to leave the thread open a little while in case someone can answer so i know what to do when i come to delete vista at the end of the beta .

  ed-0 21:01 07 Oct 06

try editing the boot.ini file in XP pro.

When you are trying to format the D drive, some of the files will be on the C XP drive, probably just the dual boot files.

If you remove them and reboot. You should be able to format the drive.

I think ~~~)

  mgmcc 07:37 08 Oct 06

While running XP, you should be able delete Vista's partition from Disk Management and then clean install Beta2, RC1 or RC2 directly into the "Unallocated Space".

Vista installs its own Boot Manager in the "Active" partition, so the boot path in the Boot.ini file remains unchanged, although there is a warning about Vista:


;Warning: Boot.ini is used on Windows XP and earlier operating systems.
;Warning: Use BCDEDIT.exe to modify Windows Vista boot options.
[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN /FASTDETECT


  AndySD 08:02 08 Oct 06

Or use the recovery console and the Format command followed by the bootcfg /rebuild
or fixboot command. click here

  sunny staines 11:50 08 Oct 06

The recovery console does not work as my xp disc is pre sp2, cannot get your link to open.

if i open cmd do i type in all of what you put between the perferf lines?


  mgmcc 13:06 08 Oct 06

<<< mgmcc if i open cmd do i type in all of what you put between the perferf lines? >>>

No, that's what your Boot.ini file should look like at the moment if you have set up a dual boot with XP and Vista. I just copied/pasted it to show that the actual boot paths are not changed when Vista is installed, because the Boot.ini file is not used, Vista installs its own Boot Manager in the "Active" (XP) partition.

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