How to format?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by snowbound, Dec 12, 2003.

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  1. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    Hi everyone :)

    Newbie question:


    I would like to know how to format my hard drive if need be in the future.

    I have taken it in to computer shop once in the past to have this done, but i would like to learn how to do it myself.

    Could someone explain or direct me to a link to show me the easiest and best way to format and also how to reload my Win XP, drivers, programs,etc.

    Thank You :D




    snowbound
     
  2. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    I have found that it is so much easier if you use an app made just for formating and partitoning. I use partition magic 7.0 and 8.0. I had 7.0 and bought 8.0 but I like 7.0 about as well. These apps make it very easy to format a hdd. There are other programs out there maybe someone can tell you about them but I do like these. I hope this helped. :)

    http://www.powerquest.com/partitionmagic/

    You can format your hdd to ntfs,linux,fat,fat32 and so on very easily
     
  3. root

    root Registered Member

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    For starters, what kind of computer do you have? Is it a Dell or Gateway, or another that came with a restore disk, drivers, etc?

    Partition Magic is great and I highly suggest it, but I have always used it after I had the OS installed. I think there is a bootable version of PM that allows you to start from scratch, but I am not familiar with using it that way.

    Before you do anything, and this should be the case anyway - make sure you backup all your documents, bookmarks, passwords, email and attachments, etc. etc.Check, then double check. They should be backed up on a CD if possible, but floppies may work if you make two of each as they are not so reliable. Once you format, what was on C:\ is history.

    One possible alternative is if you have a large harddrive, you can use Partition magic to make another partition to store images on and use an imaging program to backup your C: drive. An alternate hard drive for storage is even better. If the install you are using now is good, then backing it up as an image is a lot less painfull than formating and reinstalling everything.

    If you value what you have on your computer, then imaging is a must in my book. I just lost a hard drive and got a new Dell with XP Home. I hated it so I formatted and put Win2k SP4 on. Took me two days to get everything going again. With an image, I can now restore my entire C: drive in 5 minutes.
     
  4. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Pm has a two floppy set you make off the program that you can use to start with an empty hdd disc. I have not used it but it should work alright. But root is right. Back up, back up, back up. The secret to on ocasion keeping your sanity. :D
     
  5. root

    root Registered Member

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    Nice to know information bigc. I must admit I have not explored all the uses of PM and I really do like the 8.0 version. :D
     
  6. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    Hi guys :D

    I have to admit i know nothing of how to partition a hard drive. I have never done it. I use my comp just for recreation and trying to learn all these wonderful things u guys post about here at wilders.

    From what i can make of it PM looks like something i should be investing in.

    I never even backed up my hard drive before :oops:

    I have read posts here(especially from u root) that say this is essential in case of problems.
    I'm not even sure how to do it.

    The only thing i have done is copied some of my apps. to CD.

    I like the idea of an image program to back up everything instead of formatting.

    If u make a partition and create an image of your hard drive to it this will take the place of formatting in case of catastrophic problems? :doubt:

    Oh root,

    My comp is Dell, dimension 8200, 80g hard drive with restore disk, drivers and programs.

    Any more information u can give me will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks a lot guys :)




    snowbound
     
  7. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Hey snowbound,

    I went quite a long time before I finally got a backup product for my system. I ended up with Acronis True Image based off the recommendations of FanJ and this thread. Prior to that I just made sure I had copies of my personal data files off on ZIP disk or CD-R and figured I could start over if I had to.

    As time went by and I had tweaked my system so much, and installed and configured some serious apps, the idea of starting over was a lot less appealing. :doubt: TI was very easy to use and now I know that the worse that can happen if I lose my system is I roll back to the last disk image. Much better than starting over that's for sure.
     
  8. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    Hi LWM :)

    That's how i feel too. When i had my comp formatted it took me a long time to get everything back to how it was before i had problems.

    From what i see on Jan's thread, TI looks like a top notch image programme that like u say, is easy to use.

    Very reasonably priced too.

    I really like the startup recovery manager option.

    Looks like no matter what has happened i would always able to restore everthing back to how it was.

    Have u had any problems with this programme LWM?

    If i am not mistaken u have XP too right?

    If everything is well, i think this is the app. i will use instead of formatting in the future.




    snowbound
     
  9. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Yes, I am on XP. I did have one problem writing CDs once. It aborted after the 5th CD-R was written saying basically a media problem. It gave no retry options so all 5 of the used CD-Rs were wasted because an incomplete image is of no value. So, I ran it again (on new CD-Rs of course since they aren't rewritable) and it happened again after the 5th CD-R. :doubt:

    That's when I started thinking bug. Well, turns out I was two minor version upgrades behind, so I upgraded and it has worked great ever since. I figure that was my own fault for not upgrading in a timely fashion. :rolleyes:

    In fairness to possible problems though, do read through Acadia's thread on this topic if you haven't yet. Also, I haven't paid to upgrade to the new version 7.0 yet either.
     
  10. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    Don't u just hate when that happens! ;)

    Believe me i have wasted more CD's than i care to remember!(mostly from my own dumb mistakes :D)

    I see Acadia is running Win98se so maybe the problem he is having is exclusive to that o/s. I hope he gets it straightened out.

    I see also that some people(including yourself) are apprehensive about the upgrade fee. It does seem a little high.

    I noticed a lot of app. upgrades now are getting a little pricey. o_O

    Seems like someday the "free upgrade for life" will be no more. :(

    Thank u LWM, root and bigc.

    I think i will try TI. I just love those quality apps. that are user friendly for people like me! ;)

    Thanks again guys,
    great advice as usual :)



    snowbound
     
  11. root

    root Registered Member

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    True Image is a place ot start. Backing up to CDs uses a lot of CDs if you do it often and thats why I like to use a seperate partition on my main drive. You have plenty of room on your drive to do that to, but it does not protect you in case of a hard drive failure. That is why I also copy my images to another drive now.
    Depending on your financial situation, you have options at least. CDs are faily cheap.
    To me probably the ideal situation would be a USB2 external hard drive to store images on in case of hard drive failure. I have a spare computer so I use that instead of an external drive.

    To answer your original question, I believe Dells restore disk has the option to format and then reinstall the OS, but I haven't done that before, so I'm just going by something I read somewhere one time. Your driver CD would come in handy too if you needed to go that route.

    Trust me, imaging saves a lot of heartache. Especially if it's recent. Forgot to mention. With version 7 of TI, you can schedule to do incremental backups each day or night, so you always have a recent image.
     
  12. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    I should not have said this. :oops: It sounds like i'm blaming a whole system for what probably is some conflict with another programme. :p

    All i have ever done with my restore CD is a couple of repairs to XP in the past. The last time i did it my registry got corrupted so that is when i decided to format.I didn't want to chance it myself so i paid the 40 bucks to have it done. :(

    That external hard drive sounds like a really good idea root, thanks.

    That way u are covered no matter what happens.

    I guess the price would vary widely depending on size and manufacturer.

    Well, something else to spend my hard earned money on! ;)





    snowbound
     
  13. root

    root Registered Member

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    Indeed money can be a very precious commodity. Before you buy, shop around. New Egg has some good prices sometimes as well as Fat Wallet Forum and Anandtech Forum can clue you in on good deals.
    There are other places to shop of course such as froogle, Best Buy and Circuit City.
     
  14. DolfTraanberg

    DolfTraanberg Registered Member

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    When you just want to format and reinstall XP, you can boot the computer with the XP CD and then, after confirming you want a new install (instead of a repair), you have an option to format your HD.
    Dolf
     
  15. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    Hi Dollefie

    I didn't know u could format from the XP CD. I thought the CD was only for repair or clean install.

    That's good to know in case i ever do decide to format the hdd.

    Would u happen to know of a link to get instuctions on this procedure? Or is it self explanatory from the CD?

    Thanks Dollefie



    snowbound
     
  16. Pieter_Arntz

    Pieter_Arntz Spyware Veteran

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  17. snowbound

    snowbound Retired Moderator

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    Thanks Pieter :)

    It is a very good read.


    Merry Christmas to u and your family. :D





    snowbound
     
  18. DolfTraanberg

    DolfTraanberg Registered Member

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    If you choose for a clean install, you will get an option to have the HD formatted first.
    Dolf
    edit: I missed Pieter's links
     
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