Formatting a partitioned hard drive

  Abel 15:33 13 Nov 2009

I have previously posted on this subject see:click here.
Having typed Format C:\ at the command prompt, it told me that the Volume was in use by something else. Having no success in finding whatever else this was, I reverted to Google for the answer. It transpired from this enquiry that I have to delete the partition before reformatting, which conflicts with the previous forum advice. I'd be grateful for clarification.


  canarieslover 15:45 13 Nov 2009

Is it a 'Command Prompt' from Windows or are you using a bootable floppy or CD to get this prompt? If it is the Command Prompt from Windows then it is Windows itself that is currently using C:\ and it will not let you format that partition as it would overwrite itself with the format. You should be booting from your Windows install CD which will give you the option to format before re-installing.

  beeuuem 15:48 13 Nov 2009

Normally Windows is installed on the C Drive. You can't format the drive with the OS installed on it from Windows.
Are you wanting to reinstall windows?

  Abel 15:53 13 Nov 2009

Thank you canarieslover, I take the very obvious point you make. Sorry to be so dumb.
Yes beeuuem, I do want to reformat my partitioned drive, but only C:\. Can it be done while leaving the other partition untouched?


  canarieslover 15:57 13 Nov 2009

Yes you can reformat C:\ and leave you data intact on D:\.

  Abel 15:59 13 Nov 2009

canarieslover tell me how please!!


  Diemmess 16:06 13 Nov 2009

Yes you can leave the other partition alone - BUT

As previous posts have indicated there is no Windows command which will allow a format of the operating system (like sawing off the branch you stand on!) without using external software.

You would use instead a CD which will allow you to boot from it, offering the format command as part of its contents

Typically the Windows installation disk itself.

  Diemmess 16:10 13 Nov 2009

Why do you want to format C: anyway?

There may be a simpler way but it depends on why you wish to use 'Format' in the first place.

  woodchip 16:14 13 Nov 2009

You cannot Format Windows From a Command Prompt as that sounds like you are doing it from Windows. you will need to do it using the operating system CD by booting with it

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