Reinstalling XP but cant format first

  User-45274F7D-4A08-46E2-998B6B7F04EE9E06 13:17 29 Jan 2009

Compared to my last formatting/install a few years ago this time Im struggling. On accessing command prompt after switching pc on, I think my problem about formatting is that I dont think the C: in dos refers to my hard drive. Floppy drive in windows is A: but in DOS its clearly B: as the light on floppy disk lights and dir brings up files on there. DOS clearly changes things around from what windows itself tell you!!!!
I've tried all drive letters to no avail. I've even tried FDISK but after entering one of the options on partitioning/deleting the computer does nothing more.
I have all necessary drivers and my OEM windows cd. I even put that in on startup and the blue windows setup screen loaded, going through the options it said it would need to format the drive first (I thought I was on here) but then again the blue screen stayed and nothing happened, no light on hard drive, nothing.
I just need to find the way the format the drive before I can move forward.
I would grately appreciate id some technical wizz out there could help me out. Im pretty technical myself but this one has got me.

Many Thanks

  canarieslover 15:01 29 Jan 2009

Which O.S. are you trying to install? You should only have to go into bios (boot up screen will usually tell you the key needed for this), set it to boot from CD first, save the settings, put CD in drive and then restart computer. The only problem that would possibly arise is that it is an early version of XP or an O.S. prior to that and you are using a SATA hard drive. You may then need drivers for the motherboard to allow the SATA drive to be accessed. XP gives you that opportunity when it first boots from CD.

  DieSse 15:31 29 Jan 2009

Look in the BIOS and see how the floppy drive is set up.

In some there is a "Swap floppy drive" option - this should be set to Disabled.

But anyway - as per previous post - you should be booting from your XP CD, which will allow you to partition and format without the need for a floppy.

  MAT ALAN 16:49 29 Jan 2009

Could be the HDD is dying...

  sharpamat 17:38 29 Jan 2009

Just a question are you useing an early Win start up disc? if so this normally means a ram disk is installed for drivers ( such as FdisK ) this does however still leave your floppy showing as A
for fdisk your hard drive remains as C for Formating but the sequence needs following full for it to work in both deleating and creating partions.
after rebooting and loading the drivers for CD support I normally need to add a letter ( ie for C use E ) to use the command to install.

I normally reset the BIOS to default prior to any of this and then recheck and adjust Bios as required after

  sharpamat 17:41 29 Jan 2009

I missed your heading so as its XP put your CD in and do a full install which will normally include a full format, you can also download XP startup disc ( 6 )

  cream. 23:01 29 Jan 2009

If your current XP installation is in NTFS filing system, that is why the floppy start up disk is not working.

As above re the XP disk. It should format the drive.

If you are stuck, use click here killdisk. Put it onto a usb stick or burn it to a cd. Make sure you select the correct drive and then format.

Then load windows.

Thanks to all of you replying trying to help me, keep the advice coming in.

I would however like to confirm with CREAM that yes my drive is NTFS and I do have a pretty old startup floppy.
I thought with the OS cd in, it would give opportunity to format first then reinstall but this does not happen.
So im trying to format via command prompt but I cannot seem to get it to under the command for formatting C drive (HDD) as seems C does not exist but the startup floppy creates ramdrive on letter C, floppy changes from A drive in windows to B in dos.

I'll sit back and be patient but it really is odd.

  cream. 20:18 30 Jan 2009

from my posting.

Thanks Cream I wil try this one. So basically it'll format the hardmdrive its own way then installation should be ok.


  cream. 23:25 30 Jan 2009

It WILL format the hard drive and IF the XP disk does it's job, it should install XP.

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