Cannot format c drive urgent help needed

  rickf 20:49 24 Sep 2013

In have sold my dell xps m1330 with wins xp. When trying to format then c drive before sending item it kept saying cannot format as there are utilities using the c drive. How do I close all these utilities accessing the drive so I can format for security reasons before sending. As far as I can see I have closed everything but still getting the same problem.

Secondly, I then tried to install wins xp thinking it will format during installation. However, the xp disc I am using is older than the version installed so I abandoned the process only to end up now with a choice of 1)wins xp set up or 2) start wins normally on startup. When I choose the latter everything goes correctly. How do I get rid of this. The installation xp disc is a different one from that installed as it came w/o a disc. Perhaps it I could find a way to format the c drive everything will go back to normal?? Thanks Sorry to be so long winded.

  lotvic 22:06 24 Sep 2013

You need to think this through.

  • You are trying to format C:
  • You are using C:
  • like anything logical it will refuse to attempt to format/delete itself as that would mean it also deletes the instructions to delete...

As it is a Dell, have you thought of restoring it back to Factory Fresh ?

That will be a darn sight easier than reinstalling XP and all this lot click here

Here's your manual click here

Factory Restore: press the key before the Windows logo appears on the screen. If you press F8 after the Windows logo appears on the screen, the Advanced Boot Options menu will not appear on the screen. If you do not see the Advanced Boot Options menu, restart the computer, and then repeat this step until you see the menu on the screen. Follow the on screen instructions

That will wipe the drive and restore it back to how it was when first left factory.

These are the instructions for the XPS ClickHere

To restore your computer to the original factory installation, follow these steps:

  • Turn on the computer, after the Dell logo press F8 key repeatedly until you see the 'Advanced Boot Options' menu (Advanced Startup Options).
  • In Advanced Boot Options, highlight Repair Your Computer and press Enter.
  • Click Next and logon to the administrator account in the computer.
  • Click Dell DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup and DataSafe Options.
  • Choose Restore without preserving new or changed file. Click Next to continue.
  • Choose Yes and click Next to continue.
  • Progress status will appear. Click Restart to initiate the restoration process
  rickf 23:57 24 Sep 2013

Lotvic, many thanks. Have not used xp for years and have forgotten the ins and outs. I am now trying to restore it to an earlier date using system restore. Once done will start from scratch and see.

  senthraj 00:23 25 Sep 2013

Follow these steps,

  1. Boot through the Dos boot cd with cd-rom.
  2. Insert the Windows XP cd and start the installation
  3. Go to CD drive letter, type winnt /b
  4. Windows xp will start the installation, now you can proceed with formating and installation.
  rickf 09:47 25 Sep 2013

Problem is I don't have advanced boot options I don't have Repair Computer. Senthraj, thanks but I don't have Dos boot cd. Probably will just make a refund to buyer as I can't seem to restore it to factory settings. Have tried using the recovery partition's restore function but it would stop after a while reporting "error"

  lotvic 13:14 25 Sep 2013

What version XP is it on the coa label on tower?

Were you using a Dell CD when you attempted a reinstall?

I might have a Dell CD to match, in a box under desk. You can PM me.

  rickf 18:42 26 Sep 2013

Thanks Lotvic. Very kind of you. Its too late now as the laptop has gone. Its the thought that counts. Cheers mate

  lotvic 18:47 26 Sep 2013

OK, will consider Thread 'Resolved' :)

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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