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#1 jayson

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 08:56 PM

how do I boot up the computer to just get to the DOS prompt in windows XP home? I need to re-format a drive and I need to get to the dOs prompt..

T%hanks
In loving of a pet that is now departed.
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Born: ?/?/1992 (adopted from a shelter)
Adopted: 10/2/1995
Passed away: 11/25/2006

#2 Madmanmcp

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 09:06 PM

how do I boot up the computer to just get to the DOS prompt in windows XP home? I need to re-format a drive and I need to get to the dOs prompt..


I'm a little confused by what you are asking here. Why do you need to boot to DOS to reformat a drive?

To get to the DOS prompt in WIN XP you click on START and select RUN and type CMD and press the Enter key.

To "format" a drive you can do that in Windows Explorer...right click on the Drive and select format.

May you can give us a little more information on exactly what you are trying to format and why you need to boot to DOS to do it.
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#3 jayson

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 09:16 PM

if you recall my last post about explorer.exe not working, the person wants me to reformat the hard drive and reinstall windows
In loving of a pet that is now departed.
Rasputin:
Born: ?/?/1992 (adopted from a shelter)
Adopted: 10/2/1995
Passed away: 11/25/2006

#4 Madmanmcp

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 09:27 PM

Ok, now that I know a little more we might be able to lead you in the right direction...but first some more questions :blink:

Do you have the original disks that came with the computer? Normally they come with a CD or DVD that is called the "Recovery" disk and you would use this to restore the computer. Or do you have the original Win XP "FULL" install disk?
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#5 jayson

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:21 PM

it is a friends computer, so no, and all I have is a win xp upgrade CD, I know of no other way to format the disk, right clicking on the drive then chosing "format" did not work..
In loving of a pet that is now departed.
Rasputin:
Born: ?/?/1992 (adopted from a shelter)
Adopted: 10/2/1995
Passed away: 11/25/2006

#6 Madmanmcp

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:41 PM

OK, well you are sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place. Depending on what you have to restore the computer will usually determine what steps you need to take. With the items you have told me you have you will not be successful at restoring your friends computer.

An "Upgrade CD" is used to upgrade a previous version of Windows and trying to restore XP to a computer that already has XP is a very difficult task. To do this you will need to restore the PC to a previous version of Windows and then use the Upgrade CD to make it an XP machine. If the PC came with XP pre-loaded and you are just trying to fix it with your Upgrade copy I am afraid thats not possible.

You will need to find a way to get the original disks that came with the computer or find a "Full" version of Windows XP to use to install.
BoB/ MadmanMCP

#7 Madmanmcp

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 11:02 PM

Here's an answer to your original question. What you are attempting is difficult and you will need more "tools" then what you have mentioned.

To boot to DOS you will need a boot disk and this boot disk will also need CD support so you can use the Upgrade CD. If you don't already have a bootable disk you can get one (make one) from here.

h_tp://www.bootdisk.com/
BoB/ MadmanMCP

#8 PeterPeter

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 07:09 AM

Still won't be able to install Windows from an update CD as it checks to see if another version of Windows in the upgrade path is installed. Remember I said you could boot off the CD to do a repair install of Windows XP. In your cmos when you restart the computer press delete key should take you to your cmos setup. In there under the second heading on the left usually, you can tell the computer of the boot sequence. Like CD or Hard Drive or Floppy or something else. Change it to boot 1st of CD and change the other sequences to not have anything so disabled. This way it will boot off of the CD.

Try that before reformatting the hard drive. In case there is data you need off the drive.

But a fresh install is a good thing too cleans up the mess.

#9 Madmanmcp

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 01:02 PM

Still won't be able to install Windows from an update CD as it checks to see if another version of Windows in the upgrade path is installed.


You can install Windows from and Upgrade CD as long as you have an original "full" version available. Windows will check the "upgrade path" and see if a previous version is installed somewhere on it. If it does not find a qualifying product it will display an error and give you the option to point it to the location of these files. At this point you can remove the Upgrade CD and insert an older CD, say a Full Version Windows 2000 or Win ME CD and Win XP will recognize it and do a Full install.

Jayson didn't mention having one of these CD's so yes he may not be able to...but it is possible.
BoB/ MadmanMCP

#10 jayson

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 07:26 PM

Ok here is what I have and do not have:

I have windows 3.1/95/98/98se (full versions)
windows XP home (upgrade version)
Windows XP pro (will not install on the computer)

all I want is to reformat the HD, or a way to get the system to boot into DOS, so I can format the drive. I really do not- want to suggest to the people to get a new HD.

Thanks for all the help
In loving of a pet that is now departed.
Rasputin:
Born: ?/?/1992 (adopted from a shelter)
Adopted: 10/2/1995
Passed away: 11/25/2006

#11 Madmanmcp

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 07:47 PM

all I want is to reformat the HD, or a way to get the system to boot into DOS, so I can format the drive. I really do not- want to suggest to the people to get a new HD.


And what good will just formatting do?

Sorry if I am being difficult here its just hard trying to guess what you are trying to accomplish and give you correct instructions to get there.

If alls you want to do is format a hard drive and leave it completly unusable then go to the bootdisk.com site and create a boot disk. Place the boot disk in the floppy drive and do a format on the C: drive. But this may not work if the drive is an extra large drive and is more then 2.5GB, it will need large drive support and possibly some drivers loaded.
BoB/ MadmanMCP

#12 PeterPeter

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 07:48 PM

Can you boot off of Windows 90SE

If you can, when it is booting up, hold down the f10 or f8 can't remember which one. Should give you a list of options. You need to boot into dos, but you will also need to be able to access fdisk to reformat the hard drive.

From memory Windows 98 came with a boot floppy 3 1/2" disk
which should have fdisk on it.

When you get into Dos you type fdisk and follow the menu items.

Keep in mind that fat32 drives larger than 2G were around. You need to be careful you don't confuse the fat table and boot strap of the drive. Otherwise you will chase your tail around trying to get the hard drive back to what you want.

or use the following

http://www.microsoft...55-BD5AFEE126D8

or this as well

h_tp://www.bootdisk.com/ntfs.htm

#13 Madmanmcp

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 08:12 PM

but you will also need to be able to access fdisk to reformat the hard drive.


Fdisk does not "format" a drive, its a utility to "partition" drives. You "format" a drive with the format command.

Warning, once a drive has been partitioned or formated all previous data will be lost.

I'm still not sure what the final destination here is supposed to be so I'll just sit back and watch and let you lead the way Peter. Too many cooks in the kitchen...
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#14 PeterPeter

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 08:40 PM

No you are right Madmanmcp, but my feeling is he wants to format the drive. So if that is the case, my suggestion is to fdisk it, reset the partitioning etc and then he will be back to square one to format the drive.

Formating the drive while in NTFS might not get him there, in my experience, getting it back to fdisk and then going through the process of formatting it and reinstalling it, seems to reset things better than just formating a disk after this sort of experience.

But everyone has different ways of getting to the same point in time.

Reason I mention it this way is, recently I rebuilt a machine from spares to have a go at installing a Linux suite and forgot I had the disk at NTFS, so after going through this sort of problem I had to end up doing exactly as I have suggested but confused the Fat on the drive making it think it was a different sized drive.

Had to hook it up to another motherboard to get the drive recognised correctly to be able to reformat it correctly and use back in the older machine and older motherboard.

I'm no more and no less an expert than you are.

Trying to read other peoples minds off of forums is hard to do, so we are both trying to accomplish the same thing. You know what your talking about, I can see that in the posts you have made.

#15 Madmanmcp

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 09:31 PM

Hi Peter, I'm just not sure where the final destination is here and why he wants to do what he is asking. I at first assumed it was following his first post for help in the "explorer.exe" thread but a couple comments have me thinking that he is being lead down another path (formating drive) by someone else trying to help him elsewhere. I at first thought it was you but maybe I am wrong.

There are always lots of different ways to reach a destination with many shortcuts and stoplights along the way, and there are several that are correct and several that could be wrong, we all want the correct ones :)

So, to pick the best way we need to know all the information possible. Are we trying to fix the "explorer.exe" problem or are we just formating the drive. I don't think formating is the final destination, the final destination is a working computer with a working Operating system. So lets give directions that lead to there and not to a point on the way there.

Now yes I agree sometimes its best to start over and repartition and format a drive before installing a full version. This starts you off with a clean slate. BUT, this is not always an easy route for the inexperienced person, you need to have all the necessary programs and know the steps involved and what equipment you have to work with. Is the BIOS set in the correct boot order, what size is the hard drive and do you need a boot loader on the drive to be able to access all the space. Things like this will throw a monkey wrench into the whole process and the inexperienced person will be in over their heads.

So I would not recommend this route. If there is nothing physically worng with the drive...I would leave it as is.

Jayson has mentioned that he has several "Full" versions of Windows and we can work with these to accompish what I believe he wants, a working computer with Win XP on it. We can use the Upgrade XP CD to boot the computer I believe, and if not we can work around it another way, but for now will try using it.

So try booting with it and when it asks for the location for the previous version, take the XP CD out and put in the 98SE Full CD. The install should recognize this and ask for the Win XP CD again then begin a full install. You should get another option menu asking you what you want to do with the drive (I hope) and here is where you want to select the "format" drive option. I would suggest you use NTFS, this will make better use of disk space then FAT32. Once the format is done it will do the Install.

Hopefully this will bring back the broken computer. If not there are longer ways to accomplish this involving loading an older version of Windows from one of the other CD's and then using the XP Upgrade CD to get XP running.
BoB/ MadmanMCP

#16 PeterPeter

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 09:50 PM

My thoughts as well, but I get the impression he isn't able to boot into Dos either from his original and other posts. Hence trying to get him a boot disk as you had originally suggested. Would seem that his system won't let him get into Safe Mode and he has no other way to go but formating and reinstalling. But again without a boot strap he won't get there either with upgrade CD's as he has indicated above.

A bit like the horse chasing the cart.

And your last line is few sentences are when I think he is currently heading.

#17 Madmanmcp

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 09:58 PM

My thoughts as well, but I get the impression he isn't able to boot into Dos either from his original and other posts.


He doesn't need to boot to DOS. The Upgrade CD should be bootable and be able to start the Install on its own. If I remember correctly the Upgrade CD is bootable...

Ok, let me take a look. I have an XP Upgrade CD here and I'll test it out. Give me a lttle time to find a PC to test on...
BoB/ MadmanMCP

#18 Madmanmcp

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 11:19 PM

Ok, I'm back, sorry it took a little longer...I had to watch Numb3rs :)

As I said the XP Upgrade CD is bootable and you do not need to boot to DOS.
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#19 PeterPeter

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 11:22 PM

That was what I thought but his post implies that he can't boot into DOS. Let's wait and see where he is at, haven't had any info back from him, since 11am US time by the looks of it and it iw somthing like 11.20pm there now.

#20 jayson

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 11:37 PM

Ok, this is what I did, booted the system with win 98 Cd, it told me there there was a version of window on the sytem and did I want to install win 98, I said yes, it the formated the HD, I installed the win XP upgrade cd in, and it did another format, and then installed win xp, so I finally got wnat I wanted,


(also, I did not want to install win xp again, I wanted to do a clean install, seems like that got lost in the post somewhere, reinstalling win xp, did no good for the problem I was having befor)
In loving of a pet that is now departed.
Rasputin:
Born: ?/?/1992 (adopted from a shelter)
Adopted: 10/2/1995
Passed away: 11/25/2006

#21 PeterPeter

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 11:41 PM

So you are back at XP then, which is what you wanted to get to eventually. I did realise you wanted to format and clean install, it was the problem of getting there that seems to be in the grey area a bit.

Still it is there and up and running which is good.

#22 Madmanmcp

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 10:30 AM

reinstalling win xp, did no good for the problem I was having befor)

That sounds like you reinstalled over the current version of windows which kept all your settings including the old problem. There are several options to select that would have wiped out the old version so this would not have happened.

I wanted to do a clean install, seems like that got lost in the post somewhere,


Sorry, you must be posting this information elsewhere because I didn't see this. I've been asking for specifics and have gotten very little so I made decisions based on what I assumed would be the best path to get you working.

A clean install is a term the tech's use to define what they want to do to a system. Wipe out old data on a hard drive and install new data, and this can be accomplished in several ways. The "cleanest" way is to repartition then reformat the hard drive, this not only erases the data it erases how the drive is structured.
The problem with this way is its more difficult and prone to having problem if you are inexperienced.

Another way to do a "clean" install is to format the drive, this wipes out the data on the drive and allows you to write new data to it. It leaves the partitioning information the way it was. If it was a FAT32 one partition label C:, it is still a C: drive with FAT32. Other information would be the sectors and clusters that are marked as "bad" and are not being used. If you repartitioned the table of "badspots" would have been deleted and during the format they would have been retested and some would possibly been found good and others found as bad.

From the description on your problem I assumed it was a data problem, not a drive or partition problem so an fdisk was not necessary. A format, which you did, wiped out the old data and allowed you to install a "clean" version of windows. So technically you did do a "clean install", you installed new data to a formatted drive. Thats why the problem is now gone.

(also, I did not want to install win xp again,

Why have you been trying to use the XP Upgrade CD?

so I finally got wnat I wanted,

Ok, count me confused. You want it...you don't want it.

I think we accomplished what you wanted. The computer is up and working. Is there something wrong with it
and did you really need to do total "clean" install with repartitioning? You can still go back a redo things if needed...it will not hurt. But remember the old saying, why fix something if it ain't broke.
BoB/ MadmanMCP




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