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Problems formatting hard drive

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Problems formatting hard drive

Postby pakurtin on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:59 pm

I am trying to format the hard drive on a pc currently operating on Windows 98. After inserting a boot disk and restarting, I get the a: prompt; however, when I type "format c:", I get the following message:

"Bad command or file name"

Any suggestions?
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Postby dodecahedron on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:07 pm

go to the website of the manufacturer of the HD, download a utility for managing their HDs, it should be a floppy boot type of thing and give you the option to format the HD.
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Still won't format

Postby pakurtin on Sun Feb 12, 2006 10:57 am

Okay, thanks. I did as you suggested: used Western Digital's "Data Lifeguard" to make a boot disk and used it to restart the machine. Same results: when I typed "Format c:", received "Bad Command...".

I swapped the HD out for another HD and tried the reformatting procedure on it-the same error comes up. Could this problem have anything to do with the BIOS or Chipset?
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Postby bill on Sun Feb 12, 2006 2:39 pm

Hi, a few questions -

Prior to this instance have you ever installed a hard drive?
Are the hard drive jumpers set correctly?
Is the hard drive being detected?
How old is the computer and who manufactured it?
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More info

Postby pakurtin on Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:57 pm

Hi and thanks for your interest.

I have installed several NEW hd's in the past, most recently in a machine I specified and built about a year ago from scratch that contains the following components: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ processor, ASUS K8V-X motherboard, Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 80GB SATA hd and Windows XP. This machine runs beautifully, but this is not where my problem originates.

The pc with my problem is a Dell Dimension L purchased in 2000 with Windows 98; the original hd was replaced in 2002 with a Maxtor. This system is loaded with bugs, but was working up to this point. So the drive was detected and I have not changed the jumpers.

Thus I am trying to get this old system somewhat up to date by wiping the hd clean and loading Win XP onto the clean drive. I thought the best way to do this was to format it... I thought this was going to be easy...
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Re: More info

Postby smartin4 on Sun Feb 12, 2006 5:10 pm

pakurtin wrote:Hi and thanks for your interest.



Thus I am trying to get this old system somewhat up to date by wiping the hd clean and loading Win XP onto the clean drive. I thought the best way to do this was to format it... I thought this was going to be easy...



If you are going to load XP, why not just allow the install process to do your format for you? And I always make sure to format the drive NTFS. When the install says there is a previuos install detected, I always delete the existing partition (I beleive the sequence is D, Enter, L) and then create a new partition and tell it to install Windows on that particular partition (assuming you are going to use multiple partitions on that drive in the future).

IMO, there isn't really a reason to format the drive prior to doing a clean install.
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Postby bill on Sun Feb 12, 2006 6:36 pm

Just in case your not aware, you will have to boot to the cd or dvd drive prior to the hard drive...

Place the Windows cd in the drive.

Shut down the computer.

Restart the computer and immediately start pressing the F1 key ( I think that is the correct key for a Dell ) until you reach the bios screen. If the F1 key doesn't get you to the bios screen reboot and try the delete key.

Set the bios boot sequence to cd or dvd first and the hard drive (HD 0 ) as the second boot device. Save the new settings and reboot.

After rebooting you should get the Windows prompt for a new installation.

After Windows is installed, as suggested by Smartin, you can reset the bios to boot the hard drive first so Windows will load faster.
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Postby pakurtin on Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:37 pm

Okay, I tried to allow the install process to work. I loaded the Windows XP disk and got the Install screen. At step 1, Collecting Information, I got the following error message:

"Error reading cd-rom in drive. Please insert cd-rom VRMHOEM_EN with serial number 009C-7780"

I don't recognize this cd "VRMHOEM_EN". When I hit "ok", the drive began to read the disk again, and then I got another error message:

"Option to upgrade is not available at this time because Setup was unable to load file E:\I386\WINPXUPG\W95UPG.DLL" I hit ok and this came up:

"E:\I386\WINNT32A.DLL could not be loaded or is corrupt. Setup cannot continue"
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Postby Spazmogen on Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:38 pm

Sounds to me like XP is asking you to insert the Win98 CD to validate that you can use the XP upgrade version (instead of buying the full version).

or you can use FDISK to nuke the hard drive.

XP will still ask you for the Win98 CD if you are using an upgrade version of XP.

I always use FDISK, then let XP partition/format the hard drive for me.
Even with the upgrade Home edition that I own. Its a true clean install.

If there is any chance of Dell using GoBack software, I recommend a low level format to nuke the whole drive. I got into that with a Gateway system last week. I could format C: but Goback was still there in the MBR. Low Level format removed it nicely.
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Postby dodecahedron on Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:06 pm

VRMHOEM_EN is the Volume name of the Windows XP CD.
VRMHOEM_EN is the name of the Windows XP Home (SP2) OEM version of Windows.

don't know about that first error - maybe the disc is scratched? or the CD-ROM drive is flakey?

"E:\I386\WINPXUPG\W95UPG.DLL" sounds like it thinks it's going to upgrade from Win95. weird.

anyway sounds like it has problems reading the disk.

pakurtin wrote:Okay, thanks. I did as you suggested: used Western Digital's "Data Lifeguard" to make a boot disk and used it to restart the machine. Same results: when I typed "Format c:", received "Bad Command...".

I swapped the HD out for another HD and tried the reformatting procedure on it-the same error comes up. Could this problem have anything to do with the BIOS or Chipset?

sounds like you're not using the utility correctly.
did you insert the floppy, boot with it, get a prompt and type FORMAT?
that's not what you're supposed to do. you're supposed to run a diagnostics utility which gives you an option of formatting the HD.

are you sure your hard drives are jumpered OK? that the cable is OK?
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Re: Still won't format

Postby dodecahedron on Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:15 pm

pakurtin wrote:Okay, thanks. I did as you suggested: used Western Digital's "Data Lifeguard" to make a boot disk and used it to restart the machine. Same results: when I typed "Format c:", received "Bad Command...".

I swapped the HD out for another HD and tried the reformatting procedure on it-the same error comes up. Could this problem have anything to do with the BIOS or Chipset?

i'm trying to figure out what it is you did and can't udnerstand.

you need to use Western Digital's Data Lifeguard Tools 11 for DOS (not Data Lifeguard Diagnostics).
download it here:
http://support.wdc.com/download/index.a ... =4&swid=23
direct link:
http://websupport.wdc.com/rd.asp?p=sw23 ... 11_dos.zip
unzip, run the .exe, create a floppy.
boot into the floppy (you man need to enter BIOS to set up the floppy drive as first boot device).
when Data Lifeguard Tools starts, select the drive for settting up - i think in the main screen you choose "Set up your hard drive", then select that drive, and then choose 'add the drive as new boot device'.
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Success!

Postby pakurtin on Sat Feb 18, 2006 12:34 am

Thanks, all, for your help. Problem summary:

1. Western Digital "Data Lifeguard Tools" download took three attempts before a good boot disk could be created.

2. Fatal error while loading Win XP - I/O device error - CD ROM drive died.
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Postby pranav81 on Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:45 am

Hi.

Just copy the format.com file from any Windows 9x/Me machine onto the boot disk.Then you can execute the format c: command.


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Re: Success!

Postby dodecahedron on Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:59 pm

pakurtin wrote:1. Western Digital "Data Lifeguard Tools" download took three attempts before a good boot disk could be created.

2. Fatal error while loading Win XP - I/O device error - CD ROM drive died.

item #1 i've no idea why it took you 3 times do successfully download Data Lifeguard Tools. bad Internet connection ??? worked for me the 1st time just fine. ran the program, created the floppy disk, rebooted with it, ran the program etc. no problems at all. in any case seems totally unrelated to the problem formatting the HD.

item #2 when did you get that error? when trying to boot the Windows XP CD ? could be that your CD-ROM drive is problematic/dying, or a bad IDE cable, or a bad power supply or bad motherboard or who knows what else. in any case seems totally unrelated to the problem formatting the HD.

you still didn't say if you successfully ran the Data Lifeguard Tools program and successfully used it to format the HD. and if unsuccessfully then what was the problem and exactly how/when it happened.

if you want more assistance you need to give more detailed and specific info than you have done.
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Problem solved

Postby pakurtin on Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:31 pm

Initial problem is fixed - hard drive finally formatted successfully.

Once I got a good Data Lifeguard Tools download (on a DSL connection), I was able to create working boot disks. Then after I swapped out the CD ROM drive, format went fine.

Thank you for all your help. Pete
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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:03 pm

:D
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