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Topic: *&@!!^& Windows

  1. #1

    *&@!!^& Windows

    So it's holiday, and I finally got a few minutes in my studio. Having bought my third machine in September I need to reformat my older two and turn them into slaves for Vienna Instruments and Garritan instruments.

    The problem is I don't seem to be able to get XP to behave itself. Everything was so simple when you used to install from DOS, but XP seems very unpredictable. I actually rebuilt both machines last year, after some hardware failures, and everything went fine. I can't see that I'm doing anything different this time, but I don't seem to be getting the same results.

    I'd like to format all my sample drives, to leave them clean before installing Windows. But every time I try the 'format drive' tool in Windows it claims the drives are in use. I don't have any applications open, so I've checked through all the background processes and can't find anything that should be causing this.

    The installation itself - last time it also gave me the option to format the drive first. This time that only seems to be available if I want to install to a new drive. Once I select the partition that Windows has always been in, it withdraws the option to format the drive.

    I went through all the warnings about losing files, and wiping the old installation, and chose the 'install to this partition anyway' option, which has previously given a very clean installation. This time, though, it seemed to leave the old installation essentially intact, and renamed any new folders that might have wiped something. For instance I now have double the number of 'documents and settings' folders (eg my personal folder used to be called 'Dave.' That's still there, along with a 'Dave.Slave1' which has appended the name of the machine to avoid wiping the old folder.) Even the registry already seems to contain stuff, and, since the main reason for rebuilding was to get rid of programs that won't sit next to each other (eg. I had gigateleport, but will now be using fxteleport) this isn't ideal.

    I'm absolutely sure I didn't choose the 'repair this installation' option, which would be my first thought if someone else was describing this problem. Does anyone have any ideas?

  2. #2

    Re: *&@!!^& Windows

    PM me and I'll talk you through a few things

  3. #3
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Dallas, TX

    Re: *&@!!^& Windows

    I think that if a firewall is left on before the wiping of a hard drive, it will prevent it from going smoothly, but not completely sure.

    I also think some spyware will prevent completing the wiping of a harddrive, whether the type you get on the web or the type hidden in some applications.

    I have never successfully wiped out a windows partition or a hard-drive that had windows on it, using a windows disc. I use a linux distro, most all of them have some kind of partisioner on them, and it sometimes necessary to delete the leftover files in the hard-drive before accomplishing a complete wipeout.

    When you hit a dead end when wiping with the linux, you can look in the partitions and see there is a folder in each one, delete the folder, and now it is an empty partition.

    A hackentosh disc will also work, because the disk utility is available for doing a onetime wipe, a threetime wipe, a seven or even a 30. It is illegal they say to install it on a PC, but i'm sure that it isn't illegal just to use it's disc utility, which is the best there is for wiping and formatting.

    Even though it gives you the wrong format choices for installing windows, it will now be clean enough for the windows install disk to allow you to reformat.

    note: Vista will not install on it after wiping with Mac's disc utility, but if you format it with an XP install disc, then Vista will install on it.

  4. #4

    Re: *&@!!^& Windows

    Whenever I reinstall I always go the whole way and actually delete the XP non-DOS partitions then start from scratch. This way the new install of XP has no option but to format.

    It really goes without saying that to do this it's essential to have all the drivers, including mainboard chip drivers, ready. I'm sure you know this already but I'm mentioning it as a disclaimer for others who may read this.

    Good luck.
    Patience is a virtue, sensitivity is a gift

  5. #5

    Re: *&@!!^& Windows

    I don't know if your doing this, but I boot using the XP install disc and I have the choice to reformatt the drive that way (same way with my Vista disc).
    Anthony Abruscato

    "There are only two types of music: Love Songs and Pirate Music"

    HP Pavillion dv6171cl w/ Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, 2 GB Ram, 250 GB 5200 RPM HD + an external 300 GB HD. GPO, JABB, CAMB, Sibelius 5.1, Finale 2008a, and a demo copy of FL studio.

  6. #6

    Re: *&@!!^& Windows

    Thanks everyone, I think I've now solved the problem. I was indeed doing this from inside my current Windows installation, rather than booting from the CD. I had a vague notion that booting from the CD would give more options, but the BIOS on one machine refused to see the CD drive as a bootable drive, so I had to go the other way. Somehow, though, that has rectified itself, and I currently have two machines upstairs that are reformatting the C-drives

    Thanks in particular Tony for offering to help out via PM.

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