hi, can someone tell me how to reformat my harddrive? i have windows xp professional. i know how to reformat but i need to know if i have to boot with a windows 98 bootdisk even if i have xp, or will xp professional bootdisks let me access my cd-rom? someone once told me i had to have windows 98 bootdisk with smartdrv on it or i couldn't access the cd-rom to reinstall windows. i no longer have a windows 98 bootdisk. i'm afraid to erase everything unless i know for sure that a xp pro bootdisk will work or not, which i've already downloaded from the internet. i plan on putting xp pro back on my computer. please help.


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you should be able to boot off the cd... but if you can't, there are plenty of boot disk files you can find on the net that allow you to access your cd drive, or you could go to the manufacturer of the drive and ask them for one.

Try doing a search for "reformat" in the forum here. I recall having posted instructions several times in the past couple of weeks on how to do this.

Additional suggestons for searching would be "erase" or "reinstall"

The article linked in my sig is a comprehensive reinstallation guide. Windows XP installation will perform the format for you when it's performed in the described manner.

Excuse me for saying so, please, but I reckon downloading Boot disk images to do something which is built into Windows XP and the Windows XP Install CD is just plain silly!

To format a non-system drive, simply right-click the drive in 'My Computer' and choose 'Format'.

To format the system drive, boot from the Windows CD, and in the appropriate section of the install routine, delete the system partition, create a new one in its place, and install. The format will be done automatically. If you simply wish to format and leave a clean drive, then you can exit the setup routine as soon as the format is performed.

boot from the Windows CD,

Not all systems can do that (easily). That's what the boot disk is for.

On almost all systems, it's simply a matter of entering BIOS setup and making a small change to the settings. I'd strongly suspect that a system which doesn't have the appropriate setting available would be too old to run Windows XP anyway.

Just get a DOS boot disk and run "format c:" from the A: drive...

NO! Don't do it that way for Windows XP and NTFS partitions. You'd be best to head for the Windows 98 section with that advice ;)

I remember instructions along the lines of:

In order to reformat as NTFS, you have to make the drive you want to format, a primary drive, then stick the Windows XP CD in and then use that to begin the Windows installation process. It will have an option to reformat drive first as NTFS, once you complete formatting to NTFS - STOP the installation process, then it should be back to normal (don't forget to switch the drive to wherever it goes as usual!)

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