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Stuck and Unhappy


Badger
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Hi again all

I’m hoping that I might be able to get some help and advice from the clued up denizens of these very pages.

I’ve managed to get into a complete mess with my games pc and after a couple of months of trying now I’m getting to the point where it’s just to depressing to turn the thing on anymore to try yet another fix which seems destined to failure.

I won’t bore you with a whole saga, but suffice to say that I managed to get virussed up pretty badly and my machine was left in a state where going online was a non starter.

After a couple of months of trying to help me by email, a techy chap I know suggested that the best way forward was to grit my teeth, reformat the machine and start again from scratch.

Many of you know that I am a mental midget when it comes to this kind of stuff, but it has to be done so hoping for the best I gave it a go.

Unfortunately my pc was bought 2nd hand a couple of years back and I had no windows disks, startup disks, or any other disks for that matter, so I’ve had to buy a new copy of “Win XP Home Edition”

With this in hand I set about trying to find out how to reformat the machine prior to get rid of all the bad stuff before installing the new version of windows.

Once upon a time it used to be possible to accidentally reformat your C: drive while you were formatting a floppy disk, so you had to be careful. But these days it seems that the route to reformatting your drive is some kind of bloody state secret which no bugger is prepared to tell you in simple terms!

(Yup.. I’m getting a little frustrated.)

The chap at “PC World” said that my new copy of Win XP would tackle the reformatting for me at the same time as it installed the new version. I had my doubts, but decided to try anyway.

But needless to say that it didn’t work and I aborted the installation. My second hand machine used to live in a friends LAN center and as such its current OS is “XP Pro” so if I understood one of the messages I got on screen properly, my new copy cannot downgrade from XP Pro to XP home.

Which surely means that the new version was NOT going to reformat as it went and that the guy was talking a load of crap!

This leaves me back in the position of needing to reformat the drive before I install the new OS, which is fine honestly, it’s all I want to damn well do, I just want it to work again!!!

I found a website which seems to give a step by step “How To” guide here;

http://www.umt.edu/SA/DCO/index.cfm/page/1488

This looked good and when the page talks about going to the C: Prompt in DOS and typing “format c:” I begin to think that I might finally be getting somewhere. It made sense to me that I have to make the PC boot to DOS so that I can enter a DOS command to reformat.

But I fell at pretty much the first hurdle when it came to the pages advice to go to www.bootdisk.com and get a “bootdisk” for the current OS. All I seem to be able to find there are notes about the bootdisks, but I don’t see where you have to click to actually make one!

Please is there anyone here who can help me with this technical rubbish?! Surely it can’t be so hard to reformat a damned hard drive! Can anyone here talk me through in simple terms, how to do this before I lose it totally and start roaming the neighbourhood with a rusty axe clamped in my hands and a Jack Nicholson impression echoing from my frozen lips!

Yours Hopefully

Badger

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Badger,

Why not simply buy a new HD and have some techie install it for you with your store bought copy of XP Home on it?

That might cost you some $, but would save you a bunch of hassle. :thumbsup:

Cheers, :beer:

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No wucking furries GI. :D

Check this place.

http://freepctech.com/pc/002/files010.shtml

I think the one you could most iuse is described thusly;

MS Windows XP System setup disk

Allows you to boot from a single floppy disk, partition

and format the drive and then begin the XP installation

from CD.

It is the last one on the list. I will also take for granted you have access to another system to make this with.

And I do agree. Since the total GUI system has been around, the ways of the mystic DOS prompt are going the way

of the Dodo, unless you are a professional computer geek like myself.

Good Luck!

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Right then….

I managed to create the boot disk from the last item on the list on Spectre’s suggested page,(after a couple of Badger style false starts) and sure enough it boots the pc to DOS.

This is a huge step in the right direction (I hope) but it boots to an A: Prompt and the pc sat watching me with a smug grin across its nasty silicone chipped face, while I systematically worked through every DOS command I could think of to make it go to a C: Prompt, all to no avail.

I even tried that thing you do with “DOSBox” where you type in “mount c:” (I think) but it still refused to budge.

I hope that this is just a case of my not knowing the right command and not that I’ve reached yet another impasse which will demand I give up and take it to a computer shop.. I really can’t afford that just now.

Anyone know how to get to the C prompt?

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I think if you are at "A:" I think all you need to do is type "C:"

If you are at "C:\random directory\more random stuff" you need to type "cd\" to get back to "C:"

Once you are at "C:" you need to type "cd/the name of your directory" to change to the different directories. "cd\" means "change directory"

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Thank's Baltar, I should really have been clearer in that "C: enter" was one of the commands I already tried along with a couple of others which seemed highly unlikely like "cd\C" and "cd<space>c:" even though I knew in my heart that they were about changing directories rather than drives. But I was getting desperate.

I get the distinct feeling that something more fishy is going on here.

Badger

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Well, thats where it all falls down then, isn't it?

You may, or may not, be able to do a dir c:, as DOS cannot see some hard drives over a certain size, due to their

formatting being more advanced then their predessors.

Try with good ol' FDisk, as it will only sees fixed discs, read hard drives, and should give you partition information.

It is also the place to nuke it. From there, that is with a deleted partition, go to your CD, maybe D:\i386\winnt32.exe.

Once the install sees an open partition, it should ask if you want it to go there. Yes, and drive on!

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Oh, also if your hard drive is NTFS you are out of luck, DOS can't read files in that structure. If you are on Windows XP and your computer came with it preinstalled, odds are very high that you are using NTFS. It is better than FAT32 but again, not supported by DOS.

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I didn't even think about that as having an NTFS file sys on it but you may be on to something there Brian. Should still be able to run FDISK, I just don't remember if you can blow those partitions and such out with it.

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Yup, FDisk will see it.

I was trying to avoid use of the terminology, to avoid confusion. DOS won't see NTFS, and it is the best choice, that

is why using the CD to partition after nuking is the best way to go. Though it can convert FAT32, if formatted from the

boot disk, it just takes a lot longer...

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As promised just a quick note to let you know that the blasted machine is up and running again after over two months of downtime.

I just wanted to say thankyou again to those of you who volunteered advice and particularly to The Skipper, who went above and beyond the call of duty and was actually on the verge of sending me something to help solve the problem.

All the best

Badger

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Skipper to the rescue! What else is new, eh? (Bit o' inside squadron humour there :D)

Does this mean our forums will once again be blessed with your most agreeable brand of wit and humour, Badger? Or will you be going underground again...'til springtime?

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Does this mean our forums will once again be blessed with your most agreeable brand of wit and humour, Badger? Or will you be going underground again...'til springtime?

Nice to be missed Mr Paddles :) Usually people only miss me because they can't throw a brick far enough!

Badger

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Nice to be missed Mr Paddles :) Usually people only miss me because they can't throw a brick far enough!

Badger

:rofl:

"And so it was that AirBadger returned and there was even more mirth o'er the land. Feasting, dancing, and assorted ribald acts were committed."

Skip,

Badger, Groundhog...big, furry, live in holes in the ground...what's the diff? :D

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:rofl:

"And so it was that AirBadger returned and there was even more mirth o'er the land. Feasting, dancing, and assorted ribald acts were committed."

Skip,

Badger, Groundhog...big, furry, live in holes in the ground...what's the diff? :D

A Badger will also rip you a new asshole. A groundhog won't.

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A Badger will also rip you a new asshole. A groundhog won't.

A Badger DID rip me a new asshole! Well he bit my leg anyway and let me tell you it hurt! Hurt bad and I cried! In fairness I was only six and I was also where i shouldn't have been... and..erm.. I did step on the Badger before he sank his teeth in.

Good job I had long legs for a six year old, or else I'd be speaking to you now as Phyllis instead of Phil.

But at least when I got home I had the love and concern of a caring mother to make it all better........ WRONG! She slapped me twice! Once for being where I shouldn't have been and once for lying because she didn't believe it was a Badger that bit me in the orchard. (you don't want to be bitten in the orchard!)

There I stood dripping blood on the floor with a big chunk out of my leg... but because I was obviously lying there were no tetanus shots for me! So I'm probably lucky I survived at all.

Every time I consider my scars both physical and emotional I think of those slaps and I wish I could afford therapy!

Now if you'll excuse me I feel a sudden need to go roll in some leaves.

Badger

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