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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old April 16th, 2004, 04:13 AM   #1
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reformating xp

Hi there. I'm trying to reformat my drive. How does one get into the dos interface where I can erase everything and format the drive? I have too much garbage that I want to take away. With win 98 it was easy.just put in the start up disk and it would go into the interface.
Also, how does one go into the BIOS interface?

BTW, I'm using a laptop computer, but it shouldn't make any difference right?
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Old April 16th, 2004, 04:21 AM   #2
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You cannot do a (lowlevel) format in the BIOS anymore. But that's
not really a problem. If you put in the Windows XP disk and boot
from it, it will start the installation program and at one point it
should ask where you want to install XP. You then have the option
to delete a partition (which you want to do) and create a new
one.

XP will then autoformat your partition with either NTFS or FAT32
(you can choose).

No need to fumble around with DOS interfaces and whatnot.
Ofcourse do make sure you have everything backupped, including
your settings to everything!!

If that somehow doesn't work (it should) you'll need a bootable
DOS diskette to boot from which includes a format utillity. You
can get a bootable disk from www.bootdisks.com. I
suggest you use the Windows 98 SE bootdisk. Do NOT pick any
NT / 2000 / XP / ME bootdisks since they will NOT do what you
want to do.

But I'd try the XP installer way first. Much easier.

Good luck!
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Old April 16th, 2004, 05:09 AM   #3
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Thanks Rob. So you are saying there is no way in hell to access the bios interface at all except through suggestions you posted? I'm trying to get into the bios so I can set up my system to boot from the cd drive and not the disk.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 08:02 AM   #4
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You should be able to access the BIOS since that's unrelated to the OS. On boot, during the device recognition bit, try hitting either F1, F2, Delete or Esc. Usually one of those does the trick, depending on your motherboard. If you have the manual, even better.

You are correct in what you're trying to do - a lot of times systems are still configured in the old way for boot order - floppy, then hd, and then sometimes cd. Systems today should be cd then hd, and many computers don't even have a floppy any more.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 08:23 AM   #5
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Thanks. I'll give it a try.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 09:03 AM   #6
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One other little tip that might help - nowadays computer vendors have the system flash up a screen (usually the vendor's logo) to hide the BIOS tests happening in the background. For example, my Gateway 450 on boot up flashes the Gateway logo however it says on that screen what key to press to enter the BIOS but yours may not.

Usually you can press a key (typically Tab) to get rid of the logo screen. This can be helpful if the logo screen doesn't show which key is needed to enter the BIOS. Every system I know of will show the "BIOS keystroke" on the BIOS post screens but that may be happening in the background behind a logo screen.

One other tip - sometimes you only see the BIOS keystroke prompt on a cold boot (IE when you first power on the system) but not on a warm boot/reboot.

Another generality with the systems I have seen - the BIOS keystroke prompt typically is displayed right before OR after the memory test.

-Jeff
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Old April 18th, 2004, 06:50 AM   #7
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Do you know which motherboard or BIOS make you have, Charles?

You should be able to get into the BIOS to change the boot order
and things like that indeed. You just can't format from there these
days.
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Old April 18th, 2004, 11:03 AM   #8
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Thanks. It was a F10 button. I had pressed this before by just holding down the button but did not realize you had to tap the button just a second after the compaq screen splash came up. I was just used to the old win98 method. Thanks for all your help guys. Love ya! :)
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