Format computer


Postby htg engineer » Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:20 pm

Family member been having problems with computer - done a virus scan and found over 4000 infections. I want to format the computer and start again.

Don't know much about computers have entered the setup and entered

Format C:

It says
this will wipe all C: blah blah - do you want to proceed y/n - I entered Y

then it says

Volume in use, do you want to proceed and enforce format y/n -
I entered Y

then it says

Unable to format, volume in use, may be in use by another user.

Any ideas ? how can i format this computer - or is it best to get an expert in ?

thanks for any help
htg engineer
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 5:22 pm

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Postby rosebery » Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:52 pm

Are you sure these are virus infections or perhaps a mixture of viruses and spyware or perhaps all spyware? It doesn't sound as though the system has either anti-virus or anti-spyware software installed.

When was the last time the system had a good clean? Running Ccleaner, Spybot Search & Destroy and SuperAntiSpyware may well clear most of it out.

Any way to your specific question it won't format because Windoze is installed on Drive C: and the C: drive is mounted. To format it you have to unmount first.

If you really want to do this shut the machine down completely. Put the OS Installation CD in the drive. You may need to alter the BIOS settings to tell the M/C to boot from CD rather than HD.

With the first screen of the setup program select "R" to enable repair mode, select a Windows installation for repair and input it's admin password.

On the command line console that now appears enter "map". You should now get an overview of all HD partitions and corresponding drive letters.

You can now type "format C:" and off it will go. It will format using the exisiting file system but you can force another (if you want) by typing an additional command. Fo example to force NTFS type "format C: /fs:ntfs"
But if it's an existing XP installation it will be NTFS anyhow.

To leave the console, type "exit".

Re-boot from CD and reinstall windoze.

Cheers
rosebery
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:55 pm


Postby rosebery » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:38 pm

@ HE

Did that method do it for you?

Cheers
rosebery
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:55 pm


Postby stevenc1603 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:55 am

Rather that go through the recovery process I would just use your Windows CD in the following way.

Following rosebery's advice, get the laptop to boot from the CD.

Once its started it will come to a point where you can either press R to repair or Esc to continue.

Press escape. It will then ask you what partition you wan to install Windows on to. If you want to you can remove the existing one then re-create it, or you can just choose to use the existing one.

The next step should ask you if you want to format the drive. I always choose NTFS (Quick)

Once that's done the rest of the install process will run.

Bear in mind that formatting the drive will remove everything on it including any data that the users may have saved there.
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Postby htg engineer » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:03 pm

Thanks for the replies, I decided to get a friend to have a look at it.

He installed Norton Antivirus, the computer is all working now, he removed a few infections but says thre's virus there that needs removing and he recommends formatting and starting from scratch ?? good idea ?

I've been playing around with my computer which is protected by McAfee Security center - it's always popping up telling me not to do something or asking to remove something - which I always follow and click yes to remove any suspicious files.

I don't know much about computers, when you do a virus scan it says:

Items Scanned:
Items Detected:
Quarantined:
Scanning:

If it detects any suspicious files it comes up as detected then removes them - which I undertsand. What happens to the quarantined files ?

It said there was a couple on my computer -but they've gone now.

Thanks for your time
htg engineer
Posts: 3193
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 5:22 pm


Postby rosebery » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:10 pm

"What happens to the quarantined files ?"

There will be a hidden directory it "locks them up" in.

Cheers
rosebery
Posts: 2022
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:55 pm


Postby stevenc1603 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:24 pm

A quarantined file will be put in a directory and will be kept for as long as the quarantine time limit is set for.
stevenc1603
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 11:59 am


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