View Full Version : can I reformat my c drive ?

04-21-2007, 11:45 PM
my laptop has one HD, but was subdivided by the prior owner into C and D drives. original OS (winXP) was installed in C drive.
recently my laptop was infected. in the process of cleansing the computer,
i made some stupid (unknown) mistakes, so now essentially the startup drive and OS on C seems nonfunctional (when i insist on using it, it will freeze at a safemode-like page, but before a cursor appears)
i then installed another winXP (older than the one on C) on D and now everytime when I turn on the machine, if i choose the OS on D to run, everything seems normal. i can still use files on C without problems. I transferred important and big files from C to D and wanted to reformat the C, since I thought I wouldn't need it to run the laptop. somehow, i can NOT !!
so two questions
1. can I reformat the C without jeopardizing my D operation?
2. how ? (or how to rescue my C as I can not start with C anymore)


04-22-2007, 12:07 AM
You should be able to reformat the C partition. I forget how though..

Paul Komski
04-22-2007, 08:14 AM
odannyboy000 Please restrict yourself to posting information of use to the poster.

seraphodiabolus What has almost certainly happened is that the C partition remains the active partition and contains the boot files necessary to load the new installation of windows on the D partition. If C is shown as the system partition in Disk Management then that is certainly the case.

You can delete all FOLDERS on the C drive (and then from the recycle bin to liberate space) but ensure you leave all files in the root of the C drive. You can then resize down the C drive and resize up the D drive to occupy the space liberated by resizing down the C drive. BiNG (in my sig) or QParted can do this for you - as can any other more expensive apps.

Suggest you also do a normal format of a floppy from WinXP and copy boot.ini, ntldr and ntdetect.com from the root of the C drive. This floppy can be used and should be tested to boot up your system in the event that you mess up the current boot processes.

It is also possible to delete and/or format the C drive and then make the D drive into a new system drive but it is complicated - particularly if the D drive is a logical partition - and is not recommended.

You could also boot to your installation CD and install a new install into the C drive, which you could reformat as part of the setup process. Just dont go near the D drive when you do this or you could lose the data on it.

When changing partitions with any utilities always backup critical data beforehand onto another medium and preferably on removable media.

PS I forgot to say that if the pagefile is currently on C that it might be wise to move it to D before resizing C down and D up if you want to keep C as small as possible. On the other hand C is a good place for the pagefile for performance reasons.