Emptying computer

Old 03-19-02, 01:20 PM
Terry Grant
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Emptying computer

Have a laptop we wish to totally erase and start over. What is the command to type at the C prompt that will totally wipe out the machine? (Have DOS 6.21 and windows 98 to reinstall) Thanks. Terry and Son, Bret
Old 03-19-02, 01:36 PM
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Please be aware you go at your own risk in following any advice to your post. Many helpful people here, but limited to how much help can be offered.......................

Please check your laptop is able to run/install Win98. Does it have a CD ROM? If not: DO NOT TRY TO LOAD WINDOWS 98. Very few people crazy 'nuff to put Win98 on floppy or willing to install ~78 disks.

Would be best if use Win98 boot disk.
Before you do this, is the CD ROM a bootable device? If not will definately need Win98 boot disk.

Put in boot diskette (DOS disk #1 or Win98 boot disk) and power PC on, wait for finish start-up.

type: "cd a" without quotes and press ENTER
type: "format c:\s" without quotes and press enter

Hard drive is now wiped clean and primed for OS install.

Old 03-19-02, 02:54 PM
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Here's the way I did it. I have an old Dell Latitude, 300 mhz. I have a cdrom drive and a floppy drive, but not both at the same time. Here's the way I did it:

l. On my desktop pc made what I call a "Format disk" containing fdisk.exe, format.com, and command.com. Used this to boot the laptop, run "fdisk", then "format c:/s". (I found that not every version of format will support the /s switch, I think the version that comes with ME will not). I was then able to boot the laptop from its own hd and it would recognize both the a: and c: drives. This is an important first step.

2. Then I located on my desktop pc and added to my "Format disk" the following files:

HIMEM.SYS (might not be needed, but it didn't hurt)
OAKCDROM.SYS (your cdrom drive may need a different driver)
EDIT.COM (because I wound up making changes to the following to get them to work)

Then use Notepad to create an AUTOEXEC.BAT file containing the following line:

MSCDEX/D:MSCD001 (those are zeroes)

and a "CONFIG.SYS" file with the following lines:


(For me this second line worked with no spaces. A lot of sources I have seen show a space after sys) (your cdrom may need a different driver) Make sure that the D:MSCD001 appear exactly the same in autoexec.bat and config.sys.

3. Copy these files from the a: drive to the root directory of the c: drive on the laptop. Power down, remove the floppy drive and install the cdrom drive. On power up the cdrom drive will be recognized as drive d if you do all the above correctly. Then just insert your windows cd in drive d, and change to the d: prompt, then type "setup". That's all there is to it. Just be aware that your cdrom drive may need a different DOS driver. Your laptop would be the best source of the correct driver. Also, go to google and search for "MSCD001" for more info.

Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

Norman aka Ichabod
Old 03-20-02, 06:46 AM
Terry Grant
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Emptying - or still trying

Hey guys, I am very grateful for the advice, not to mention the time to explain, Ichabod! Unfortunately, by the time I got back to my kid with the answers, he had gone to Windows Explorer, and hand deleted anything that would delete. I found an "a" drive recovery disc, but not it seems that the "a" drive is not working. When we turn on the Thinkpad, we get the Thinkpad logo, so something must still be there. Anyway, it then goes to the message: Invalid system disk. Replace the disk and press any key. No matter what we do, the same message repeats itself. Tried the CD recovery disc. Also nothing. Have we hurt it permanently? Really do appreciate your time here!! Thanks.
Old 03-21-02, 04:49 AM
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try going into CMOS and changing your boot sequence. hit del or esc or f2, or f10 or what ever the key combo is for that laptop, should tell you during memory test. make sure that a or cd is first. sounds like c is first and since you have erased some key info it needs to boot up it just stops with the error. I would go with a, then c since you will need a bootable cd (can't remember if recovery disk is bootable or not.)
Once you get the laptop to boot to the a drive you can use a startup disk to formate the c drive and then use the cd to re-install.


p.s. you will need cd support on your boot disk.

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