Help with startup disc.


Active Member
Im trying to format hy hard drive on my laptop. Ive created a startup disc but it doesn't do anything when i turn my computer on. I'm using a usb one as my laptop hasn't got one. Is this my problem? Can some one point me in the right direction please.


Standard Member
does your laptop have cd rom ?

If so do you have another machine on which you could make a bootable cd rom? Try the software thats available on Maxtor's web site - great for formatting discs.

Alternatively do you have a windows install cd - you could use that to format the disc


It sounds to me like you ned to set the boot order in the BIOS.
From within the BIOS you need to set the first boot device to 'removeable drive' or similar, you will probably find that it is set to the hard disk.

Or thinking about it it is likely that you cannot use a USB drive as the boot drive as no USB drivers have been loaded until the OS starts. If this is the case then you will need to connect a drive (floppy or CD) via PCMCIA etc.



Active Member
Yeah ive got a cd rom drive, i'm a novice when it comes to things like this but i found it easy on a desktop running on ME a few years ago. Its just seems to be a problem with XP or like Mark said, the USB floppy.

How can i get into DOS mode? Is this one thing i should do?

I'll try a boot cd now.

Thanks guys.


You have two simple choices to format your HD. The first is by, as you say, going into DOS mode. To do this when you first switch your computer on keep pressing the F8 key until you get a small menu which asks you how you want to enter your computer? Look for the sentence with command prompt and select that. The computer will then do it's thing and end up settling at the MSDOS prompt. You can then do a format using the XP cdrom. The only thing is that I think from memory the command is not format but oformat. So you would type in at the c: prompt oformat c: the computer will ask you yes or no etc and once you decide yes it will format your hard drive. The other way is by going into your bios and setting the boot up sequence to start with the cdrom. To do this hit F1 or del key when computer asks you to and that will take you into your bios. Once you have saved and exited, make sure you have the XP disc in the drive and the computer will automatically boot into the xp install menue and all you have to do is tell it what you want? Tell it you want a fresh install and follow the prompts. You will eventually end up on the screen that asks you to format your hard drive etc. All you have to do is tell it what type of format you want ntfs or fat etc

Don't want to tell you to suck eggs but I hope that helps?

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