format c, or how do I save an old computer?
Thread poster: Olly Pekelharing

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:08
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Oct 17, 2014

Hi,

My not-so-old computer is stuck in a rut; I can't get it to load further than some 'windows repair' sequence (it tries to repair whatever the problem is and fails. The only options that work from this point are to shut down or restart whereby it enters the same repair mode again). It's no longer a work computer so I'd prefer to just format the thing and start afresh. But how? I have win 8.1 on it but can't find an installation or recovery disk. It won't let me install the original operating system (win 7) over win 8.1. F8 doesn't work to boot from dos. I can't get it to go into safe mode either. I CAN get a command prompt in a window. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Olly

[Edited at 2014-10-17 12:18 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:08
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Sounds like two problems Oct 17, 2014

Olly Pekelharing wrote:
It's no longer a work computer so I'd prefer to just format the thing and start afresh. But how? I have win 8.1 on it but can't find an installation or recovery disk. It won't let me install the original operating system (win 7) over win 8.1.


You need to download Windows 8 or 8.1 as an ISO, and then "burn" it to either a flash drive (if your old computer can boot from a flash drive) or a DVD. If you burn it to a flash drive, then you have to make the flash drive bootable, using e.g. ISO2USB. As far as I know, you can legally download it, and then simply activate it using your valid license.

You're going to have to repartition (and format) your old hard drive. If you can't do it at the time that you install Windows (using the DVD or flash drive), then you're going to have to take the hard drive out of the box, connect it to an external drive casing, and plug it into an existing computer's USB port and simply format it as if it was a very large flash drive. When it's formatted, put it back into the computer.


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Eric CM  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 02:08
English to Italian
+ ...
Reverting to older OS Oct 17, 2014

Olly Pekelharing wrote:

Hi,

My not-so-old computer is stuck in a rut; I can't get it to load further than some 'windows repair' sequence (it tries to repair whatever the problem is and fails. The only options that work from this point are to shut down or restart whereby it enters the same repair mode again). It's no longer a work computer so I'd prefer to just format the thing and start afresh. But how? I have win 8.1 on it but can't find an installation or recovery disk. It won't let me install the original operating system (win 7) over win 8.1. F8 doesn't work to boot from dos. I can't get it to go into safe mode either. I CAN get a command prompt in a window. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Olly

[Edited at 2014-10-17 12:18 GMT]


If you want to go back to your old OS (Win 7) you have to format the hard drive clean.
If it's no longer used for work you could also try Linux for a change.


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Szabolcs Király  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 02:08
Portuguese to Hungarian
+ ...
a second OS Oct 17, 2014

You can't format the operating system's partition from within the OS itself. In other words, if you can't boot into a recovery partition, you'll need some "external" OS on a DVD/USB/HDD. It can be Windows or Linux or anything else, just bear in mind that it will clean everything from the partition/HDD.
I hope that helps.


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Wolf Kux  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:08
Member (2006)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
Oct 17, 2014



[Editada em 2014-10-17 21:13 GMT]


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Wolf Kux  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:08
Member (2006)
German to Portuguese
+ ...
My 2 cents: Oct 17, 2014

I think that reformatting is the last from the last from the last option you can do to recover the files or the damaged drive to use it.

So, try following: purchase Norton Utilities from Symantec (not to to be confused with Norton 360 antivirus!); its cost may be very low - about US$ 15-20 or so. Write this software to a pendrive, that could be your future rescue "disk".

Purchase also a hard drive enclosure (e.g. see here: http://www.vantecusa.com/front/product/index/21).

After that, open your old computer and try to get out this damaged hard disk and mount it into your new enclosure; connect this enclosure to your new computer, get its drive letter, and start Norton Utilities.

Maybe that Norton Utilities does repair this problem. Later you could update software on this now (hopefully) repaired disk.

Beware about compatibility enclosure vs. your hard drive! And when maneuvering your damaged hard drive on hands, use your most delicate fingers, never use fingers also used to drive Caterpillar tractors!

Demounting / mounting / demounting / mounting may take the most time, depending on your care; Norton Utilities does its business in minutes.

HTH

[Editada em 2014-10-18 00:51 GMT]


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