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Formatting C

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Russ, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Russ

    Russ Flightless Bird

    I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    following msg:

    Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.

    I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    would be appreciated.
     
  2. John John - MVP

    John John - MVP Flightless Bird

    Russ wrote:
    > I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    > to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    > thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    > would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    > the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    > following msg:
    >
    > Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    > programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    > displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >
    > I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    > other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    > would be appreciated.


    You are asking Windows to commit suicide... it won't do it! Boot the
    computer with your Windows XP CD and select to install Windows, when at
    the disk and partition selection screen you will be offered the
    opportunity to format the drive.

    John
     
  3. neil

    neil Flightless Bird

    You need to boot from an installation CD to format the hard drive, you can't
    do it from within windows (as you've found out)

    If Windows was preinstalled then you need to carry out the manufacturers
    recovery.
    Neil

    "Russ" <Rusty@alwaysathome.net> wrote in message
    news:iqre365lbkbq2req63n897eqr1u0n2grca@4ax.com...
    > I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    > to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    > thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    > would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    > the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    > following msg:
    >
    > Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    > programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    > displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >
    > I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    > other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    > would be appreciated.
    >
     
  4. dadiOH

    dadiOH Flightless Bird

    Russ wrote:
    > I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    > to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    > thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    > would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    > the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    > following msg:
    >
    > Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    > programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    > displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >
    > I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    > other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    > would be appreciated.


    You can't format the drive containing Windows *from* Windows. Do it from
    DOS - not a DOS window - or boot from the Windows install CD.

    --

    dadiOH
    ____________________________

    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
    ....a help file of info about MP3s, recording from
    LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that.
    Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
     
  5. Russ

    Russ Flightless Bird

    Thanks folks.



    On Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:06:40 -0300, John John - MVP
    <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote:

    >Russ wrote:
    >> I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    >> to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    >> thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    >> would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    >> the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    >> following msg:
    >>
    >> Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    >> programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    >> displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >>
    >> I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    >> other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    >> would be appreciated.

    >
    >You are asking Windows to commit suicide... it won't do it! Boot the
    >computer with your Windows XP CD and select to install Windows, when at
    >the disk and partition selection screen you will be offered the
    >opportunity to format the drive.
    >
    >John
     
  6. John John - MVP

    John John - MVP Flightless Bird

    You're welcome.

    John

    Russ wrote:
    > Thanks folks.
    >
    >
    >
    > On Fri, 09 Jul 2010 16:06:40 -0300, John John - MVP
    > <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote:
    >
    >> Russ wrote:
    >>> I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    >>> to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    >>> thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    >>> would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    >>> the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    >>> following msg:
    >>>
    >>> Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    >>> programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    >>> displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >>>
    >>> I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    >>> other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    >>> would be appreciated.

    >> You are asking Windows to commit suicide... it won't do it! Boot the
    >> computer with your Windows XP CD and select to install Windows, when at
    >> the disk and partition selection screen you will be offered the
    >> opportunity to format the drive.
    >>
    >> John
     
  7. Paul

    Paul Flightless Bird

    Russ wrote:
    > I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    > to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    > thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    > would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    > the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    > following msg:
    >
    > Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    > programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    > displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >
    > I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    > other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    > would be appreciated.


    It's going to be pretty difficult, to format the partition that the
    OS is currently running from. Is that what you're trying to do ?

    If you want to erase the disk, you can use some other stand-alone tools
    for that. DBAN from dban.org will erase an *entire* drive. You can also use
    a Linux LiveCD and just erase the MBR sector, and that would
    effectively destroy *all* partitions at the same time, on that
    disk.

    Before following any of that advice, what is your situation ?
    Do you want to "format C:", while preserving D:, E: which are
    still on the same physical disk ? That is a different issue,
    than finding a way to erase the entire disk. If there is data
    to be preserved, you'd have to be more selective in the tool
    used.

    But if the thing you're attempting to format, is the partition
    you're booted from, I would expect the OS to complain about
    that :)

    Tools like GParted, can function like a standalone partitioning
    tool. There is a LiveCD version available. I'm not completely
    comfortable with this tool, due to some of the things it prints
    in its status screen, but it is an alternative. Because it boots
    its own OS, it isn't dependent on WinXP at all. It can handle
    FAT32 or NTFS. I could probably manage to format a single
    partition with this, using their LiveCD.

    http://gparted.sourceforge.net/screenshots.php

    *******

    Also, just for fun, you can use an offline scanning tool, to avoid
    the issue of the malware beating you. If you have a tool for
    burning ISO9660 files to make a bootable CD (like Nero, Imgburn etc),
    you can prepare a scanning CD with this file. When this CD boots
    on your computer, it'll use DHCP to get an IP address from your
    high speed ADSL or cable modem, then connect to Kaspersky and
    get ~10MB of virus updates. (Make sure your high speed modem
    is already running and logged in, because the scanning CD has
    no browser for you to use, to control networking equipment. It
    won't be able to get virus updates, unless it can reach the
    Internet after it boots.)

    Then, it will offer to scan your partitions. The drive lettering
    shown in the menu, aren't real "drive letters". If you cannot figure
    out which partition is C:, just tick all of them. (Unplugging any
    extraneous data disks, before booting this CD, will cut down on
    the amount of stuff you'd need to scan.)

    http://devbuilds.kaspersky-labs.com/devbuilds/RescueDisk10/

    I've tested that tool, and it detects the "EICAR test file" I
    copied to C:, but since I don't have any real malware on here
    (at least, none I'm aware of), I haven't had a chance to see
    how it responds to a real threat. The advantage of the offline
    scanning tool, is WinXP is not running at the time, so the
    malware cannot upset operation of any tools as a result. The
    above CD might use Linux Gentoo as the boot OS, and that is
    what is running while the scan is taking place.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EICAR_test_file

    One danger with such scanning tools, is what happens when the
    tool "quarantines" a virus file. In some cases, tools like this
    have been known to move the file to a RAM disk the Linux OS is using.
    And then, when you reboot the computer, the quarantine folder is
    lost. That can be an issue, if later you need to restore a
    file that should not have been quarantined in the first place.

    Paul
     
  8. PA Bear [MS MVP]

    PA Bear [MS MVP] Flightless Bird

    See...

    Cleaning a Compromised System
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc700813.aspx

    Back-up any personal data (none of which should be considered 100%
    trustworthy at this point) then format the HDD & do a clean install of
    Windows. Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT
    fix this!

    HOW TO do a clean install of WinXP: See
    http://michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html#steps and/or Method 1 in
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978307

    After the clean install, you will have the equivalent of a "new computer" so
    take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting
    the machine to the internet or a local network (i.e., other computers) and
    before using a flash drive or SDCard that isn't brand-new or hasn't been
    freshly formatted:

    4 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online
    http://www.microsoft.com/security/pypc.aspx

    Other helpful references include:

    HOW TO get a computer running WinXP Gold (no Service Packs) fully patched
    (after a clean install)
    http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsupdate/msg/3f5afa8ed33e121c

    HOW TO get a computer running WinXP SP1(a) or SP2 fully patched (after a
    clean install)
    http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general/msg/a066ae41add7dd2b

    Tip: After getting the computer fully-patched, download/install KB971029
    manually: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971029

    NB: Any Norton or McAfee free-trial that came preinstalled on the computer
    when you bought it will be reinstalled (but invalid) when Windows is
    reinstalled. You MUST uninstall the free-trial AND download/run the
    appropriate removal tool BEFORE installing any updates, Windows Service
    Packs or IE upgrades AND BEFORE installing your new anti-virus application
    (which will require WinXP SP3 to be installed).

    Norton Removal Tool
    ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/removal_tools/Norton_Removal_Tool.exe

    McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool
    http://download.mcafee.com/products/licensed/cust_support_patches/MCPR.exe

    If these procedures look too complex - and there is no shame in admitting
    this isn't your cup of tea - take the machine to a local, reputable and
    independent (i.e., not BigBoxStoreUSA or Geek Squad) computer repair shop.
    --
    ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
    MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Client - since 2002


    Russ wrote:
    > I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    > to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    > thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    > would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    > the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    > following msg:
    >
    > Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    > programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    > displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >
    > I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    > other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    > would be appreciated.
     
  9. Ben Stevenson

    Ben Stevenson Flightless Bird

    I believe first the HD has to be wiped clean. How to do that?

    Thanks

    "John John - MVP" <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
    news:ubcDZn5HLHA.1016@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    > Russ wrote:
    >> I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    >> to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    >> thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    >> would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    >> the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    >> following msg:
    >>
    >> Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    >> programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    >> displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >>
    >> I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    >> other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    >> would be appreciated.

    >
    > You are asking Windows to commit suicide... it won't do it! Boot the
    > computer with your Windows XP CD and select to install Windows, when at
    > the disk and partition selection screen you will be offered the
    > opportunity to format the drive.
    >
    > John
     
  10. Paul

    Paul Flightless Bird

    Ben Stevenson wrote:
    > I believe first the HD has to be wiped clean. How to do that?
    >
    > Thanks


    I'm not going to test this right now, but you could try the
    following, while Windows is running.

    http://www.chrysocome.net/dd

    dd if=/dev/zero of=\\?\Device\Harddisk0\Partition0 bs=512 count=1

    and that would overwrite the MBR with zeros. Now your disk is "clean"
    in the "no longer has partitions" sense. Is that what you want ?

    You use the "dd --list" command first, to get the names of the partitions,
    and select partition0 to be able to access the entire raw disk. Based
    on the response from the --list option, you can tell whether you have
    permission to do it or not. I can't overwrite my C: partition (I can tell
    from the --list output that I'll get permission denied), but it
    does look like I can blow away the MBR, because the entire raw disk
    is accessible.

    If you know how to run arbitrary programs from the command prompt, this'll
    take no time at all to test. Erasing the MBR only takes a fraction of a
    second. And yes, I've actually had to do this at least once, to get
    a Windows installer disk to work. And it all worked fine, after the
    MBR was erased.

    The importance of the MBR, is why some users actually back up that
    sector, in case of emergencies.

    The program "TestDisk", can reconstruct the primary partition info,
    and you could use "FixMBR" to put back the Windows boot code. So
    in principle, you can also repair the damage I just did with the
    dd command above. But using TestDisk, the operator has to judge
    whether the answer coming back, makes sense or not. If you know
    there are three partitions on the disk, and TestDisk
    says there are four, then you know it didn't work right. So
    using TestDisk to do repairs, works best if you know roughly
    how the thing used to look.

    If we don't hear from you, then I guess you managed to erase C: :)

    The only reason I'm suggesting this option, is the runtime for
    DBAN is much longer, and it wouldn't be as much fun.

    Paul

    >
    > "John John - MVP" <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
    > news:ubcDZn5HLHA.1016@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    >> Russ wrote:
    >>> I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    >>> to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    >>> thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    >>> would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    >>> the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    >>> following msg:
    >>>
    >>> Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    >>> programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    >>> displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >>>
    >>> I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    >>> other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    >>> would be appreciated.

    >>
    >> You are asking Windows to commit suicide... it won't do it! Boot the
    >> computer with your Windows XP CD and select to install Windows, when
    >> at the disk and partition selection screen you will be offered the
    >> opportunity to format the drive.
    >>
    >> John

    >
     
  11. HeyBub

    HeyBub Flightless Bird

    Ben Stevenson wrote:
    > I believe first the HD has to be wiped clean. How to do that?
    >


    Must be a lonely religion (of course they all start out that way).

    You do NOT need to WIPE (or erase or reformat) a disk to install an operting
    system.
     
  12. John John - MVP

    John John - MVP Flightless Bird

    Why do you believe that the drive need to be wiped? Formatting is
    usually sufficient when reinstalling Windows. If you really must wipe
    the drive then use one of these:

    Secure Erase
    http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml

    or

    Darik's Boot And Nuke (DBAN)
    http://www.dban.org/

    John

    Ben Stevenson wrote:
    > I believe first the HD has to be wiped clean. How to do that?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > "John John - MVP" <audetweld@nbnet.nb.ca> wrote in message
    > news:ubcDZn5HLHA.1016@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    >> Russ wrote:
    >>> I managed to pick up a nasty Cryptic trojan horse and all my attempts
    >>> to scan the drive with updated software have failed. I think this
    >>> thing has got my internet connx locked up pretty well. I figured I
    >>> would format my C drive after saving most of my data. Now when I give
    >>> the command to format via Win Explorer or My Computer, I get the
    >>> following msg:
    >>>
    >>> Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other
    >>> programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is
    >>> displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.
    >>>
    >>> I tried to stop any programs using task manager, but then lost my
    >>> other icons so I could not start up Win Expl or My Computer. Any help
    >>> would be appreciated.

    >>
    >> You are asking Windows to commit suicide... it won't do it! Boot the
    >> computer with your Windows XP CD and select to install Windows, when
    >> at the disk and partition selection screen you will be offered the
    >> opportunity to format the drive.
    >>
    >> John

    >
     

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