Is Reformatting A Windows Laptop Via FW And Disk Utolity Possible?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Old Smuggler, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. Old Smuggler macrumors 6502a

    Old Smuggler

    Sep 8, 2006
    My dad has a windows laptop that has crashed and wont let him do anything (it takes five minutes to create a folder) and i was curious if you could reformat the laptop via firewire via disk utility so he can reinstall windows
    i would format FAT32
    would the laptop need to be on?
    if it was on xp would be running so wouldnt formatting Via Disk Utility make the laptop OS crash?
    any help would be appreciated

    (Edit) Dangit i spelt utility wong in thread title and cannot change it please fix
  2. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    All Windows installation CDs include a step where it prompts you to create or destroy a partition to install Windows. Then you are prompted to format it in either NTFS or FAT32.

    Just boot from the CD and perform the installation. If you want to make sure it's gone before you go through the installation, create a bootable floppy and use FDISK to destroy the partition in the first place. Windows will install as if it was a new computer.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Okay, calm down, and a few deep breaths.

    Does the laptop have a built-in Firewire adaptor? You're going to need to find out how to make that laptop come up in "target disk" mode. All firewire devices that have storage are supposed to support this. It basically means that the entire laptop pretends to be like an external disk drive when plugged into a firewire cable. Typically, to do this, you have to turn on the power while holding a key (I believe it's T on Macs).

    So first, you / we will need to google for instructions for that for this laptop.

    Second, yes, Disk Utility can format a computer hooked up in Target Disk mode in FAT32, but not in NTFS. Are you sure FAT32 is okay for this application? Disk Utility can also recreate a Master Boot Record. So this is also not an issue, as long as FAT32 is okay.

    What you will do is:

    - plug the Firewire cable in
    - bring the PC up in Target Disk Mode
    - launch Disk Utility
    - Select the PC (should appear as an external drive or somesuch) on the left.
    - On the right, you can either use erase (to just erase the main partition) or partition to repartition the drive.

    But have you really exhausted alternatives? What happens when you boot the computer from a Windows XP install disc?
  4. Old Smuggler thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Old Smuggler

    Sep 8, 2006
    thanks for the help i forgot about NTFS
    contacted my dad he said he allready formated the drive
    but it wouldnt accept an official home edition cd he borrowed with the liscense number on the bottom of the machine
    he is getting the original disks in the mail
    i am getting them an imac 24 after macworld
    glad to know you guys are allways there

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