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How to reformat when cd/dvd drive doesn't work?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Peño, 4 Mar 2006.

  1. Peño

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,080

    Location: London

    I've Google'd to no avail.

    I want to reformat my sister's laptop because it just needs one lol. The CD/DVD drive stopped working a few months ago. I have all the System Restore etc. CDs. I've got a USB stick and both the ports on the laptop still work (one is a bit dodgy but is working right now). How do I reformat the system without the use of the CD/DVD drive?
     
  2. Zephyrus

    Hitman

    Joined: 12 Oct 2005

    Posts: 518

    Location: Scotland

    It's possible to format a drive through windows, just right click the drive then format. But i've never even attempted formatting a drive that contains the operating system so i couldnt really comment if it would work for that.

    Even if you can format the drive without using the Cd your gonna be stumped for installing windows again without a working cd drive.
     
  3. Peño

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,080

    Location: London

    Hmm thanks. lol I was kinda hoping that a reformat would help bring back the use of the CD/DVD drives. :| Because a while back it stopped playing DVDs.. I read somewhere that downgrading the flash on it might make it work.. now it's disappeared from 'My Computer' ever since.

    Anyone else got any ideas?
     
  4. Paul11

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,170

    Location: London

    Im assuming your using windows xp.

    you cannot format a system drive (ie your windows drive) from in windows.


    you need to check if you cd drive is being recognised in your bios and if so, if you can boot from it.. If you can, you can format and install windows without a problem

    go into your bios and change the boot order to CD first.
    put your windows cd in to the drive and reboot.
    see if it boots of the cd .. If it does, your fine..

    make sure you back up ALL your data, as a format will lose everything.

    if your CD is broken, i would recommend buying another one first/or borrowing one from a friend.
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2006
  5. Peño

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,080

    Location: London

    How do I do that?

    In my BIOS under the 'Boot' menu option, all I have are:

    Network boot [Only with F12]
    Boot-time diagnostic screen [Disabled]
    Summary screen [Disabled]
    NumLock [Off]
    QuickBoot Mode [Enabled]
    TV Out Mode [PAL]
    Smart Battery Calibration
     
  6. Trigger

    Mobster

    Joined: 15 Dec 2004

    Posts: 3,822

    You don't need to go into BIOS- just hit F8 as it boots up and you *should* get a boot selection menu :)
     
  7. Peño

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,080

    Location: London

    Okay, I found how to change the order. CD/DVD drive is at the top of the booting order. Rebooted with the CD in the drive, doesn't work.. it just boots up as normal.
     
  8. Paul11

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,170

    Location: London

    it sounds like your CD drive is fubar'd

    can you borrow one from someone to test ?
     
  9. Peño

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,080

    Location: London

    Yeah I think I killed it when I downgraded the flash on it. But I assumed a simple reformat would fix the problem :(

    I've got a DVD+/-RW combo on mine but hell no am I taking that apart lol. I don't have experience taking apart laptops and I don't intend to start now!

    So what are my options? Buying a new drive?
     
  10. Paul11

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,170

    Location: London

    what make laptop is it ?

    is the drive swapable ?
     
  11. Scythe

    Soldato

    Joined: 23 Jun 2005

    Posts: 5,325

    You won't fix it if the CD drive fireware is fubar'd because it has a little memory chip that stores the firmware.
     
  12. Peño

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,080

    Location: London

    It's a Samsung V25. And I have no idea if I can change it.
     
  13. Defcon5

    Soldato

    Joined: 4 Sep 2005

    Posts: 6,424

    Location: Whitwood, West Yorks

    Can you get usb cdrom drives?
     
  14. Paul11

    Capodecina

    Joined: 28 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,170

    Location: London

    there some broken samsung v25's for sale on flea bay for spares for very little money... ;)
     
  15. Siders77

    Hitman

    Joined: 5 Nov 2005

    Posts: 960

    Location: Yate, Bristol

  16. Defcon5

    Soldato

    Joined: 4 Sep 2005

    Posts: 6,424

    Location: Whitwood, West Yorks

    Yiu can get things external enclosures for hdds that turn them into usb drives so what about booting from that and formatting the other drive?
     
  17. Peño

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,080

    Location: London

    Hmm. I just checked them out. Even if I did buy a damaged identical machine I don't trust myself opening up a laptop!


    I would do that, but I'm not sure if I've killed the actual drive completely. Is there any other way to find out?
     
  18. Peño

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,080

    Location: London

    bump^ :)