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Old 12-14-2006, 01:16 PM   #1
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Hard disk crash

i am a complete newbie with linux.i had a hard disk which does not boot up because of erroneous memory modules using Windows xp.
Now,that has been fixed by changing the hdd and ram modules.I tried recovering the data on the old hdd by using DOS.It succeeded.
That made me think whether by using a live cd i could format my old hdd and use it once again.
I tried booting with knoppix and it was successful.But, i couldn't format.infact,i don't know how to format the entire disk usng linux.

Plz help me do so, and a real personal request:
I have no experience in using linux.So,plz help me out with detailed explanations if possible
Old 12-14-2006, 03:22 PM   #2
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In knoppix, you would open a console and run:

$ su
# umount /dev/hd**
# mkfs -t vfat /dev/hd**

Explanation - The first command, su, will give you root or admin privileges which you need to format a partition. The second command unmounts the partition you want to format, /dev/hd**, where the "**" should correspond to the partition you want to format. You shouldn't partition a mounted partition in linux and knoppix mounts all detected partitions by default read only. You must be sure you get the right device file or you could wind up formatting your windows install. If you're not familiar with the linux naming conventions for hard drives and partitions, you probably don't want to be doing this. The last command actually formats the partition, hd**, with a FAT32 filesystem.

If you have good reason to suspect the drive may be defective, I would get the hard drive diagnostic utilities from the manufacturer's website and thoroughly check out the drive before attempting to use it again. They usually can run off a bootable cd or floppy. You can also wipe the drive with a zero fill with those utilities which might be a good idea and then repartition and format the drive.
Finally, if you have windows installed on a separate hard drive, you can reformat the old drive from within windows by right clicking on the drive in MyComputer and selecting format from the drop down menu IIRC.


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