Format C drive without losing Windows! (no reinstallation of Windows or anything)

Discussion in 'Software Q&A' started by agent007bond, Sep 25, 2006.

?

Do you think it's possible? (14 days poll)

Poll closed Oct 9, 2006.
  1. Yes

    8 vote(s)
    53.3%
  2. No

    7 vote(s)
    46.7%
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  1. agent007bond

    agent007bond New Member

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    It is possible to actually format the C drive, and restore (retain) the current Windows installation!

    It's quite tedious and takes more time than converting but, at the end you have more advantages than converting.

    Converting will slow down your system further, as it converts to 512 bytes cluster size of NTFS file system. Formatting using the default cluster size almost always means it is 4k (for extremely small partitions it may be 2k or less), which makes your system run faster and reduces fragmentation greatly.

    Anybody knows (the step-by-step procedure of) how to format the C drive to NTFS while not losing even a single bit of the current Windows installation? (Of course formatting the C drive will mean you'll lose all data on it, but the trick lies in having a second clone copy of all the data.)

    Valid answers posted as of 26/9/06:
    1. Use Acronis True Image (Step by step instructions not provided yet.)

    Post your answer here. I'll post my own answer after some time (min 7 days but upto 1 month depending on the flow of answers).
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2006
  2. tuxfan

    tuxfan New Member

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    Rather than starting a quiz like this :p why don't you just post the tutorial? May be it will get published in next issue of Digit with your name. ;)
     
  3. wizrulz

    wizrulz GUNNING DOWN TEAMS

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    is this a challenge or the knowledge/answer only u have??? ;)
     
  4. OP
    OP
    agent007bond

    agent007bond New Member

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    Yes it is a challenge... and I started the quiz because I wanna see if there are any real good techies out there who can do it! (I did it... so why can't you?)
     
  5. blackpearl

    blackpearl The Devil

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    Bah!! if you keep a clone of your c drive before formatting, what's the big deal? Tell us how to format c without keeping a clone and yet not lose data. Then I will give you credit.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    agent007bond

    agent007bond New Member

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    Ok if you know its possible why don't you write step-by-step guide on how to do it in real life?

    And yes formatting C and yet not losing data is not possible.

    And by clone, I didn't mean an image of the drive. I just meant a copy of all the files in it. An Image of the original FAT32 drive cannot be restored to an NTFS drive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2006
  7. Third Eye

    Third Eye gooby pls

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    Format C Drive where windows installed,don't think so...........
     
  8. wizrulz

    wizrulz GUNNING DOWN TEAMS

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    Just go to the Command Prompt and execute the command:

    C:\> CONVERT C: /fs:ntfs

    Where C: is a name of the drive you want to convert.

    After machine re-boot conversion process will start and you'll have your FAT32 converted to NTFS without of data loss.

    It is, therefore, important to realign the partition before conversion, by moving all the data area up to a 4K boundary. (This will absorb odd sectors at the far end which otherwise would not get used). For this, I suggest BootIT NG, from BootitNG.com. This is a shareware program, priced at US$30 but with a 30-day fully functional trial. You may well find it valuable also for its Disk Imaging and Partition Management capabilities.

    Further tuts refer http://www.aumha.org/win5/a/ntfscvt.php


    DID U MEAN THIS
     
  9. OP
    OP
    agent007bond

    agent007bond New Member

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    No I didn't mean the CONVERT command. I meant formatting C drive not converting it.

    Hmm... reading through the website quoted I read that you can force CONVERT command to make clusters 4k, but it may not always be successful.

    Anyway the command is out of my question. I want the procedure to format C drive, yet restore the current Windows installation perfectly intact.
     
  10. JGuru

    JGuru Well-Known Member

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    Use Acronis True Image 9.0 software. Take a complete file & System disk imaging
    backup in a CD/DVD. Format your C drive now. Restore it with Acronis True Image
    CD/DVD that you burned.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    agent007bond

    agent007bond New Member

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    exactly HOW will you restore? Since you are formatting C drive you no longer has Windows, and you cannot run that software anymore. That's one point you missed on.
     
  12. dIgItaL_BrAt

    dIgItaL_BrAt New Member

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    @agent007bond:true image runs from USB drives and CD/DVD media too.
     
  13. Vishal Gupta

    Vishal Gupta Microsoft MVP

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    There is an option in Acronis to create bootable CD/DVD of acronis :)

    U can also create a CD/DVD of backup along with the required acronis files, so that u can easily boot using that CD/DVD which u created for backup...
     
  14. blackpearl

    blackpearl The Devil

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    I don't know what's your trick, but if you need to keep a backup of the data in order to restore how does that make "format c without losing data"?

    You are keeping a backup right? and then using it to restore your drive c. If you keep a backup, you are not going to lose data in any case. There are dozens of application that allow you to do that like Acronis True Image, as others pointed. Create an image of the drive, and then restore it. You don't even have to install windows.
     
  15. QwertyManiac

    QwertyManiac Commander in Chief

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    Can performing a format without losing data be a paradox? LMAO.
     
  16. nil_3

    nil_3 New Member

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    Well, first we can take an image of c:\ by Acronis/Norton Ghost. Then formatted C drive and reinstalled Windows and Acronis/Norton Ghost. Now the back-up image can be restored.

    May be Agent007bond has some other methods to say.
     
  17. wizrulz

    wizrulz GUNNING DOWN TEAMS

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    Format actually means to prepare a storage medium, usually a disk, for reading and writing. When you format a disk, the operating system erases all bookkeeping information on the disk, tests the disk to make sure all sectors are reliable, marks bad sectors (that is, those that are scratched or otherwise damaged), and creates internal address tables that it later uses to locate information.
    Low-level formatting creates the physical structure on the hard drive. Partitioning divides the hard drive into logical pieces that become volumes. High-level formatting defines the logical structures on the partition and places at the start of the disk any necessary operating system files.
    Reformatting a disk does not erase the data on the disk, only the address tables. The good news is that if you accidentally reformat a hard disk, a computer specialist should be able to recover most or all the data that was on the disk

    NOW QUESTION IS WHICH FORMATTING R U TALKING ABT.....LOW LEVEL OF HIGH LEVEL????

    AND MAKE IT CLEAR IF UR GONA USE ANY THIRD PARTY S/W????
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2006
  18. GunshotSilence

    GunshotSilence New Member

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    use partition magic
     
  19. n2casey

    n2casey Super Hero - Super Powers

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    I m unable to understand that what r u doing?
    According to my knowledge & my thoughts, Forum is for sharing knowledge & solving problems but not for creating problems.
    A new user is giving a challenge, instead of asking a problem-solution. He is not telling, what he knows & just asking all of U to find out that what trick he has.
    Very amazing?
    As I think, agent007bond shud share his trick, & if he don't want to share then why all the others replying for such a stupid challenge.

    Is there any user who agree with me?
    If not, then please inform me so that I can ask for a stupid challenge & others shud ask.
    Really amazing
     
  20. OP
    OP
    agent007bond

    agent007bond New Member

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    It's a high-level format. Low-level format will erase the entire disk and all partitions and boot sector (or whatever that searches for NTLDR) would be gone.

    At least one person came up with a valid solution of Acronis True Image which can create bootable CD of its own. But is the software free?

    OK chill everyone. I will post my method, but not now. Will wait for some more time to see if you got other answers. If you got no answer, please don't post unnecessary stuff.

    Any other answers?
     
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