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cant reformat corrupted laptop HDD

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gechurch

The formatting part is easy. Boot from your Windows disc again. At the point where you get asked where to install Windows you can press a key (L from memory) to format the drive.

Windows ending up as something other than C:\ is a bigger concern. I've only ever seen this when a card reader was plugged in to the machine. (I've installed XP certainly over 100 times and I've never seen a CD drive or extra partitions cause Windows to be installed on a drive other than C:). This is a real pain in the butt. It looks fine and will tell you the HDD is drive C: until you do the first boot after installation and find it has assigned the card reader slots C:, etc and your new Windows installation is on H: or something stupid. You are right to reformat in this situation. Windows is happy enough running from something other than C:, but a lot of third party apps have the drive letter hard-coded. I spent ages trying to change the letter back to C: when I first ran into this problem. I'd go further than pcrx_greg and say it's not just difficult to change - it's impossible.