how to format replacement HD with no XP disk

By mike05401 ·
Hi, I'm trying to replace a failing HD in my dell laptop. I've backed up everything to an external UBS HD using Macrium Reflect.

The problem is, once I replace the HD, how do I format it if I have no Win XP CD? Windows was pre-installed on my computer, so I have no disk.

Is there some other small program I could create a bootable CD from that would let me format a new hard drive?

Many thanks!

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All Answers

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Even better, how did you intend to reinstall Windows

by Slayer_ In reply to how to format replacement ...

Without the install disc???

If this were sane times, i would tell you to use your failing HDD to make a bootable floppy disk that could do it, but as floppys have gone the way of the dodo. I suggest you get yourself an XP CD, since you can't do anything without it anyways.

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the backup software reinstalls windows.

by mike05401 In reply to Even better, how did you ...

I don't have to reinstall windows. All I have to do is install the backup file, which contains an exact replica of my existing HDD, windows and all.

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Why can't you do this to an unpartitioned drive?

by Slayer_ In reply to the backup software reins ...

I know you can do this with most ghosting software, I never heard of what you used but I would asume it should work the same, otherwise it sounds somewhat useless as a ghosting software.

Well, find yourself a copy of fdisk and or diskpart and stick em on a CD, and use that, make sure its a bootable CD.

I also heard of a super good boot CD you could use. If I remember the name I'll post it.

You can also use a Linux distro and use the LiveCD to create disc partitions, I believe Knoppix is the best for this???

Here, I've heard good things about this one.

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Sry, heres website to download the CD

by Slayer_ In reply to Why can't you do this to ...

Its oddly hard to find, but here.


The first link, rapidshare is seems to have the least amount of web BS.

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Something to consider

by Jacky Howe In reply to how to format replacement ...

If I were you I would consider taking an Image of the Notebook. You could copy each Partition to another Media or External Drive and Restore them to the new hard drive. I think that you would have a better chance of having an operational System doing it this way. I don't see how you can access the .bkf files without an installed Operating system.

Free Hard Disk Backup / Restore and Image / Cloning Utilities

The HDClone Free Edition




Paid for Cloning Utilites



Tip: <i>Don't forget to do the pagefile mod to turn off on shutdown to save a bit of space in the Image. Local Security Settings, Local Policies, Security Options, Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile.</i>

Now shut down the system, and take your image.

<i>Keep us informed as to your progress if you require further assistance.</i>

Edit: formatting

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