Erase a partition?



Win XP Home Edition: my hard drive is partitioned (C:\ for operating stuff; D:\ for files).

Apparently something has gone amiss with the WinXP; attempting to use the Repair function from the CD always comes to a dead-end when it asks for the administrator password; I am the sole user of the PC and have set up the account reflecting that I am the administrator – but the Repair function will not accept my password.

Attempting to reload Win XP on the C:\ partition comes up with a disk error message – typically useless, since it gives no clue whatever how/what/where to find a solution to that message.

When going through the reload Win XP route, it asks if I want to delete/erase that partition. To me that means there would be no remaining C:\ partition available when I attempted to load Win XP again but that my D:\ partition would remain intact. [True / false?]

Q: Is there a way to DELETE THE CONTENTS of the C:\ partition without removing the partition; meaning, I would then have a clean partition into which to load Win XP.



You can use format/del to delete partition contents without destroying the partition itself.

Your D: partition is untouched as long as you don’t mingle with partition deletion.


You can “delete” the C: partition and leave it as unallocated space, but as a first step you will need to format it.

On some motherboards with some XP installers the HDD will not be "seen"
if the HDD is a SATA HDD.

the work around to this is NOT a driver on a floppy, but to format a sufficiently large partition onto the drive before running the installer.

Because what “some” installers will not see is an unformatted SATA drive

Then again neither will my favorite Debian/Linux based cloning software, Clonezilla

So yes you can delete your C: partition to remove all the data
then run the installer after you’ve formatted the drive, but I suspect that if the installer crashes that the portion of the drive where your C: drive
is happens to have a serious error on it.

My knee jerk reaction when I have an installer problem is try a different (KNOWN good) HDD, and if that works the original drive is only good for it’s data partiton.