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I have a Dell Inspiron E1505 which I formatted recently to install Mac OSX. Basically this is what I have done:

Formatted the c:\ drive creating a separate partition of about 50 GB ( out of 80 GB..so my C:\ is now 30GB and the new drive M:\ is 50GB) This new M:\ drive is formatted to be Fat32 while C:\ is NTFS

My whole point is to have a dual boot with Windows and Mac OSX. However I was not successful in getting the Mac OSX installed on it.

It was working great until recently when it started to hang after 5 mins. It's been pretty consistent. Once it hangs, if i press any button it would have a loud continuous beep sound. I have to shut it down basically.

Can someone please let me now what's wrong with it?

Since I was not able to fix it, I wanted to reinstall the OS...I have the Dell CDs. so, I am fine with it. But, now I am having a problem. After inserting the OS DVDand booting it on DVD, I am not able to run the format command on c:\ drive. It says unknown format or drive not correct. Obviuosly the drive is correct. I am guessing that it's getting confused as I had earlier partitioned the c:\ drive and formatted it to be ( partially i.e the m:\ drive) a FAT32. Now I went to Disk management and removed the logical partition of m:\ and formatted it. I was however not able to delete the partition ( Delete partition is grayed out on m:) Even after all this I was not able to format the c:\ drive. Same error message.

Any inputs?

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3 Answers 3

can you delete the partitions from the installer? just delete the partitions from the windows installer and start over - no need to format what's already there.

and FYI, since it's a dell, it may have a small partition at the beginning of the disk(100 MB or so). this is where the testing and recovery tools are installed. if you see that partition, it's ok to leave. or you can delete it - it's up to you, but a dell support agent may ask you to run these if you ever have to call in

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hi, what is the command? –  vj. Jul 23 '09 at 2:35
    
in the XP installer, on the step where it asks where to install, select the partition and type "D", then confirm with "L" in vista or 7, click the "Advanced" button, then select the partition, and click "Delete" (I think it has an eraser icon) –  brad.lane Jul 23 '09 at 20:18

Yes.. I am not going to "answer" your question but giving some useful input to your query.

I also observed this problem in one of Dell laptops. It gets stuck on any new operating system other than Vista. The behaviour was observed in Windows XP and Ubuntu. So I can guess a reason. Perhaps Dell has the optimizations to the original OS that they ship. I mean the hardware optimizations. That might be the reason for the unexpected behaviours you observe.

The next thing is "Format" command. The best option to perform the operations is using another installer CD, like windows XP to partition the disk. I could successfully fix the problems of that nature using Ubuntu install CD as well. You can get a CD free from Ubuntu Web site.

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If you are willing to entirely nuke all data from the machine and start from scratch, download the following two utilities:

Darik's Boot and Nuke - This is a hard drive eraser. What it will do is entirely go over your hard drive with ones and zeroes at random, and make the drive appear as if it has no data on it whatsoever, because technically it will just be random ones and zeroes. This will help to make sure there aren't any rogue partitions or anything like that laying around.

GParted Live CD - This is a partition manager. After running DBAN on your system, use this disk to create the two partitions you desire for your machine. You don't have to format them using GParted if you don't want (Windows works fine for that), just use it to create the empty partitions. Afterwards, proceed to install Windows in whatever way you like.

Technically, the GParted Live CD isn't necessary if you're just installing Windows, but it's a handy tool to have whenever you have problems with partitions. The only problem I have noticed with it is that it does not handle NTFS partitions particularly well when the host system it is from was not shut down properly. So, for reference, if you ever need to work on an NTFS partition with GParted, make sure to shut down Windows properly.

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