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Can't format hard disk

Hi. My problem began when the speed of my computer suddenly slowed down a lot. So I tried a couple of simple things like a virus scan and stuff like that but it didn't work so i decided to format my pc after getting my backup. But now when I try it, windows displays a message that says that it can't format the disk and that I should close any programs or applications, but there aren't any open. What can I do to make it work? Can you help me in some way, maybe I can do it from DOS or something? Or do you know another solution that doesn't involve formatting? I would deeply appreciate your help.


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Ok, you CANNOT format a hard disk while it's running Windows. You need to stick your Windows CD in and boot from that. That will install Windows cleanly. You will lose EVERYTHING on that drive. Also, if it's your main drive, you're going to need to do some research and get the required drivers. (Audio, Video, LAN, ETC) I can help you there if you want. Only format if you are comfortable with losing everything, all your settings, programs, favorites.....

Posted on Jan 12, 2008


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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It is possible one of the memory chips has stopped working. Certainly deleting history and cookies is good practice but internet activity creates a lot more rubbish that clogs things and slows them down. I suggest you download a cleaning program. If you are into paying for good software CCleaner pro is an excellent tool but the free version is what I have been using for several years. It will also tell you how much of your memory is working. You will be surprised just how much rubbish it clears out after only a couple of internet sessions.

I suggest you do a hard drive defrag. It takes time but it is good housework.

If your computer is just as crisp and quick to boot as usual when not doing internet stuff then it is possible your browser has been corrupted by a virus or something nasty. If your whole computer is slow it could have affected more than just the browser. Certainly carry out a full scan and do it with your virus protection and with another programme. I use Spybot, again the free version.

Maybe your hard drive is nearly full and this will cause warnings and slow things down. Try going to My Computer, right click on the icon and select properties to see how much free space you have. You might need to delete some of the programmes you don't use.

When you have completed your computer housework it will be time to try the internet again. Try doing a speed test - maybe the internet really has slowed due to a fault that has nothing to do with your computer. In this case it is your service provider you need to contact.

You could short circuit the process a bit by either taking your computer to a friend's internet connection or inviting a friend to test yours with a known healthy computer.

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Hi Mimi,
If you haven't checked to make sure your computer is free of malware, sometimes it can slow down your internet downloads. Here are a few programs I'd suggest you install and run:
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ESET will scan your computer this one time, and may take an hour or more. SAS and MWB will reside on your computer and can be run every couple weeks. Make sure you always run the updates before you scan with them.There are always a lot of things that can effect your Internet download speed.
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Do a simple scan of your machine using anti virus software - If you have none installed, download and install this.

I have included AVG as its free.

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