Windows XP/Reformat


QUESTION: I narrowly managed to access internet through ethernet cord Windows XP (only 180GB storage by the way) but when I tried to start low level reformating with

It tells me to check for files that might be open. I didn't open anything when I logged in. Should I log in as a guest maybe? I went to task manager and closed most processes that I could with my name on them and the reformater software was the only thing running. What do I need to do?

ANSWER: Hi James,

You can try logging into Safe Mode before running that tool.

If that doesn't work, try using DBAN instead:

This one will run without Windows so hopefully it won't give you any problems. If you still run into problems, try a couple of other tools mentioned at the below site:


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Safe mode didn't help and I can't access sourceforge with my browser which seems the only source for dban. :( Is there a disc copy any computer store may have?

ANSWER: Hi James,

The sourceforge website is accessible. Are you trying to do this from a work computer which may be blocking you access? If so, you should try to download it from home and create the disc for it. I don't think anyone can sell any of the free open source software legally so that's not an option.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: It is a home computer. It has trouble getting to Google but seems to be able to get to bing, but not sure if that is still true. I mean a computer guy could give me a copy. Not sell it. I donít know what is interfering. I can't even get it to recognize the disc drives with a movie dvd or the windows xp install disc. I would need a usb drive copy somehow. I would hate to pay someone to reformat it if only to recycle the computer. Maybe use it as a pre windows 7 gaming computer.

If you are doing this so the computer can be recycled, I would just take out the hard drive for now and recycle the computer.

If you have another computer that you can use, you can plug this hard drive into the other computer as a slave drive and try using the low level format tool from HDD Guru again. It shouldn't lock any files if it's mounted as a slave drive on another computer.

If you want still prefer to give DBAN a try, get it from below:

I downloaded it and uploaded the file to that website. Hopefully, you can reach it from there.


Windows XP

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Kevin Hou


I`m familiar with Windows 95/98/2K/XP/7 problems and will try my best to assist you. Feel free to ask any software or hardware related questions.


I started using computers over 10 years ago and have grown to both love and hate it to say the least. I have studied computer programming and graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer science.

Bachelors in computer information science

©2016 All rights reserved.