format c drive from windows 7 installation disk

My son placed a large, strong magnet next to my PC.  Gee, it won't boot up now.  (It makes a scraping noise too.  Would a magnet cause a head crash?)   I can boot it from the Windows 7 installation disk, but cannot install Windows.  I think I need to format my C drive, but I don't know how to do it.  I have the drivers and utilities disk that came with the machine.  It contains format, so I should be able to run from the CD and format the C drive.  Any suggestions on what options to give for the command?  The laptop is a Dell Studio 1535 with a 160GB hard drive.  The exact specs say: "160GB, S2, 5.4, 9.5, WD-ML160"  

The format command syntax is: 

format drive: [/F:size] [/N:sectors /T:tracks] [/1] [/4] [/8] [/A] [[/B | /S]] [/Q] [/V:[label]]

I don't think I need to use /F, not sure about /B, if I need /N and /T I don't know what values to give, /V I can give any label I want, seems like the rest of the options are old and don't matter.  

Can I just do a quick format /Q and be done with it?  

Can I even format my C drive from this CD?

Is all lost?




A scraping noise is generally indicative of a drive failure.

If you have the Dell recovery disk if you boot from that disk just follow the instructions, if that install/recovery fails there would usually be some err msg, eg no drive found

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Question Info

Last updated February 16, 2020 Views 1,080 Applies to: