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I need to rebuild my dev box later tonight. What utility do you use for FDISK, and Formatting your drives. I usually do this stuff in Windows but will need to start with bare metal. Last time I did this stuff was with DOS - ouch, it's been awhile.

Free is best but low cost will work too.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 23 '09 at 20:03

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What is it really that you need to do ? And what is "bare metal" in this case ? –  ldigas Oct 23 '09 at 20:16
    
Sounds like, a computer with no operating system in it yet. –  Kevin Panko Oct 23 '09 at 21:54
    
Well, he did say "rebuild", so I assumed he's rebuilding the current one. In any case, how did he install windows in the first place, not being aware of this ? I'm excluding the option he uses the ones that came with the machine, since, if he's been here since dos, he must've installed an os or two. Expecially, being a dev ... unfortunatelly, him not being a registered user, I fear we'll never find out. –  ldigas Oct 23 '09 at 22:18
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6 Answers 6

As far as I know every modern Windows system installer includes a formatter, partitioner and everything else needed to get itself onto your computer.

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GParted

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Gentoo based LiveCD available. –  Nathaniel Oct 24 '09 at 0:16
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If you are reinstalling windows from cd, drive formatting will be part of the install process. You do not need any extra tools.

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The Gparted Live CD is a great free solution for formatting drives. Also, the Ubuntu Linux live cd boots into a desktop environment that has partitioning software installed.

However, if your disk setup isn't particularly special/complicated, and you're installing Windows, the Windows install process includes a partitioning step that allows you to create and delete partitions. All of the Linux distributions that I have used include partitioning as part of setup, and most of them use partitioning software that is more robust than the Windows installer.

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Not programming related as it stands, but for free: Use a Linux LiveCD (any will do, recommended: CentOS) to run a partitioner. It will format too. Then right before installing, cancel and run your Windows installation.

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No need to use extra bandwidth, whichever OS you install first likely has partitioning tools available that you can use before adding more operating systems.

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