(also known as reformatting, wiping or restoring your computer to factory defaults) The following steps will delete all of the information off of your computer’s hard drive.  Please make sure that you have backed up all your data, programs, address book, data, calendars, etc, etc.  It will ALL be gone after these formatting steps


What is the benefit to formatting my computer?  How to format the computer’s hard drive:

IDE Hard Disk DriveThese steps are for formatting your primary drive (normally C:\) in Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 and to reinstall the operating system.

The easiest way to format your computer is by locating your operating system CD.  Look for a CD or DVD that specifically says “Operating System” or “System Restore”.    Insert the installation disc into your CD or DVD drive. 

Restart your computer. 

When your computer is restarting, you will be prompted to “Press any key to boot from CD”.  Simply press any button on your keyboard when you see this message.  If you do not see this message when you restart your computer, you may need to reset your boot disk sequence. *

*To reset the boot sequence, go into BIOS mode.  To do this, restart your computer and while restarting press the F1, F2, F10, or maybe the delete key (your computer screen will say “To enter setup press xxx”.  You only have a few seconds to press the correct  key, so if you miss it you will need to restart your computer and try again.  Once you have successfully entered the BIOS mode, look for your boot sequence options.  Set the CD ROM drive to be the 1st in the boot sequence.  Save your changes and exit.

The CD will load a blue screen, then after a few minutes will ask you to press Enter to set up Windows.

You will then be prompted to select where to install Windows.  There will be a box on the lower half of your screen that will either show “Unpartitioned space xxxMB” or will have “Partitioned space xxxMB”.  Highlight which partition you wish to format (typically it will be the unpartitioned space or the space with the largest partition by most megabytes).  Hit Enter after selecting the space to partition.

The next step is to choose which file system to format the drive with.  The NTFS option will be the fastest option.  For most formatting purposes, choose the option that ends in “Quick”.  Press Enter when done.

The computer will then begin the formatting process.  This process may take a while depending on the size of the hard drive you are formatting and the speed of hard drive.

As soon as the drive has been formatted, the operating system files will be copied to the hard drive and the operating system will start installing.