How to Format a Hard Drive With Windows XP

Are you experiencing missing DLL files, software crashes or the “blue screen of death?”  I have had my share of these in the past.  Luckily, I was informed about the process of formatting my hard drive and was saved from a lot of the stress. Reformatting your hard drive can turn your computer in to that perky PC you purchased a few years back.

The first thing you need to understand when you format your computer is that you will lose all your information on the computer. Back up all your vital documents, pictures and files onto disks, flash drives or external hard drives.  All the programs that you run, that do not come with Windows XP, will also have to be reinstalled after the hard drive is formatted.

Once everything important is backed up, get your Windows XP install CD and place it into the CD or DVD-Rom drive.  It does not mater if you run the Home or Pro version the steps are still the same. Reboot your computer with the CD in the drive. While the computer boots, you will be asked to “Press any key to boot from CD.”. Hit any on the keyboard to run the C.D.

At this point the screen will turn blue and Windows will start loading files it needs to format the drive.  You will then receive a list of options. Press “Enter” to set up Windows XP. The computer will begin deleting partitions and formatting the drives.  If you do not have or want partitions skip the next paragraph.

A box will appear on the bottom of the screen if you have partitions. You can use the arrow keys to choose the partition you want reformatted or you can choose them all too completely reformat the computer. The next screen you will see will show you the total unpartitioned space. To partition this drive select the lines using the arrow keys and choose the maximum amount of space to partition and hit the enter key. You will be shown the partition you created, highlight this entry and hit enter.

You now are asked to choose the file system to format the drive. Select ‘NTFS’. Press enter or return to continue formatting.  Windows will now start to load all the files and features in XP. This process will take about 45 minutes to an hour. When it is finished you computer will look like it did when you first bought it.

You can now do all the windows updates and save your information, which you backed up, on the computer. Reformatting is time consuming and getting all your files and programs loaded back on the computer does take time. However, reformatting can be a great way to salvage a computer.