Want to know how to clean up the hard drive and reformat it.

Question

Bought this computer for daughter in England. Called to say that it crashed. When booting up it gives her error messages. She thinks she could have received Trojan virus. Want to know how she can clean up the hard drive and reformat it. Will she have to buy a new version of Windows. What steps should she take before putting Windows on the computer.We bought this computer on e-bay and it did not come with reformating disc. This happened to me on my Dell and it was because I had confilicting virus protection programs in the computer running at the same time. Could this be the cause? She had a virus protection program included with the computer but downloaded McAfee also, without realizing that she had this other program. Anyway, I hope you can give us an answer. Thank you, Sandra Gitts

Answer

This question was answered on January 4, 2005. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

This is how you reformat your computer.

1) With Windows XP, you need to figure out which file system you have on your hard drive - either NTFS or FAT32 Click here to find that out (Once you have established this go to step 2a or 2b.)

2a) If you have NTFS, you need to wipe the drive with a special technique Click here to learn that.

2b) If you have FAT32, you need to wipe the drive with a special technique Click here to learn that.

3) Next you need to reinstall Windows XP Reboot your computer with the Windows XP setup CD in the CDROM and let it boot into the Windows Setup screen Let it load all the drivers Then choose option 1 and start the clean installation When it is done, reboot the computer.

If Method #1 for reformating and reinstalling Windows XP does not work for you, try this instead:

Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive, or insert the first Windows XP Setup boot disk into the floppy disk drive if you are starting from Setup boot disks, and then restart the computer

NOTE: To start your computer from the Windows XP CD-ROM or from the Setup boot disk, your computer must be configured to start from the CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive or the floppy disk drive

In some cases, you may have to modify your computer's BIOS settings to do this (Learn how here.)

(If you are starting from the Windows XP Setup boot disks, insert each of the additional disks when you are prompted, and then press ENTER to continue after inserting each disk.)

At the Welcome to Setup page, press ENTER to continue.

Press F8 to accept the Windows XP Licensing Agreement.

If an existing Windows XP installation is detected, you are prompted to repair it Press ESC (do not repair).

All existing partitions and unpartitioned spaces are listed for each physical hard disk Use the arrow keys to select the partition or unpartitioned space where you want to create a new partition, and then press D to delete an existing partition or press C to create a new partition using unpartitioned space

If you press D to delete an existing partition, you must then press L (or press ENTER, and then press L if it is the System partition) to confirm that you want to delete the partition Repeat this process for each of the existing partitions that you want to use for the new partition

When all the partitions are deleted, you can then select the resulting unpartitioned space and then press C to create the new partition.

Type the size (in megabytes, or MB) that you want to use for the new partition, and then press ENTER, or just press ENTER to create the partition using the maximum size.

If you want to install Windows XP, use the arrow keys to select the partition you want to install Windows XP on, and then press ENTER

Select the format option that you want to use for the partition, and then press ENTER The options are::

* Format the partition by using the NTFS file system (Quick)

* Format the partition by using the FAT file system (Quick)

* Format the partition by using the NTFS file system

* Format the partition by using the FAT file system

You may also see:

* Leave the current file system intact (no changes)

Most people will want to choose: "Format the partition by using the NTFS file system".

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Author

Posted by cristina of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on January 4, 2005