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Reformatting Your Computer (windows Xp) Format your Computer/PC/Harddrive and Install Windows


11 replies to this topic

#1 mist

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 07:09 PM

Many of us, during the course of computer's life will need to reformat our computer for various reasons. Whether it be your computer is so slow and you just can't figure out why, or if you have a very persistent virus that you just can't figure out a way to eradicate. Though i'm sure there are countless number of reasons, many will fall on the solution of reformatting your computer....or more specifically, your hard-drive. Now what exactly does this involve? To put it simply, reformatting your hard-drive is like reformatting any other disk like a floppy disk or a usb drive. It will cause the drive/disk to be completely erased and for the most part, completely fresh to be used again. The only exception to this is when the disk has some physical damage.....nothing can fix this. The main difference when reformatting your hard-drive is your operating system is installed on it, and when you erase your os, you will have nothing to boot up to.

What will you need?

- some-way to back up your data
- installation cd for Windows XP *****VERY IMPORTANT
- copies of installation for all the programs that you need to install
- a working cd drive

What do you do?

  • Back-up all your data that you have a remote chance of needing in the future. You can copy files to a cd/dvd, to a usb key, a portable hard-drive, any other external means of data storage you have access too. Back-up documents, multimedia, and anything else you deem important. However, you cannot copy programs as they have information stored in the registry;which will be deleted in the reformat. Let me reiterate a point:Make sure you have installation copies of all programs you will need.
  • Check once more that all the data you could potentially need is stored.
  • Put your windows xp installation cd into the cd-drive and restart your computer.
  • Check your boot device order and make sure CD is first on the list. To do this, press the key specified on the first screen when your computer turns on. Often it is the delete key or F1, F2 or F12..however it varies per computer. When a BIOS dialogue comes up, find a menu for Boot devices. A list of devices should come up in order of priority. Make sure your CD drive is the first on the list, change it if need be. After you are done, save changes and exit the BIOS set-up. When the computer starts again, a dialogue asking you to press a key to boot from disc will come up. Press any key.
  • When a screen comes up with multiple options, choose the Set-up Windows XP option (usually by pressing enter/return).
  • A screen will come-up asking where you want to install Windows XP. Using the up/down keys, select drive C to reformat and press the D key. On the next screen, press the appropriate key to confirm deleting the partition.
  • Once you are back at the installation screen, choose the "Unpartitioned Space" using the up/down keys and press C to create a partition. On the next screen, make sure the maximum size of the drive is selected to be the partition (unless you want only part of the drive to be partitioned).
  • Again, you will find yourself on the installation screen, choose the "New Partition" using the up/down keys and press enter to continue.
  • When asked which file system to format the drive with, choose the appropriate one. Generally, NTFS will be best as it is the most secure. Choose FAT32 if you will be sharing files with older versions of Windows.
  • Finally, Windows XP will install, follow the dialogues carefully to finish the process.

Congratulations, You're Done!

#2 OpaQue

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 01:05 AM

I reformatted your post :-) Nice tutorial..

#3 xboxrulz

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:01 AM

Nice tutorial, but I don't think a lot of members here need it since it's such a basic task :blink:. Great work nonetheless.

xboxrulz

#4 Daniel666

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 07:55 AM

Thats a nice tutorial, i wish i had that when i first re-formatted a computer (remembers and shivers)

i remember my backup drives didnt copy properly, then there was the bit where i had NO idea which commands to put in and was just guessing to get the windows disk to startup ^^

i did it by deleting first with a floppy then reinstalling, the long way round i know, but it was my first time

#5 WeaponX

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 01:41 PM

Nice and easy to follow tutorial mist :D

That letter to press after you delete the partition is L to confirm the deletion :blink:

A side tip. If anyone plans to create more than one partition, now is the time to do it. Once Windows is installed, you will need a third party program like Partition Magic to split up the partition. A partition is just a separate section made available for data (be it files or the Operating System) storage. This is when you see more drives in My Computer where you can store your files to it instead of using C: all the time.

FAT32 does have its advantages. Most games should work with NTFS, but older games may still require FAT32.

#6 xboxrulz

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 02:13 PM

I have yet had any games that require FAT32 because shouldn't Windows handle all the I/O requests, and not the game?

xboxrulz

#7 Chesso

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 02:24 AM

Very nice tutorial, and a good idea to have it up here for all to refer to.

I have had to do this task considerably over the years, though I do often get stuck with bits and bobs as I forget (as the span of doing this is often months in difference), so it is very useful to have somewhere to refer too.

#8 HellFire121

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 07:54 AM

Nice tutorial, very clear on what to do. Should help a number of guys that are up for their first format or very rarely do it.
Just make sure that all data is backed up properly, double check it. The number of people that have corrupted backups and cd's burnt onto faulty discs etc is amazing - check your stuff before you proceed with the format, or else you might lose everything.

-HellFire

#9 Chesso

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 02:11 PM

Nice tutorial, very clear on what to do. Should help a number of guys that are up for their first format or very rarely do it.
Just make sure that all data is backed up properly, double check it. The number of people that have corrupted backups and cd's burnt onto faulty discs etc is amazing - check your stuff before you proceed with the format, or else you might lose everything.

-HellFire


I cannot begin to stress just how important the above is, about making damn sure any back-ups, especially vital ones are to be in perfect working order.

I have burned off back-ups in the past, just nice and fast, not paying too much attention to it all in a rush and not verifying the disc or medium is in working order, only to need it later down the road and the darn thing can't access anything :|, also be vary wary of cheap cd's/dvd's.

#10 ethergeek

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 03:20 PM

I have yet had any games that require FAT32 because shouldn't Windows handle all the I/O requests, and not the game?

xboxrulz


Yep. Windows handles all File I/O requests. The advantage to NTFS in gaming is compression. When you load large texture files off the disk, the CPU is just idling while the disk is thrashing to get the data into RAM...if you turn on compression on the game folder, you offload a little bit of that strain onto the CPU which had nothing to do, previously.

This is only a bright idea if you have a very fast machine...especially in an SMP setup, since most games load routines really aren't multithreaded anyway.

#11 Mordent

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Posted 24 August 2007 - 04:41 PM

Interesting side note:

Once you've reformatted your PC, for whatever reason, try not to get it in such a bad state again. Ever since I reformatted my laptop I've kept all programs installed in logical directories (unlike the root directory :D), and got things like anti-virus/firewall/anti-spyware etc. sorted, meaning that it's been running nice and smoothly since. No more files in ridiculous places, and I keep all of my installers in one directory (for downloads, at least) so I know where to access them. Do a disk defrag every so often, and run a cleanup utility on a regular basis as well and you shouldn't have to worry about reformatting again. :blink:

#12 Guest_(G)_*

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 04:28 PM

I did reformat/reinstall last night following the steps exactly as above. When the computer can not boot when restarted. The window displays "dish error" I'd like to know what happened? 





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