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How to Format a Computer with Windows Vista

Warning – Formatting hard drive information does not permanently erase the data. Even after a computer has been formatted, deleted files can be easily recovered. If you want to permanently wipe your hard drive by completely overwriting hard drive data, check out WipeDrive.

To format your hard disk during Windows Vista installation, you’ll need to start, or boot, your computer using the Windows Vista installation disc or USB flash drive.

Turn on your computer so that Windows starts normally, insert the Windows Vista installation disc, and then shut down your computer.

Restart your computer.

Press any key when
prompted, and then follow the instructions that appear.

On the Install Windows page, follow any instructions that are displayed, and then click Install now.

If the Install Windows page doesn’t appear, and you’re not asked to press any key, you might need to change some system settings. To learn how to do this, see Start Windows from a CD or DVD.

On the Get important updates for installation page, we recommend getting the latest updates to help ensure a successful installation and to help protect your computer against security threats. You will need an Internet connection to get installation updates.

On the Type your product key for activation page, do one of the following:

If you are reinstalling Windows Vista, you should enter your product key now.

If you are not reinstalling Windows Vista, you can skip this step.

On the Please read the license terms page, if you accept the license terms, click I accept the license terms.

On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.

On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, click Drive options (advanced).

Click the partition that you want to format and click Format

If you have more than one partition on this hard drive and want to get rid them to make one big drive again, then select a partition and click on the Delete option for each partition. Once you have deleted all of the partitions, select the Unallocated Space partition and click Format

Pick the formatting option that you want.

When you’ve finished formatting, click Next.

Follow the instructions to finish installing Windows Vista, which include naming your computer and setting up an initial user account.

If you do not want to reinstall Windows Vista, you can cancel the installation at this point and keep your newly formatted drives.
How to Format a Computer with Windows XP

Warning – Formatting hard drive information does not permanently erase the data. Even after a computer has been formatted, deleted files can be easily recovered. If you want to permanently wipe your hard drive by completely overwritting hard drive data, check out WipeDrive.

The first step in learning how to format a computer with Windows XP or 2000, is to insert Windows CD and restart your computer.

Your computer should automatically boot from the CD to the Windows Setup Menu.

At the Welcome to Setup page, press ENTER.

Press F8 to accept the Windows XP Licensing Agreement.

If an existing Windows XP installation is detected, you are prompted to repair it. To bypass the repair, press ESC.

Use the ARROW keys to select the partition or the unpartitioned space where you want to create a new partition. Press D to delete an existing partition, or press C to create a new partition.

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

Select the format option that you want to use for the partition (Recommended: NTFS), and then press ENTER.

After the Windows Setup program formats the partition, follow the instructions that appear on the screen to continue installing Windows.

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