How to Format with Windows 95, 98, or ME
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.
To reinstall Windows, you need a Startup Diskette and a Windows Installation CD.
Download the Startup Diskette Creator
Note: We recommend using the Startup Diskette available on this page. Other Windows Startup Diskettes may not work with the following steps.
Insert the Startup Diskette into the floppy drive and restart your computer.
Select option #1 – Start the computer with CD-ROM support.
After a minute or so, you will see “A:>_”.
Type “fdisk” and press Enter.
If asked to enable large disk support, select Y for Yes. (Note: Some versions of Windows 95 may not be compatible with large disk support. Select N here if it does not support the FAT32 file system.)
Select Option #1 – Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive.
Select Option #1 – Create Primary DOS Partition.
The drive integrity will be verified.
Unless you are planning to make multiple partitions, select Y when asked if you want to use the maximum available size for the partition and to make the partition active.
The drive integrity will be verified again.
When completed press the Esc key to exit fdisk.
Without removing the floppy disk, press the reset button on the computer or press the keys Ctrl then Alt then Delete and release them together. This will restart the computer.
Again, select the option to Start the computer with CD-ROM support.
When you see A:>, directly above it is a message about your CD-ROM drive. It will tell you the letter assigned to your CD-ROM drive, take note of it.
At the A:>, type “format C:” and press Enter.
Press the Y key then the enter key when asked if you want to proceed with the format.
The format will probably take some time, so be patient.
You will be asked to choose a Volume Label, which is a name for your hard drive. It has no effect on the operation of your computer, you may choose any name you like.
Reinstalling older versions of Windows