Formatting Hard Drive with Windows® XP
How to format a hard drive with Windows® XP.
Whenever you format your computer, it is more than likely that you will lose all the data on it i.e. unless you create a backup. As with any installation, you will first and foremost need the discs that come with the software. Therefore, you should buy an original copy of Windows® XP that has all the discs which are necessary to install Windows® XP. This is important as pirated copies can make your system crash at any given point of time, without any sort of warning. If there is some data that you want to keep, then you should create a back up of the same on a CD, to be used later when the system is up and running.
A few important points that you should keep in mind when formatting the hard disk of the system:
- Create a back up of your data
- Format hard disk and install Windows® XP using the original installation disc
- Update Windows®
Create a back up of your data
This is a vital thing that one has to think about before formatting a system. Assemble all the data that you want to save in one place. These files could be MP3s, word docs and spreadsheets, folders, videos, passwords, and contacts. You can use either CDs or USB devices to save your data. These files can be saved back on the system once it is up and running again.
Format hard disk and install Windows® XP using the original installation disc
This part is important. Do not run the Windows® installation from Windows® itself. You will need to completely shut down your system first and then reboot the machine from the Windows® XP CD. Go to the ‘BIOS’ setting on your PC and then press ‘F1’, ‘F2’, or ‘F10’. You will also need to select the file system you wish to use. NTFS is better, since it is more secure than FAT32. In the case of some laptops, you may be required to press ‘F12’ and you will be asked to boot directly from the CD. If you're not sure how to boot from the CD, check your PC's user guide for more information. Booting from CD is important as the installation process requires you to delete the entire ‘C: Drive’ partition where Windows® is installed along with the information on it, and then re-format it. This is why creating backups for your system is so important. This will be impossible to do if you were to boot Windows® from ‘C: Drive’ because it cannot delete the partition from which it is running. Windows® can be installed without deleting the partition and formatting it, but that means all your program files and other data that you want to get rid of and that has collected on your ‘C: Drive’ will still be there when you're done. This will just take up unnecessary space and will totally negate what you are trying to do. So, to be absolutely sure, it is better if you boot from the CD itself.
If your installation CD is old, then your Windows® Service Pack is obsolete. So, once you get your Internet connection to work, go immediately to Windows Update® and get your version up to date and complete. This is important as hackers and viruses are just waiting to infiltrate once you connect your system to the Internet. So, to be well prepared, your computer should be well guarded against all kinds of threats.