View Full Version : Reformating Hard Drive Procedure Question - Quick

John Weber
02-05-2005, 10:46 AM
Hey guys,

I'm reformating my hard drive so I can start clean again, it's been awhile so I wanted to double check the procedure. I'll be installing XPPro, and have my data taken care of, but do I need to make a start disk, I can't remember.

Can anyone give me the process so I don't screw up?

Format c:
Install XP

then work on getting everything setup on the PC again.

It's an older Compaq if that makes a difference.

It seems like the CD drivers still work after a reformat, but I just wanted to double check.

Thanks - John

Jonathan Shaw
02-05-2005, 3:40 PM
When you boot from the Windows XP install CD, it will ask you which hard drive you would like to install to. On that screen, you can press a certain key to allow you to delete and recreate partitions. I think maybe the letter L or something -- anyway, read the full screen and you'll see it. That's your best bet if you want to reformat for your fresh install.

You'll be prompted as to whether you want NTFS or FAT (choose NTFS!) and also whether you want a quick format or a long one. I always choose the quick format, but if you think some "sectors" of your disk have become bad without the disk or OS realizing it, then a long format will force it to recognize that fact.

While you're at it, you can choose to divide your disk into multiple partitions. On mine, I chose to make the first partition take up the majority of the available space, and then I made a smaller partition (10 gigabytes or so) to serve as a convenient emergency startup disk. I then installed Windows onto both partitions (one install at a time).

Just realize that if you do make multiple startup partitions on a single disk, if you have a <i>physical</i> failure with your disk, chances are both partitions are toasted. So a better backup would be to have two physical disks. Even better, obviously, is to have an off-site backup of your important data in case you have a fire or some other catastrophe. (Burn a CD with important personal documents and keep it at a friend/relative's place.)


Jim Becker
02-05-2005, 6:16 PM
Further to Jonathan's post, you may need to tell your machine in the BIOS that it is allowed to boot from the CDROM. Some machines have don't have it in the list of acceptable boot sources. You really only need a "start up/boot" disk if you are working on an older machine that cannot boot from a CDROM.

John Weber
02-05-2005, 10:48 PM
Thanks guys the advise was right on and the machine is running like a champ again.