How to Format a Hard Disk Drive

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

The primary reasons why people would want to format their hard drive is when they are making a reinstallation of their Operating System or erasing very sensitive data or information. It should be noted then that formatting hard drives erases all of the stored data. This should also be done when you want to sell your computer because reinstalling the operating system could sometimes leave traces of critical information like phone numbers and credit card data on the hard disk. Almost all the information saved on a computer system is stored on a hard drive. Even the Operating System is stored in the hard drive. Formatting the hard drive is also a measure that is employed in the removal of malicious software and when fixing particular applications in your computer system.

Materials Needed:
- Hard disk drive
- Windows XP installation software
- Computer
- Backup File
- Utilities Driver for the motherboard
Step 1
It is important for you to make a backup of all the pertinent data that is stored in your computer. You may opt to use a floppy drive, zip drive, CD-ROM, flash drive or other types of storage devices. Upon doing so, disconnect the device from the computer.
Step 2
After which, disconnect all of the Internet and other network cables from the computer. Be certain that you have written down all of the configurations and settings. These include your security settings, display settings, Internet settings and manufacturer settings. You may now proceed to insert the CD installer of your Operating System which in this case is the Windows XP. Now reboot the computer.
Step 3
Set the BIOS in order for your computer to boot from the CD drive. Once it has done this, the message 'Press any key to boot from disk' will be displayed. When you have a pressed a key, the Windows will then load the utility for setup.
Step 4
The computer will then display a message prompting you to choose whether to Setup or Repair Windows. Press on the Enter key. Upon agreeing to the license agreement shown to you, press on the F8 key. Windows could detect whether the Operating System Windows XP had previously been installed in the computer. It would display another message with a choice to repair. Press on the Esc button so that you could skip the option for Repair.
Step 5
Select the partition where you would want to reformat the computer’s hard drive. What happens next is that you will be asked to make a choice of formatting your hard drive via the file system NTFS.
Step 6
Wait while Windows goes through the process of installation. It is during this process that the PC reboots and once more you would be shown a message prompting you to press any key so that the computer could boot from the disk. You are not to press any key this time or else Windows will begin the process of installation from the start again. Simply finish the succeeding screens in the process of installation until the setup has been completed. Make sure that you type in the administrator password.
Step 7
Install the anti-virus software and enable the Windows Firewall. You may now reconnect all the network and Internet connections so that you can download and install all the updates from the website of Microsoft. All the drivers are to be installed using the utilities CD of your motherboard. Lastly, install all your applications and restore the backup file that you have made prior to formatting together with the settings that you have made a note of.