How to Format a Laptop

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

The fastest and easiest way to clean up a laptop is through reformatting it. In other terms, this is called reformatting of the hard disk. You might want to reformat your laptop to simply clean it up, or when your computer suffered from a severe malware attack. Whatever your reason is, formatting a laptop still follows the same step-by-step procedure.

Materials Needed:
- Laptop
- device drivers
- Operating System installation CDs
- storage media
Step 1
Back up all the files in the hard drive to any fit media device like blank CDs or DVDs, flash disks, and media cards.
Step 2
Make sure you have all the needed device drivers, especially the Operating System installation CD at hand. Most laptops today use CDs while there are some laptops that still use floppy disks.
Step 3
Insert the installation CD or floppy disk in the applicable drive and boot the laptop.
Step 4
Set up the Operating System.
Step 5
Read the license agreement and press F8 to accept it.
Step 6
If the next screen shows 'Previous XP detection,' press 'ESC'. This will lead you to reformat the laptop.
Step 7
Create or delete a partition. To partition a hard disk, you should select a not-yet-partitioned space first then press C. Enter your desired size for that certain partition in megabytes. Just repeat this process if you want to create more partitions. Press 'Enter' when you are done.
Step 8
Determine the file system you will use for the laptop. Check your Operating System also since it might limit your choices. However, if you are using Microsoft Windows XP, you can either choose NTFS file system or the VFAT file system. Most people today use the NTFS file system. Press 'Enter'.
Step 9
Format the partition you want to format. This will delete all the information in that certain partition.
Step 10
Press F to verify that you have selected the correct partition. You can go back to change your option by pressing 'ESC'.
Step 11
After that, the disk will start to format the laptop. Wait until it is finished. This might take a lot of time.
Step 12
The XP Setup window will appear. You will be faced with various questions, which you are obliged to answer. These include the regional and language options, name, CD key, computer name, admin password, date and time settings, and network setup. After filling this up, press 'Enter'.
Step 13
The setup process will begin. This may consume about 30 minutes, the standard for Microsoft Windows XP.
Step 14
The laptop will reboot. The screen showing 'Welcome XP' will appear. It will ask you if you would like to register your Operating System or if you want to create added screen names.