When you format a computer it is always best to start fresh. If it is a new computer then you will have to create a partition, however if it already has windows on the hard drive, you will have to delete it. To delete the previous copy of windows you will need to delete the partition on your hard drive where it is stored. If you are not formatting a hard drive and simply deleting an extra on partition your hard drive then see this article on how to delete and merge a partition.
This will mean that you will lose all the information and data that was previously on that section of the hard drive. Obviously you should backup your important files.
If there is a copy of Windows XP on your computer and you wish to overwrite it you will have to press the escape button when prompted. Do not install Windows XP in another directory unless you know what you are doing. Just overwrite the previous version as you should have backed up your data anyway.
To delete the partition that windows is on you have to select it by making it blue. Then you can press the letter D on the keyboard. You will have to press the letter L to confirm that you want to delete this partition.
If there is more than one partition with other data on it , you can either leave it there or delete it as well. If you leave it there, create another partition to replace the one you deleted, and install Windows to this one. Therefore the other partition will still have it files intact.
How to delete a partition without formatting Windows
If you have more than one partition on your computer you can delete a partition as long as it has not got Windows system files on it. If you want to change a partition that has Windows system files on at you will need to download a third-party program such as partition Magic.
Notes on how to delete a partition:
- When you first start deleting partitions it can be a bit scary, however it is not a problem if you have everything backed up anyway.
- You can format any other hard drives or partitions while still in Windows. You cannot format the partition that holds Windows unless you start from scratch with the install cd. This article on how to format an external hard drive. will help to format a spare hard drive.
- I have a 400gb hard drive divided into two 200gb partitions. When formatting a hard drive I only delete the first 200gb partition with Windows on it. All the other data has been backed up onto the second 200gb. Of course I have another backup hard drive just in case the whole thing packs up on me.
- If you need to delete a partition on windows Xp then this article on how to format a computer might also help.
You will need to know how to delete a partition when trying to format a computer.