How to Format a Computer With Windows

You can save yourself a huge amount of money if you learn how to format a computer yourself and it isn’t that hard, it just has to be done right. About 25 years ago I had just bought a new computer and within one month I had called the computer technician to fix my computer. Each time I called him he formatted my computer while I watched and asked a million questions. He must have absolutely hated me!

In those days it was a highly skilled task to format a computer and it is definitely easier with Windows Xp, Windows Vista, and now Windows Seven.

Before you attempt to format a computer with Windows:

  • Backup your computer files and settings.
  • You should also make sure you have a copy of your systems drivers and a copy of your important passwords.

How to Format a computer general information:

Why should you format your computer and what does it mean?

If you are not sure what formatting your computer actually involves then you should find out first. It is easy for the average computer user to format a computer, however all the steps must be performed correctly.

A list of the most important computer system files and folders to Backup

Before you format your computer you must backup your files. Here a list of the most important files that you cannot and must not forget to backup when you format your computer. Some files are hidden and some are just obvious.

How to format Windows XP

How to format your computer using Windows XP. Step by step instructions on how to format a computer in windows XP. Starting from the minute you boot from the Original Windows cd and how to make your computer boot from it.

Formatting a hard drive

This article shows how to format all versions of Windows and compares them to each other. This is handy if you are experienced in formatting with Windows XP and you now want to format a computer using Windows Vista.

How to get into Your BIOS and change settings

To begin to format your computer you will need to make your computer boot directly to the cd drive first, instead of the usual hard drive. You want it to read your Windows cd that you want to install.

Damaged boot sector How to repair a damaged boot sector by replacing the master boot record (MBR) in Windows XP. Sometimes when you have a computer problem, before you format your computer you can try and repair the boot sector of your hard drive.

How to repair a Windows XP installation without formatting your computer and loosing your files

This is something you can try if you have a Windows CD, the original one you installed onto your computer in the first place. By inserting the CD your files can be compared to the ones on the original CD.

How to delete a partition on a hard drive

When you format a computer you need to delete the main partition that had the previous version of Windows on it then create a new partition to start from scratch. You can also create extra partitions from one hard drive.

Delete, merge, create, and rename a hard drive partition without formatting Windows

If you don’t need to format your c: drive but just want to clean up your other partitions you can do this without having to format your computer. You can delete partitions or create them as long as you are not touching the main c: drive.

Should I choose NTFS or FAT32 file system

Just to make it clear for the beginners that have not formatted before. When you first format your computer you have to choose the file system your want. You can choose between NTFS and FAT32.

How to format an External Hard Drive

If you have a spare hard drive in your computer or an external hard drive attached to your computer, you can format you computer without effecting the main hard drive. You can also format you usb flash drive or any portable external drives this way.

Recover files before you format a computer:

Recover emails, files, and data from a crashed hard drive or computer

If your hard drive or computer has crashed you can maybe still get your important files of the hard drive before formatting your computer again.

What is the difference between a partition and a hard drive?

If you go to my computer and see the hard drives there, you might a C: drive and then maybe D: or E: and so on. These drives might only be partitions. This means that your one hard drive has been sectioned into different areas. If you had 2 different hard drives it would still appear the same. This article shows how to tell the difference between a partition and a hard drive.

How to shrink a partition on your hard drive

If you have other partitions besides C: then you can shrink or merge these partitions.

How to label a new hard drive or partition and assign a drive letter?

When you install a hard drive, sometimes it does not show up in my computer. You might have to label the hard drive by assigning it a letter or a name.

What are Device Drivers and why do I need them for my computer?

When you format a computer, unless you are using a compete restore disc that came with your system, all drivers will have to be re-installed. This includes drivers like lan, display, audio, and drivers for any other devices that might be extra on your computer.

You can also download a free PDF report on How to Format Windows by visiting our downloads page.


  1. Mike Downing says

    I have a question, not a comment.

    When I open “My Pictures,” under “Picture Tasks” it does not read “Copy To CD.” How do I activate or enable this feature so I can copy My Pictures to a CD?

    Thank you.

  2. sita ram says

    i have original window xp3 on my lap top i want to change lap top how i can get thiss shifted from the lapp top to other

    • Mitz says

      You can shift the windows xp to another computer if you have the original operating system disc and you remove the sticker and the software from the other computer…Be careful with the sticker as you will need the serial number on it.