How to Format the Hard Drive? (to kill ME and clean install XP)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Cameron Seaman, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. Cameron Seaman

    Cameron Seaman Supporting Actor

    Apr 26, 1998
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    I've done a little searching, but still a little unsure about the best way to go about this.
    I have a Dell Dimension 4100 with Windows ME [​IMG] and I'm looking to format my hard drive and do a clean install of Windows XP Pro.
    After I have all important files backed up and new drivers on floppy, what steps do I take to begin the wipe? Do I just go into DOS and use the FDISK utility? Do I have to do anything with the BIOS? Why or should I partition the hard drive?
    Thanks for any help with such a rookie question. I've just never done it before [​IMG]
  2. Liam S

    Liam S Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 14, 2001
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    Just pop the XP CD in the drive.


    Enter your BIOS setup

    Set the boot order to boot from CD first.

    Save and exit the BIOS setup

    Your computer will reboot and will ask you to press any key to boot from the CD. Press anykey and the setup will start. In the XP setup it'll ask you if you want to format and partition the drive. Just follow the directions. They should show you exactly how to do it. I suggest formatting your drives as NTFS because of the extra security options NTFS gives you. I'd suggest at least 2 partitions. One for the OS, and one for data. If your data is on a separate partition, you won't have to back-up files again whenever you reinstall an OS. XP pro takes up over 2 gigs, so plan accordingly.

    Personally, I use 3 partitions. One for the OS, one for programs, and one for data.

    After setup has copied the files necessary to install the OS, when it reboots enter your BIOS setup again and switch back your original boot order. Setup will continue and you should have a clean install of XP in about 30 minutes.
  3. Craig Chatterton

    Craig Chatterton Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 18, 1999
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    Whenever I install a new OS, here's how I do it:
    Configure the boot order in BIOS to be Floppy, HD, CDROM.
    Create a Dos Boot disk using your current OS. Copy FDISK.EXE onto that disk.
    Leave the floppy in the drive. Reboot. Run Fdisk and delete the current partition. DON'T CREATE ANOTHER one. Just leave the HD partionless [​IMG] .
    Remove floppy, stick OS CD in. Reboot again. The OS will find a (what it thinks is ) brand new HD with no partition, and ask if you want to create one (or more).
  4. Mike St.Louis

    Mike St.Louis Supporting Actor

    Sep 22, 1999
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    Another tip.

    If you don't have a boot can create one with Windows 9x (not sure if this still applies to ME).

    NOTE: I'm doing this from memory as I am running 2000 so I may have some of the wording incorrect.

    Go to: Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs

    There should be a tab for Windows Startup (the right-most tab anyway). Click it and there will be a button for creating a boot disk.

    The boot disk is handy for botting up with or without CD drivers and it also has copies of FDISK and FORMAT.

    But like others have said previously you can boot from the XP CD and go from there.
  5. Rob FM

    Rob FM Second Unit

    Jan 15, 2001
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    Real Name:
    Cameron, if you ever need any DOS related items try:
    They have full versions of DOS since Ver.4.0 -and you'll be able to get Fdisk, Format and pretty much anything else you're looking for.
    Good Luck,

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