how do i format a hard drive outside of windows?

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alanj85

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Sep 16, 2004
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i'm an idiot when it comes to pc, so a step by step would be appreciated.

i have a dell 4600 if that makes a differance
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
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Are you trying to format the drive with the current operating system on it or a different drive?
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
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You format the drive in the initial steps of reinstalling XP . . Prior to installing, enter BIOS ( Setup ) and make sure the CD/ROM the first boot device. Put your XP Disc in the drive and disconnect all external peripherals except the keyboard and mouse, and be sure those are not USB.

Once you set your BIOS to boot first from cd . . when it restarts you will see a black screen with a prompt "Press any key to boot from cd" . . do that and you will be able to delete partitions and recreate the ones you want and proceed to formating and installing XP

That message can pass quickly, so have a finger on the keyboard when you boot. This will delete all data on the drive so be sure you have your important data backed up.

You can get a reinstallation guide specific to your Dell here
http://support.dell.com/support/top...install/en/index?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=mn

This is a good guide for reinstalling on a Dell: http://www.djdenham.com/Install Procedures.htm

This is a good guide to reinstalling XP . . you might want to print it for reference during the install.

http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sg_clean.asp

You will have to reload drivers and applications, After the installation, you will need to download and install the MicroSoft Critical Updates. Alternately, this would be a good time to install SP-2, while windows is clean. Prior to connecting to the internet be sure you enable the XP firewall.

If you want to save your files and settings, you can use the XP Files and Settings Transfer (FAST) wizard to create an image of them and save to cd or other removable media. This is a good guide to using the FAST wizard.
Just be sure you have an up-to-date antivirus before you re-instate them!

http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sg_fstw.asp

Have fun and good luck . . wrs
 
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