How to Format a Computer and Install Windows

By Tiffany Garden

You cannot format the hard drive or partition that your current operating system is running on when you are in Windows. However, you can format this drive through the Windows installation discs and install a fresh copy of Windows. A clean install can be particularly useful for business computers, as it removes any files that you might not want persisting from the previous installation. You also remove any old entries from the registry so you don't run into any problematic compatibility or driver issues.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows 7 installation disc

Step 1

Insert the Windows 7 installation disc in your computer and restart the computer. When the prompt appears, press any key on your keyboard to begin the installation process during the boot procedure. Click "Next" on the first installer prompt that appears. Click "Install Now." Check the license term box and click "Next."

Step 2

Click "Custom (Advanced)" to access the installation option that allows you to format your hard drive. Select the hard drive or partition that you wish to format. Click "Next."

Step 3

Enter the username that you want to assign to this computer. Create a computer name. Click "Next." Provide a password for this account. Confirm the password and click "Next." Type in the Windows product key for the installation disc. Click "Next."

Step 4

Select the type of automatic updating you'd like to run on this computer. Set the date and time. Click "Next." Click "Work Network." The formatted Windows installation is complete.