How to Format a Laptop Step-by-Step

Formatting a laptop can be done when you need to reinstall the Windows operating system or you plan to upgrade to a new operating system. When your laptop is formatted all of the data is cleared from the drive. This is the fastest way to clean a laptop if you want to start with a clean slate, especially if your laptop has been infected by a virus. You can do this by first preparing your laptop and then following a step-by-step process.

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Laptops can be formatted to reinstall an operating system

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Save all of the data from the hard drive that you want to keep before formatting the laptop. Use a flash drive to transfer data from the laptop.

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Insert the operating system installation CD into the drive.

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Reboot the laptop and wait while the CD loads the Windows Setup Main Menu.

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Press the “Enter” key when the Welcome to Setup screen appears.

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Accept the Microsoft License Agreement by pressing the “F8” key on the keyboard.

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Press the “Esc” key on the keyboard if you are asked if you want to repair the existing Windows installation.

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Tab down to the existing partition for the C drive. Press the “D” key on the keyboard to delete the existing partition. Press the “Enter” key to start formatting the laptop hard drive.

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Wait while the laptop's hard drive is being formatted.

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Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to continue with the installation of the operating system.