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.
Things You'll Need
- Operating system installation CD
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.
Insert the operating system installation CD into the drive.
Reboot the laptop and wait while the CD loads the Windows Setup Main Menu.
Press the "Enter" key when the Welcome to Setup screen appears.
Accept the Microsoft License Agreement by pressing the "F8" key on the keyboard.
Press the "Esc" key on the keyboard if you are asked if you want to repair the existing Windows installation.
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.
Wait while the laptop's hard drive is being formatted.
Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to continue with the installation of the operating system.
Tips & Warnings
- Formatting a laptop can be done to restore it to the original factory specifications.
- All of the data on the hard drive will be lost when the laptop is formatted.