How to Reformat a Windows 7 Computer

By Ruri Ranbe

Formatting a hard drive removes all data from the device and prepares it for use. Prior to installation, the Windows 7 DVD formats the drive before loading the operating system onto the disk. The term reformat refers to the process of formatting the hard drive after the initial format. Reformatting Windows 7 can remove viruses from the computer, resolve registry or other system errors, and improve computer performance.

Step 1

Click "Start," then Control Panel." Type "recovery" into the search box and then press "Enter."

Step 2

Select "Restore Your Computer or Reinstall Windows" from the results. Click "Advanced Recovery Methods."

Step 3

Choose "Reinstall Windows (Requires Windows Installation Disc)" from the menu. Click "Yes," "Skip," then "Restart" to boot to the Windows 7 DVD.

Step 4

Choose your input method from the drop-down menu and then click "Next." Insert the Windows 7 DVD into the disc drive and click "Yes."

Step 5

Follow the on-screen instructions to reformat the computer and reinstall Windows 7 to the hard drive.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the computer is unable to boot in to the operating system, boot from the Windows 7 DVD and choose "Custom" as the installation option. Select the partition on which Windows 7 is installed and then click "Next" to reinstall Windows.
  • Reformatting will erase all of the files on the drive. If you want to preserve personal data on the drive, click "Back Up Now" instead of "Skip" and follow the on-screen instructions to back up the files to another storage device.