When you format a hard drive, you remove all previous data on it in order to establish a blank slate for new files. As Dell computers work with Windows, you'll need your Windows installation CD in order to format your C drive. In general, you format your computer when you want to sell it (so as to remove your old files), or as a last resort for dealing with a pesky virus.
Insert the Windows installation CD into your Dell computer.
Restart your Dell computer. It will recognize that it has a Windows installation disk, and ask you to press a key to boot from the Windows installation CD. Press any key.
Choose your language, then click "Next."
Read the license terms, then click "I accept the license terms." Click "Next." You'll be asked what type of installation you desire.
Select "Custom." The window will change, asking you which drive you want to format. Select your C drive. Click "Format." The installation disk will format your Dell's C drive.
Click "Next" once the formatting process is finished. You'll be given the option to reinstall Windows, if you would like.
Items you will need
- Windows installation CD
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