how to wipe your windows computer clean… for real

I have a lot of people always asking me what do I think is wrong with their windows computer… my answer… who cares… just format the thing… well not many people know how to do this… here’s a quick 101 on how I set my computers back to what it is before I bought them…this works great if you think you have spyware, virus, or your registry is messed up… click the pic below to read my whole article.

first off here is a tip… formatting wipes everything from your operating system hard drive… meaning it will get rid of all bad things that are messing it up, as well as all your data… easy solution is to get a cheap external hard drive to separate your data (aka music and pictures) from your operating system… now when your computer starts to act wierd you can format it faster because you keep all your data on a separate drive.

Ok formating is easier than it sounds… basically its a 4 step process… this explanation is for windows XP, but Vista and Windows 7 is similar… if you have anything older than that get a new PC.

Step 1.
Back up your data (music, pictures, and any documents you do not want to loose… don’t forget your internet favorites) If you have this already separated on a different drive than you are already set.

Step 2. Get the drivers for your pc… (this looks worse than it is… read the whole step… its actually pretty easy, but is the hardest of the steps)… When you format it gets rid of the your drivers for your audio card, video card, and other things. Sounds complicated but now a days most big computer companies such as HP, DELL, or even alienware have all these drivers online… basically go to the company web page, click support, and look for something that says driver downloads or something of that nature… it will then probably ask you for your model number, which is usually labeled on the front or top of your computer case or laptop… some examples are dell inspiron 1100, or HP pavilion a6700… some companies like dell have express service code labels on the computer, you can enter this in on the page as well… below are some screen shots of the dell page and where to go for the drivers…
basically all you really need to download right now in step 2 is the network adapter driver (or modem if you have dial up)… you want to save this driver in the same place as all your data (on a separate drive so you don’t delete it when you format your computer). I usually download mine onto a small 1 gig USB flash stick I have. The reason you only need the network drive is because once you format and reinstall windows you can use this to get your network card working again, and your internet connection. Once you have this running you can go to support web page again and download the rest of the drivers.

Tip: if there is more than one network driver download link on your support page ( like there is on the picture above) there is an easy way to find out which one you need. Click on the following start menu -> control panel -> device manager… this is a list of all your drivers… expand the one that says network adaptor and see what it says… compare to the list on the internet support & driver download page and download the correct link… do this for other drivers that give you multiple options.

Step 3. The rest is easy… now get the disk that came with your computer… should say something like windows recovery, windows reinstall, or operating system… fi you don’t have the original disk you can use a family or friends disk as long as its the same manufacture (if you have a dell laptop and you mom has a dell desktop you can use the same dell disk)… once you have the disk and put it in your CD drive you should restart. You should hopefully see something on the black bios screen before the windows logo that says Press any key to boot from cd… press any key and you’ll see a blue screen that says coping installation files… let it load…

Tip: if you don’t see a thing that says boot from CD, restart again… this time after the login screen look for something that says press F12 of F2 (or something of that nature) for boot sequence. press that button and follow the instructions to put your CD-Rom above your hard drive (it might say HDD instead of hard drive)… restart again and you should see the press any key to boot from cd option

back to the blue screen… let the installation files load… hit esc to install a fresh copy of windows… it will then show you hour hard drives… select the one that was your C: drive (the one that has your windows installation) and select the option to delete the partition… do what it says to delete it (make sure you backed up your files you want to keep on your seperate drive… this will delete them)… once you delete the partition select it and press enter to install windows to it… if it gives you the option for what type of format select NFTS, but any of them will do… now just let it do its thing… you will have to click a few things such as time, date, and region, but other than that you are home free…

Step 4.
Now windows should be installed… locate that network adapter driver we downloaded in step 2 and install it… you might have to restart your computer, but once you do you should be able to reconnect to your cable modem… once your back on the internet go back to the support page in step 2 as well and download the rest of the drivers they offer for your computer… once they are installed your computer should be as good if not better than when you first bought it… you’ll have to reinstall all your programs and games, but if your computer was bad enough for you to seek out this page then you should be happy its running normal again…

post any questions, or any one that has done this numerous time post some tips you might want to give someone that is new to this

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