How to Format a Dell Windows XP Operating System
- 1). Ensure that you have everything off the Windows XP operating system drive that you would like to keep. This includes all your documents, files, pictures, movies and music. In addition, if you are migrating to another computer, export your browser bookmarks and other information. Formatting erases EVERYTHING off a hard drive and makes it nonrecoverable. That means that once you format a drive, all the data you had on it is gone forever.
- 2). Open the CD tray. Insert the XP installation disc that came with your Dell Windows XP system. Restart the system.
- 3). Watch carefully as the system reboots. After the system resets itself, you will see the words "Press Any Key to Boot Off CD." Press a key.
- 4). Allow the computer to boot off the CD. The screen will switch to blue, and you will see it loading the XP drivers.
- 5). Hit "Enter" or "F8." You will enter the XP installation screen.
- 6). Delete any partitions on the drive by hitting the "D" key. The system will ask if you want to confirm this. Do so by pressing with the "L" key.
- 7). Create a new partition on your Dell by pressing the "C" key. The XP boot disc will format the hard drive.