Will Dell OS reinstall CD format the HDD?

  Pineman100 12:58 03 May 08

I'm about to do an HDD reformat and reinstallation of Windows XP on an elderly Dell laptop. It's 10 years old, never been "spring cleaned" and runs at the speed of a lame snail.

I've saved all necessary data files to a seperate drive.

I have Dell's OS reinstallation CD, and the instructions say that there are two options: Repair Windows or Reinstall Windows. Obviously I shall choose the latter, but I want to be sure that this option will completely reformat the hard drive before it reinstalls Windows. There's no mention of this in the instructions.

Can anyone please tell me whether it will do this?

  hiwatt 13:16 03 May 08

Yes it should.When you choose the option to reinstall windows it should prompt you that the drive will be reformatted and ask if you want to continue.You could also just click on my computer and right click the hardrive and choose format before reinstalling but it should do it for you.

  bretsky 13:25 03 May 08

Yes it will, I have a Dell Dimension 4300 which runs XP Home Edition and I have reinstalled the OS twice in 7 years from their CD that came with the system. when you boot from the CD, as you say it will give you the option to repair or reinstall, choose the later and follow the prompts, it will walk you through the whole process from creating partitions, to reformat, to reinstallion of whole the OS.

bretsky ;0)

  JanetO 13:26 03 May 08

You may also find by pressing Ctrl and F11 on bootup will prompt a restore to factory settings option. This will format and reload drivers, os and software progs.

hiwatt, I think you'll find you can't format a system drive in this way.

  woodchip 13:39 03 May 08

I would put the correct Operating System back. It will run faster than XP

  Pineman100 13:56 03 May 08

woodchip - sorry if I wasn't clear about this. XP is the correct OS for this machine. I shall be reinstalling from the Dell CD that came with the machine originally (and which - by a miracle - I can still find!)

Janet0 - thanks, but although I'm not familiar with that technique, I guess (unless you tell me otherwise!) that it will not fully reformat the hard drive. This is what I want to do, so as to start with a completely clean machine.

bretsky & hiwatt - sounds as though I'm on the right track. Many thanks.

  lotvic 14:43 03 May 08

Janet0 is correct. Ctrl and F11 This is how Dell's are restored from the hidden partition on the HDD (if available on your model) and is the preferred way - no hassle with drivers etc

and hiwatt - you cannot format the C drive by clicking on My Computer, C drive, properties.

  Joe R 14:47 03 May 08


are you sure XP is the original O's.?

I'm pretty sure XP wasn't aroud ten years ago.!

  hiwatt 14:55 03 May 08

I was able to format my drive by right clicking on the hardrive icon in my computer and choosing format.It done what it said it would.

  woodchip 14:56 03 May 08

XP did not exist ten years ago

  hiwatt 14:57 03 May 08

You don't have to chosse properties.Just right click the "c" drive and there should be an option to format.At least there is on both my computers.

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