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Hard Disk Format

valart
Grafter
Posts: 418
Thanks: 1
Registered: 09-10-2007

Hard Disk Format

I just wondered if someone can tell me if  format my hard disk I can get rid of some of the programs I do not need on my computer and will it speed up things,I am not sure how to go about formatting the hard drive I wonder if someone can help me go about this.
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Hard Disk Format

If you format your hard drive you will lose everything on that drive including all documents and the windows installation if it is on that drive
If you want to remove some programs use the add/remove programs option in windows - if you say which version of windows you are using we can give precise instructions on where to find it
valart
Grafter
Posts: 418
Thanks: 1
Registered: 09-10-2007

Re: Hard Disk Format

I have XP windows if I save my important  programs to disk will that be safe.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Hard Disk Format

No.
Formatting wipes everything - you will lose your operating system and have an unusable computer
To use the Add/Remove program option follow the instructions here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307895
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Hard Disk Format

Reformatting and reinstalling Windows can be useful, especially if the system has been corrupted somehow, but it is not to be taken lightly and needs careful preparation. Like Oldjim said, reformatting will erase ALL the data and software on your hard drive, including Windows itself. You will need to save all your files to an independent medium before you reformat. This could be a second internal or external hard drive, or DVDs, or whatever is convenient.
If you reformat the drive you will then need to reinstall Windows, then install all the software you use, then copy your files back. to reinstall software you will need the original CD, or if the software was downloaded you will need to download new copies or have saved the original download to your separate disk.
If you decide to go ahead, the easiest way is to boot the PC with the windows installation CD in. It will start up the installation process, and will give you the option to reformat the drive before it does it.
Steve
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,700
Thanks: 252
Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: Hard Disk Format

Dont erase your hardrive,as i recently found out when installing linux mint,it took me 2 whole days to get xp on and running again and geting all the drivers i needed not to mention it mucked my broadband speed up for a few days too,now got linux installed inside windows Wink
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 4
Fixes: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Hard Disk Format

Also if its just general clutter on your system CC Cleaner does a resonably good job of clearing out rubbish.  Download from File Hippo
http://www.filehippo.com/download_ccleaner/
Used in conjunction with Add/Remove programs, should speed things up a bit.
Have you also tried defragmenting your hard drive?Huh
http://www.tech-faq.com/defrag-hard-drive.shtml
Also if its slow to start up, there are various options to stop programs running, and I have also altered what programs windows 'prefetches' at startup, sped things up a bit.  Try having a read of the following articles
http://netsquirrel.com/msconfig/msconfig_xp.html
http://www.intelliadmin.com/blog/2006/09/why-windows-takes-so-long-to-start-up.html
Hope you get your system speeded up
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,014
Thanks: 1,210
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Hard Disk Format

If you haven`t used CCleaner before, you may find it takes a very long time to analyse, and then clean, on the first run.... it is advisable to back up first if you can,
also after initial run, you should give it a second run, just to make sure it got everything on the first run...
having done the "initial clean". you can then use the same program to "clean the registry"....  (second icon down on the left hand side )
does the same  thing, but sorts out all the defunct registry keys....
then do a defrag....
you may find this is all you need to speed up the hdd....
I use CCleaner every night before I shut down the computer..... just to keep the number of cookies and other stuff under control, only takes about a minute. but well worth it !
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,607
Thanks: 209
Fixes: 15
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Hard Disk Format

Wiping and re-installing XP is a good idea BUT as been said here can cause a few problems. If your machine came with driver cd;d or restore cd then you are a little further forward, because all it takes is a missing driver and XP will grind to a halt, i.g. no internet access or no HDD access if it needs a SATA driver to see it.
What you are better to try first is the suggestions above. If you do decide to go ahead with the format you need to open the Driver Manager and see what drivers are in use for your HDD & ethernet connections at a minimum. then to download them to a CD (extracted if possible) so that you can restore them when you continue.
Alternately why not try out Linux (I would recommend Linux Mint (www.linuxmint.com) or Ubuntu (www.ubuntu.com)) These can be downloaded and USED FREE. Depends on what you use your pc for really, there are a few converts here from XP/Vista to these, If you don't game (new games really) and only really surf.email,print etc give it a try.
oliverb
Grafter
Posts: 606
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Hard Disk Format

My personal advice is if things are bad enough that you want to reformat then consider buying a new harddrive at the same time, this provides a great "safety net" and with a USB enclosure the old drive can be "recycled" into a portable drive.