How to Format a Hard Drive with Windows XP
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If you want to throw out that old computer but worry about someone accessing your information, this guide will wipe your hard drive clean.
Step 1: Back up files
Back up important files or transfer them to your new computer before formatting the drive.
Use a USB flash drive or your computer's recordable disk drive to back up your files.
Step 2: Click on Start
Click on the Start or Windows icon button and then click on Control Panel from the pop-up menu.
Step 3: Select System and Maintenance
Select System and Maintenance and then scroll down to click on Administrative Tools.
Step 4: Double-click on Computer Management
Double-click on Computer Management, and then select Disk Management under Storage from the Navigation Pane on the left side of the new window.
Step 5: Right-click on the drive
Right-click on the drive you wish to format and select Format from the drop-down menu.
Step 6: Choose Format option
Choose to format the drive either in NTFS or FAT 32 and then either a full or quick format.
A full format is recommended as a quick format does not completely erase the drive.
Step 7: Wait
Wait for the computer to finish before doing anything else. A full format of your primary drive may take several hours, so be patient.
Did You Know?
A recent Gallup poll found that identity theft topped the crime concern list with 66 percent of Americans worrying they will be a victim.