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How to reformat and reinstall your Operating System

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How to reformat and reinstall your Operating System

How to format your hard drive or OS partition, and re-install your Operating System
This guide was originally posted on helpmyos.com, but I have re-posted it here.

Introduction

Formatting and re-installing? Most likely the reasons for format and re-install would be due to OS issues, or malware compromising your computer. Correct?

Please print this tutorial, as it might not be available while you are doing this process. To print this tutorial in a printer-friendly format, click the Actions link just above this post to the right. Lastly, click Print this page. Do not distribute this tutorial, it is for private use only.

Backup

  • Create a folder on your Desktop or *Recovery drive with the following sub-folders:

    • Mail **
    • Media (pictures, videos, music) ***
    • Documents ***



LEGEND for backup

*What is a recovery drive?

**How to back up Outlook Express items

***Backing up media, favorites, documents

Automatic recovery options

This does the reformat and reinstall for you.

DELL

LENOVO (IBM)

ACER This will download the E-Recovery Zip file.  Unzip, then run.

Preparation

Discs needed

  • Operating System disc (if you do not have one, borrow one from a friend) OR Manufacturer's recovery disc.
  • Product key for the Operating System (no stealing, you must have your own). The product key is  a sticker located in the folder of your OS disc or on the side/bottom of your machine. If the product key was purchased separately or replaced, it may be someplace else.
  • Motherboard driver's disc(s).
  • Internet-service-provider disc(s) and/or modem/DSL install disc(s).
  • All of your program disc(s) {Example: Microsoft Office, Adobe CS4, Windows Live OneCare, etc.}


Formatting partition and doing the reinstall
Special guide for Vista


Note: This will totally wipe your OS parition and re-install a fresh copy of Windows.



  1. Insert your OS disc in to your CD/DVD tray
  2. Restart the computer, and at the prompt to boot from CD/DVD, press a key to continue. If you did not boot in to the CD/DVD, restart your computer and try again.
  3. When the setup begins, you may or may not need to use a mouse. Be prepared to use your keyboard and follow instructions on screen.
  4. Continue with setup, and continue through the license agreement.
  5. When dealing with the partition: you will need to install a fresh copy. Do not perform a repair or upgrade.
  6. When formatting the partition, use the following option "Format the partition using the NTFS file system."
  7. Allow it to format. Once done, OS setup will begin.
  8. Going through setup, select keyboard and language options. Enter your product key. And allow the install to finish.


Preparation for first use and resetting your options


  1. Make sure your Internet is properly configured.
  2. Navigate to Microsoft Windows Update , and install all high priority updates available. Restart your computer when prompted. Continue this process, till all high priority updates are installed.
  3. Install your antivirus and firewall and antispyware. If you have an Internet security suite, install that instead.
  4. Install motherboard and hardware drivers from the appropriate discs. Note: only if a piece of hardware asks for the driver, should you install it. Sometimes, once a driver is installed, it will stay installed.
  5. Import Outlook Express items
  6. Import favorites and place all documents and media, etc back in to place.


Troubleshooting any issues with installing or resetting important objects in Windows

Please start a new topic in our Computer Tech Support forum.
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Comments

I have a problem of my PC because I'm always looking for computer tecnician to fix it.
I prepares to study first your guidelines before to do so.
Cool. thanks
DragonMaster Jay wrote:
How to format your hard drive or OS partition, and re-install your Operating System


Preparation

Discs needed
  • Operating System disc (if you do not have one, borrow one from a friend) OR Manufacturer's recovery disc.
  • Product key for the Operating System (no stealing, you must have your own). The product key is a sticker located in the folder of your OS disc or on the side/bottom of your machine. If the product key was purchased separately or replaced, it may be someplace else.
  • Motherboard driver's disc(s).
  • Internet-service-provider disc(s) and/or modem/DSL install disc(s).
  • All of your program disc(s) {Example: Microsoft Office, Adobe CS4, Windows Live OneCare, etc.}


the motherboard driver's disc...
is this the disc titled "drivers and utilities" you get when you purchase your computer?
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That is the disc for drivers, you need the one for recovery. It usually comes in a few pieces of DVD.
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hello , i bought a used pc that only came with a single disk . refurbished pc i mite add which has been great but i got hit with internet security 2010 and ran malwarebytes when it told me to restart i lost my whole computer. i ran the disk to reinstall my os and now i dont have any way to config internet connections or nothing. be honest i really dont know what im doing. know just enough to get me in trouble. can anyone tell me how to get that stuff back. im lost now. i thought i could do it

Last edited by jmjohnson9 on 3rd January 2010, 4:40 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added some words)
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Is there any possibility of finding your product key on your current OS, maybe in a folder or something :S I am in need of rebooting my Computer but i have lost my win XP CD which had the code on it. I built my computer myself. Could anyone tell me my current options? Unfortunantly System Restore wont work at all for me.
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What if you get the Blue Screen of Death when you use the cd?
When you are lucky enough to do a reformat and re-install of your system and you have a SINGLE harddrive, I strongly suggest you do the following:

Create TWO partitions. One will be called SYSTEM and one will be called DATA.

SYSTEM will be your root drive (usually C:), containing Windows operating system and all program files.
DATA will be for all your documents, movies, pictures, music, e-mail (outlook) data files, etc. All the information valuable to you, stuff that can not be re-downloaded from the Internet.

Your SYSTEM partition does not need to be big, depends a little on what you run and what size your HD is.

With this configuration your data will be much safer, because malware usually only infects root drive and programs.
Additionally, you can keep backups (images) of your SYSTEM drive on DATA, (e.g. using Clonezilla live CD ) allowing you to VERY QUICKLY recover from a malware infection or other OS-related problems (TIP: to keep images smaller, search www and get temporarily rid of hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys, two large system file you do not need to backup and delete unnecessary files with an effective cleaner like PureRa ).

Even better would be to keep your data on a separate HD, but this is not always possible (e.g. with a laptop and no removable drive available).
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Blackwand wrote:
Is there any possibility of finding your product key on your current OS, maybe in a folder or something :S I am in need of rebooting my Computer but i have lost my win XP CD which had the code on it. I built my computer myself. Could anyone tell me my current options? Unfortunantly System Restore wont work at all for me.

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder:

http://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/

Used it for years.
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Thanks Kenny94 ill be sure to use that, Would you happen to know how i could go about rebooting/reinstalling my OS if i dont own a Windows xp CD, could i just use a friends windows xp boot disk or something??? Help is much appreciated.
Maybe you can find a trial version.Smile... Then input your activation code there.Smile... Which version of Xp do you have? Home, Professional or Media Center?
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I have Windows XP home, if that matters XD
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~[Filtered]~
help would be appreciated,

KatS
Blackwand wrote:
I have Windows XP home, if that matters XD


Ah okay. It's probably best to contact your computer manufacture(DELL, Sony, Toshiba etc) and request one(for a small fee). Smile... You can't buy Windows XP anymore from Microsoft.
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When I boot my HP Laptop, all I see is the HP logo, with "Esc" and "F10" options, then nothing but a blue screen. There doesn't appear to be an operating system. I put the Windows XP installation disc into the CD Rom, and it spins, but there are no options on the screen. Willing to reformat and start over, but it won't get me far enough to do that.
Any suggestions?
rlkfox
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