Re: hard drive qustion
You mean your recovery partition? Yes you can format it, but you will lose everything on the partition and you won't be able to restore your computer back to factory specs.
I do not advise this unless you have a retail version of windows that you can use to reformat your computer if you ever have to.
When all else fails...Ham Radio!
I still have the same old HP DV9700T laptop I've had for years...still kickin'