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Old 08-15-2010, 11:57 AM   #1
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Cool How to format a hard drive from Vista

Okay, lets just get this straight: Formatting a hard drive means wiping everything off of it, right? I'm not entirely sure if this is the correct definition.
If it is, then how do I do this from Vista? I'm planning on wiping everything and doing a clean reinstall.
Thanks in advance
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to format a hard drive from Vista

Hey Mono,
You're correct, formatting is wiping it clean. There's a couple different types of formatting, Quick and Complete. A quick format will only delete the FAT, or the directory to where the files are located, so the files will still exist on the harddrive, you just won't be able to access. Then there's a complete or full format. This will go over each sector on the harddrive and set all the di-poles to zero or reset their polarity. Essentially removing all information from the drive.

To accomplish this, you will need the Vista install disk. Boot from it and prior to the install process is where you completely format. Make sure that you get all your pertinent information off the drive before hand and then when asked which drive to install on, there's an advanced partitioning option where you can delete the partition and then format for Windows. This will accomplish what you're looking to do.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to format a hard drive from Vista

Okay, thanks. But I have two more questions: what do you mean by pertinent information? And I cannot locate my video card driver; would it work to download it from the manufacturers website after formatting, or should I do that before formatting and burn it to a CD, to use once I've formatted? (sorry for the overuse of the word 'format')
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to format a hard drive from Vista

By pertinent information I mean anything you want to keep, because if you don't back it up prior to formatting, it's gone for good unless you have the money to pay for data recovery.
You can format first, and then download the drivers for your card afterwards. That's typically the first thing I do when I format as the display will look old school and react slowly without the appropriate drivers. There's no need to waste a CD though on the drivers as you can just download them after the format/install.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to format a hard drive from Vista

Okay, thank you!
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to format a hard drive from Vista

No problem.

Before you format though, I would just suggest downloading the LAN drivers before hand. I've had install's where I couldn't get on the internet due to Vista not recognizing my NIC during the install. Just a precaution.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to format a hard drive from Vista

LAN drives...? where would I find those and where would I keep them? I have the driver for my internet receiver though.
One last question, I have McAfee. What happens to it when I format the hard drive? Apparently it records installs and uninstalls, so would wiping the hard drive clean count, allowing me to reinstall it on the newly wiped computer?
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to format a hard drive from Vista

Quote:
Originally Posted by monoteddeh View Post
LAN drives...? where would I find those and where would I keep them? I have the driver for my internet receiver though.
You can find out which NIC (Network Interface Card) you have by right clicking on My Computer, and then opening the Device Manager in one of the tabs on the popup window. Go to your Network Drivers and get the name of your network interface device. Download the new drivers and keep them on a thumb drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monoteddeh View Post
One last question, I have McAfee. What happens to it when I format the hard drive? Apparently it records installs and uninstalls, so would wiping the hard drive clean count, allowing me to reinstall it on the newly wiped computer?
Sorry, I can't comment to this as I have no experience with McAfee, I would contact McAfee and see how that works.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:02 PM   #9
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Cool Re: How to format a hard drive from Vista

Ok, I put the CD in, and there was an 'install now' button but no format one. How many steps in is the format option? do i have to put the product key in?
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to format a hard drive from Vista

You have to boot from the CD to completely format. You can't format the drive whilest the OS is active. Boot from the CD, and then it will take you through the install. You will see a screen with all your harddrives listed and you will select where to install it. On the lower right hand section of that window, you will see an advanced partioning option. From there, you can delete the partition and reformat it.
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