Reformat and Reinstall Windows XP FAQ

Q: Do I have to reinstall and reformat?

A: It’s a good idea, but if you don’t want to commit the time and effort then there is Windows fix-it software that might help improve your system performance and remove the need to reinstall Windows. Check these anti-reinstall tips out now.

This FAQ (frequently asked questions page) is for people who own a Windows XP computer and want to reinstall and reformat their hard drives. Plus if you have Windows XP and want to go back to an older version of Windows, this is also for you. For other versions of Windows, see our reinstall and reformat Windows portal

Now on with the show.

1.How do I reinstall and reformat Windows XP on my hard drive?

2.I reinstalled Windows XP and now there are two copies on my hard drive.

3.I have Windows XP on my hard drive and want to revert back to Windows Me, 98, or Me.

4.I don’t have my Windows XP CD anymore can I still reinstall and refomat?

5.I have a question that’s not answered here and need help.

Q: How do I reinstall and reformat Windows XP on my hard drive?

A. There are several steps, however please note that ALL DATA WILL BE DELETED from your hard drive. This walk thru uses pop open windows so please disengage your pop up killer software for this process. There are two ways to do this. Here’s the first. if it doesn’t work, use Method #2 below:

Reformat and Reinstall Method #1

1) With Windows XP, you need to figure out which file system you have on your hard drive – either NTFS or FAT32. (Once you have established this go to step 2a or 2b.)

2a) If you have NTFS, you need to wipe the drive with this special technique.

2b) If you have FAT32, you need to wipe the drive with this special technique.

3) Next you need to reinstall Windows XP. Reboot your computer with the Windows XP setup CD in the CD-ROM drive and let it boot into the Windows Setup screen. Let it load all the drivers. Then choose option 1 and start the clean installation. When it’s done, reboot the computer.

Reformat and Reinstall Method #2

If the first method doesn’t work for you, try our alternate method.

Q: I have two copies of Windows XP on my hard drive when I boot up. How do I fix that?

A. Look at this column called: I have two copies of Windows which explains how to fix that.

Q: I have Windows XP on my hard drive and want to revert back to Windows Me, 98, or Me. How do I do that?

A. We have a how-to column that explains how to do that.

Q: I don’t have my Windows XP CD anymore can I still reinstall and refomat?

A. Sadly you cannot completely wipe your hard drive and install a fresh version of Windows unless you have an installation CD either from your computer maker or bought from a retail store.

  1. Buy the Full version of WinXP Home.
  2. Buy the Upgrade version of WinXP Home (works if you still have the CD for Windows 98, Me, 2000)
  3. Or buy XP Pro Full or XP Pro Upgrade

Q: I’d like to ask a question about reformatting and reinstall with Windows XP.

A. Visit our free Tech Help Forums. Or get personal help via email.