How to Wipe a Hard Drive & Reinstall Windows XP

Written by chappy sinclair
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Reinstalling XP will cause you to lose important data. If you want to delete all of the contents of your hard drive, you can do so without reinstalling XP. Reinstalling XP may be the better solution if you are getting registry/system errors and want to correct those. If you simply want to clear up a hard drive for space, wiping (or reformatting) the drive will take less time and only cause you to lose programs and certain data, not system settings.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Windows XP disc
  • Product key

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    Reformat hard drive

  1. 1

    Click the "Start." button in the Windows taskbar.

  2. 2

    Select "My Computer."

  3. 3

    Right click the hard drive you want to wipe clean (for example, the C drive).

  4. 4

    Select "Format."

  5. 5

    Click "Start."

    Reinstall Windows XP

  1. 1

    Insert the Windows XP disc into your machine.

  2. 2

    Click "Install Windows XP."

  3. 3

    Click "Upgrade (Recommended)." Select "Next."

  4. 4

    Click "I accept this agreement." Click "Next."

  5. 5

    Enter your product key. This can be found inside the CD case for Windows XP. Click "Next."

  6. 6

    Set up your "Get Updated Setup Files" according to your standards. Click "Next." Confirm your settings and continue to begin the Windows XP reinstall.

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