How Do I Reformat My Compaq Presario Laptop?

Written by lita mcleary
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How Do I Reformat My Compaq Presario Laptop?
Reformat your Compaq Presario laptop in a few simple steps. (laptop image by Du...¡an Zidar from

If you are using your Compaq Presario laptop for the first time, it may come with a preinstalled operating system. If you have been using it and you need to reformat it because the laptop has slowed down, you can do so by using your operating system's installation CD. Reformatting is a process of removing all data from a drive to install a fresh copy of the operating system.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • External storage device
  • Operating system installation CD

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  1. 1

    Use an external storage device to back up all files before reformatting the laptop. After the laptop is reformatted, it can be difficult to retrieve your files.

  2. 2

    Set your computer to "Boot from CD." You need to do this so that the computer reads and boots the CD first before it loads the operating system. Reboot the computer and press the key that corresponds to the BIOS. (Before the operating system loads, the screen will read something like "Press F2 to enter BIOS" or "Press Del to enter set-up.") In the BIOS configuration screen, navigate to the "Boot" menu and set your CD/DVD-ROM as your first boot device priority. Save your settings and exit the set-up.

  3. 3

    Place the operating system installation CD into the optical drive, and then reboot the computer again. After the computer detects that a bootable CD is in the CD/DVD-ROM drive, a message saying "Press any key to boot from CD" or something similar will appear. Press any key to load the set-up screen.

  4. 4

    Accept the license agreement by pressing the key assigned to it. You will be prompted to press "R" to repair the system or press "Esc" to continue to a fresh installation of the operating system. Press "Esc."

  5. 5

    Delete the existing partitions by pressing "D" and then "L" to confirm. When all partitions are deleted, you will be asked to create new partitions. Press "C" to create a new partition and then type the amount of space you want to allocate to the partition. For instance, if you want to create two partitions and you have 80GB space in your hard disk, you may want to type "40000" as the space allocation for your first partition, and then the remaining space will be dedicated to the second partition.

  6. 6

    Format the partitions. When you are done, you will be asked to choose the file system you want the partitions to be formatted in. Select "Partition Using the NTFS File System," then press "Enter." Wait for the computer to format and automatically reboot. When the computer starts, you will be directed to the fresh installation of your operating system. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.

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