How to Format an HP Pavilion Laptop With Windows XP

Written by curt lanning
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How to Format an HP Pavilion Laptop With Windows XP
Hard discs erase fairly easily. (hard drive image by Graham Lumsden from

Trying to please its home and business users, Microsoft released two versions of their operating system Windows XP in 2001. The first was a version for people who wanted a personal computer at home; this version was known as Windows XP Home Edition. Then, for the more business-oriented user, Microsoft released Windows XP Professional. Both versions of Windows XP have the same formatting capabilities on hard drives. If your Windows XP system crashes and you can't boot into Windows at all, one of your options is to completely format the hard drive and start over from scratch.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Windows XP set-up disc

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  1. 1

    Insert your Windows XP set-up disc into your disc tray and then turn off the HP Pavilion laptop.

  2. 2

    Turn the laptop back on and press the space bar once every few seconds, until you see the words "Press any key to boot from CD." Press any key after that message appears, and it will take you to the Windows set-up screen.

  3. 3

    Press "R" on the set-up screen and it will ask you to select which Windows installation you want to repair. Select your current Windows XP installation that you want to erase by clicking on it twice. After that, the system asks for your administrator password. Enter it into the box provided and press "Enter."

  4. 4

    Wait for Windows set-up to take you to a command prompt screen that will look like a black window with a blinking dash waiting for you to type a command. Type in the command "Format C" and Windows will ask you if you are sure you want to erase all hard drive data. Hit the "Y" key followed by "Enter" to confirm you want to erase your hard drive.

  5. 5

    Wait for Windows XP to erase your HP Pavilion's hard drive and when it is finished it will display a blinking dash again. Type "Exit" and then hit "Enter." Your computer will turn off. You have now erased the hard drive of your HP Pavilion laptop.

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