Completely 'stripping' a hard drive

  Rotenone 07:06 07 Jul 2010

Is it possible to completely 'strip' a hard drive of 'everything' i.e.the registry and all the programs,folders and files etc. and then re-load(?) it with a new/fresh operating system(Windows?) i.e as if it were a newly bought computer.What must/can I save (and where) from the computer before I consider doing this?

  Strawballs 07:46 07 Jul 2010

Yes you use the option to format the drive when running windows disc or return to factory settings if it was pre-loaded.

  MAT ALAN 08:00 07 Jul 2010

click here

try this...

  Atlantic Man 09:03 07 Jul 2010

OK dude-
strip you mean taking it apart. well doing that you'll propably make it unusable- if you want files to save or back-up, just boot into safe mode by pressing F8 continuasly @ boot time, then back-up data to another drive and use the windows CD to format hard-drive. Then reloading can begin.


  onthelimit 09:14 07 Jul 2010

Why do you want to do it? If you want to keep all your data, you must save that first to (depending on the size of the files) a flash drive, CDs/DVDs or external hard drive. You can then install a fresh opeating system of choice, but have you got an official copy of whichever you want to install? your other option is to look for 'Repair my Computer' when you tap F8 on start up. There may be a partition there which allows this. If so, it will sort out the OS and leave all the data intact. If there is a 'restore to Factory Condition', that will do similar but all data will be lost, so a backup is a good idea!

  lotvic 13:56 07 Jul 2010

What OS ? XP, W7, Vista...?
What make and model of computer?

  michaelw 14:05 07 Jul 2010

The option Matt Alan gave is the best.

  onthelimit 15:28 07 Jul 2010

Not if he doesn't have a disc, it isn't!

  Rotenone 19:14 07 Jul 2010

Thank you everybody for all of the above advice.

My desktop is a Packard Bell IMEDIA 1414 bought in April 2005.It has XP as the OS and I don't have a Windows CD since I assume it came pre-installed.I will try the F8 method as mentioned above.
If there is one,where can I locate 'Restore to Factory Settings/Condition' on the computer.
If I need to,where can I buy a Windows CD to format the hard drive? Can I buy an XP disc or is it now Windows 7?

  MAT ALAN 19:20 07 Jul 2010

You can buy any operating system you like as long as it's a full bootable version...
You don't really need to use killdisk, it is an extreme measure just so you can reinstall an operating system.
before you do anything you need to decide what O?S you are going to put back on and run any upgrade advisor to see if your PC meets the minimum specs...

  onthelimit 19:42 07 Jul 2010

If F8 works, you will find a 'restore to..etc' there. As you have an XP code (on a sticker somewher), you can borrow or buy an XP disc of the same version (probably 'Home'). If you can't borrow one, ebay is a good source. If you want to change OS, buy an official version of (say) Windows 7, but that is not cheap.

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