A lot of people get chills every time you hear the phrase “format a computer”. This is because such a task has always been associated with complicated, labour-intensive, and reserved for only the computer technicians.
Logically that the professionals can perform this action with more ease, but formatting a machine is far from being a beast with seven heads.
You can even do this in your home, provided that by taking some care, obviously, to avoid problems with the loss of essential data. In addition, it is vital that you have a copy of the operating system before you can reinstall it in the equipment.
And if you still think that formatting a machine is a thing of another world, we have prepared a basic tutorial for formatting computers with Windows.
With the Windows installation disk
No matter the version of Windows that you use: if you have the system installation disk, simply insert it in the drive (or espetá it into a USB port, if it is on a usb stick) and follow the installation instructions that appear on the screen.
At a certain time, you will be asked if you want to format the disk in which the system will be installed. Just to confirm this option for this to happen, all the data from the HD or partition in question be erased and the system is reinstalled from scratch.
Remember: before you start this procedure, the ideal is to make a backup of your data. This can be done by saving everything manually on usb sticks or HD external, or even sending files to the cloud, services such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Copy, and Box.
Windows 8 and 8.1
This is a function present in Windows 8/8.1 that erase all data from your Windows and return your computer to its original state. It is as if you give a great reboot to the operating system, erasing files and programs added by you and by restarting the machine from scratch.
This is the most practical option for those who want to format a machine with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. First, press the Windows key to go to the home screen of the system and there search for “Remove everything and reinstall Windows”.
In the option “Remove everything and reinstall Windows”, click on “Introduction”. This will start the step-by-step for reinstalling in Windows. At the end, your computer is fully reset, as if it had been connected for the first time.
Remember: to avoid loss of important data, you should make a backup of your files before beginning the procedure.
If you are using Windows 7, you can also do something similar. The version of the software also has specific functions for you to return the machine to its original state, that is, as if it were being connected for the first time. See below:
- 1. Open the Start Menu and click on the option “Control Panel”.
- 2. In the search box of the Control Panel, search for “recovery” and, when the result is displayed on the screen, click “Recovery”.
- 3. Click on the “advanced recovery Method”.
- 4. Now you must choose the option that indicates the full restoration of the Windows to its original state — that is, the formatting of all the contents (such as programs and files). It may appear under the name “to Return the computer to factory settings” or “Reinstall Windows”. Which of the options will be displayed to you will depend on the choice made by the manufacturer. The two resources hold some differences. They are:
Return the computer to factory settings – When this option is available, the Windows will be returned to the same mode in which it left the manufacturer. This means that programs pre-installed by the automaker will be again in your machine;
Reinstall Windows – If this option is available, probably you have a Windows “pure” and the system will be completely reinstalled on your machine.
Remember: when you perform this task in Windows 7, your personal files (found in the “Documents” folder) are automatically saved within a folder called “Windows.old.” However, it is highly recommended to make a manual backup of sensitive information, saving everything on a flash drive, on an external HD or in the cloud to avoid any issue with data loss.
If you are formatting your computer to sell it, for example, can only exclude this folder from backup to not pass the PC below with your information.