How to Format a Hard Drive with Windows XP

If you want to throw out that old computer but worry about someone accessing your information, this guide will wipe your hard drive clean.

You will need

  • Basic computer navigation skills
  • Patience
  • USB flash drive (optional)

Step 1 Back up files Back up important files or transfer them to your new computer before formatting the drive.

Step 2 Click on Start Click on the Start or Windows icon button and then click on Control Panel from the pop-up menu.

Step 3 Select System and Maintenance Select System and Maintenance and then scroll down to click on Administrative Tools.

Step 4 Double-click on Computer Management Double-click on Computer Management, and then select Disk Management under Storage from the Navigation Pane on the left side of the new window.

Step 5 Right-click on the drive Right-click on the drive you wish to format and select Format from the drop-down menu.

Step 6 Choose Format option Choose to format the drive either in NTFS or FAT 32 and then either a full or quick format.

Step 7 Wait Wait for the computer to finish before doing anything else. A full format of your primary drive may take several hours, so be patient.