How hard is formatting? (in Off-topic)

Mythology April 13 2010 8:06 AM EDT

Basically I'm thinking of starting with a clean slate with my computer, how hard is this to do and what steps would you recommend and what do I need? :)

Also, I have two 500gig hard drives, is it possible for me to put all the stuff I want to keep on the second drive and just wipe the first?

Plus, what kind of stuff will I need to re-install windows? How hard a process is it? ty!

Timberwolf April 13 2010 8:16 AM EDT

Go through your hard drive numerous times to make sure you have ALL documents, pictures, keepsakes, etc.. backed up. There's no worse feeling than to finish a fresh install and realize you forgot to back something up. It's now gone forever.

That said, is this a factory system (Dell, HP, Gateway)? Sometimes they will have proprietary Ethernet or modem drivers. Copy them to a disk or CD before wiping the computer out or you may end up 'dead in the water'
Does it have a restore CD or are you installing a purchased OS? If it's a restore CD, it's usually as simple as popping it in and running it, the software on it will do the rest for you.

Eliteofdelete [Battle Royale] April 13 2010 8:36 AM EDT

Its pretty easy but as TimberWolf said you will always forget something or something won't transfer over correctly. Don't forget to save any book marks you would like to keep.

en1ac [The Knighthood] April 13 2010 8:56 AM EDT

You don't really need anything except for the Windows CD with key, and somewhere to store the backed up files etc. (the second hdd will suffice). So far as 'how easy is it?', well, its very easy but everything is easy when you know it.
Yes it is possible to put all the stuff you want on a second drive and format the first, followed by installing windows of course.

Make sure you backup any files you want (documents, music, pictures etc.). Triple check this! Export your browser bookmarks/favourites. If you are using Outlook you may want to locate and back up the data files associated with that.

There are many options with regards to how to setup the machine using the hdd's and partitions but I think you are thinking the easiest in having one hdd with operating system and apps and using the second as data storage.

You can format the drive during the windows installation, its easy and plenty of resources on the net if you need more detailed steps.

Good luck

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] April 13 2010 9:34 AM EDT

i do not know if anyone stated this yet, but there is really no reason to back up programs as they will have to be reinstalled anyways, unless you have downloaded a bunch and used windows vista or seven, then make sure you grab your download folder as well!

actually if you are using one of those two versions of windows, grabbing your whole user folder should get most of your stuff!

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] April 13 2010 9:36 AM EDT

When I reformat, I play the find out what I really used. I never back up anything that I didn't pay for, or don't need for College XD.

kevlar April 13 2010 10:11 AM EDT

The worst part of it for me is the part when you update windows and the billion updates and reboots it takes to do.

Salketer [big bucks] April 13 2010 12:02 PM EDT

When a packaged Vista PC (like HP or Acer), once your back-ups are all done and triple verified, you can start a fresh install from the push of a simple button at the first screen of your power-up.

Remember that you will be vulnerable to treats once you have your fresh install. I always recommend to download (if you don't have a physical CD for it) the anti-virus you will be using + firefox. Disconnect your internet until you have installed both, then do all the windows updates.

That might save you from having to do the process 2 or even 3 times like it already happend to... a friend of mine.

Salketer [big bucks] April 13 2010 12:05 PM EDT

I forgot the essential... Make sure there is a TV close to you (for gaming or cable), if this option is not available grab a book, you'll be sitting on a 2-3 hour operation.

AdminTal Destra [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] April 13 2010 12:08 PM EDT

ive done this several times, and one thing i have learned the hard way

GO THROUGH YOUR COMPUTER 10-15 TIMES. make sure you grab everything you need.

Demigod April 13 2010 12:20 PM EDT

Grabbing the files was never the hard part for me. Making sure I had drivers, though...
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