You can format the C: drive on your Windows computer without having to format all its partitioned drives or wiping out the data saved in them. The OS setup disc will let you format it and erase your settings, programs, and files on the C: drive. Even if you do not have the old setup disc that came with your original purchase box, you can certainly borrow an external media from a friend or ask for help from a computer tech support professional. Below is how to go about formatting the Windows C: drive.
Steps to Follow
Prior to proceeding with the below steps, create a backup of your programs and files to an external storage media for future use. Formatting the C: drive will erase the programs, files, and saved information on the drive. So, if you wanted to save anything, you need to take a backup of the files.
Get the PC Name if it is Connected to a Network
Once it is formatted, the OS may prompt you for the name of the PC during the installation process to reconnect to your network. Thus, you need to know it before you format the C: drive. For that, click on the Start button, move the mouse over to Computer and right-click on it. Select Properties from the context menu, and note down the Computer name displayed below the Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings section.
Insert the Setup Disc of Windows 7
In certain cases, users may have saved the OS installation program on a USB flash drive. If so, you can insert it also. Anyways, your system will have to restart the computer to read the installation disc. For that, click on the Start button, and select Shut Down. When it powers back on, the computer will read the OS setup disc inserted in the drive, and initiate the user-intervened formatting process.
Format the C: Drive
Once the system has recognized or read the disc, it will prompt you to press any key to continue. Press on any one on your system’s keyboard, and the installation wizard will pop up on the screen.
- Choose your Language of choice from the Install Windows screen, and click Next to continue.
- Read and review the OS license terms. To continue to the subsequent window, you will be prompted to put a check mark in the checkbox – I accept the license terms.
- Click on Custom when it prompts you to indicate the type of installation that you want it to perform.
- Click Drive options (advanced) when it asks where you need the OS installed. Selecting it will let you choose the C: drive as the only one that you want it to format.
- Click on the C: disk drive when it prompts which partition of your system you need to change or install. Then, it will start formatting, or erasing, the data that exists on the drive at the time. The operating system will notify when the process has completed.
Reinstall Windows on your Computer’s C: Drive
When the C: drive is formatted, you will be necessitated to reinstall the operating system to the partition. Click Next after it notifies you that the formatting process has finished. The OS installation wizard will proceed to guide you through installation. You will also be prompted for the name of your PC in case you are connected to a network, as well as for information like your username. Follow the instructions on the installation wizard, and wait patiently for the whole process to finish.
After the operating system has finished installation, you can insert the external disc or hard drive into your system in order to restore your previous files back to its C: drive.
Why People Format the Primary Partition of their Computer
To put it in simple terms, what we see on your computers as alphabetical drives are partitioned sections of the consolidated one. They allow users to partition the disk or storage device into logical sections. The OS treats it as a separate “volume”, which works fine as long as users do not overstuff it with a lot of malicious content.
Apparently, that is why people want to format the drive, wiping out all previous data, cleaning registries, and erasing malware that somewhat slowed the system. Most people revert to formatting as the last resort option when all other means for virus removal fails to have the desired effect. After all, formatting is a means to get the system back into the old self, although it need not always result in faster performance.
If you are beginner to this process, you can always get in touch with our tech support professionals to see if there is any other workaround for virus removal.