You need to format a hard disk before installing Windows XP via the Windows XP Setup program.

Preliminary steps prior to partition and format of a hard disk

There are certain steps you need to follow, before you partition and format the hard disk. These steps are enumerated as under;

  • Arrange the hard disk in accordance to the maker’s directives

The ones using a SATA hard disk have to directly go to the “Determine the type of     file system that you want to use” segment. Those using an IDE hard disk, have to lay down the jumpers and the cabling according to the task of the hard disk and make all the necessary BIOS (or CMOS) changes.

  • Establish the type of file system to be used

You can utilize NTFS, which is the favored file system to set-up the hard disk except, if you want to run a former version of Windows which would be unable to read NTFS partitions.

Steps to partition and format a hard disk by using Windows XP Setup program

The procedure to be followed for partitioning and formatting the hard disk using the Windows XP setup program are as follows:

  • For the purpose of partition:
  • First, introduce the Windows XP CD into the CD/ DVD slot. One can also put in the Windows XP Setup disk in the floppy disk drive, and after that start over the computer to begin the Windows XP Setup program.
  • Launch the computer from the CD/ DVD drive.
  • At times, the hard disk controller necessitates a third-party OEM driver. At these times you will have to enter F6 key in order to indicate the driver.
  • Now, you will be able to see a “Welcome to Setup” page on your screen. Press “Enter” to continue.
  • In case the computer detects an already installed Windows XP system, you are incited to refurbish it. If you do not wish to refurbish it, pressing ESC key once will do the needful.
  • All accessible partitions and non-partitioned spaces are programmed for physical hard disks. You can utilize arrow keys to opt for an existent partition. You can also make a fresh partition by choosing the non-partitioned space. Pressing C key once will create a new partition by means of non-partitioned space.
  • Press “Enter” for generating the partition with the greatest possible size. Type the size in megabytes to determine partition size, followed by “Enter”.
  • For the purpose of formatting the hard disk and installing Windows XP:
  • You have to pick the partition to install Windows XP. Help of arrows keys may be taken. Once selected, pressing “Enter” will execute the command.
  • Now choose the option to format the partition. Selection has to be made from options like using the NTFS file system, via the FAT file system, by the NTFS file system, with the FAT file system. The existing file system should be as it is.
  • Pressing “Enter” will execute the command.
  • Now the Windows Setup program will format the partition. For the purpose of installation of Windows XP, do as directed by instructions on the screen. Restarting the computer will successfully install Windows XP.

Always back up your data

The partition and format of a hard disk will erase all data present on the computer. This data will be deleted permanently so having a back up of all the data is advisable.