Yet another computer help thread! Wiping drive.

Here’s the deal.

My sis’ has given me her computer to have a look at.

It is full of virus’ and junk etc.

Instead of trying to sort all of this out, cos various people have been trying for ages, I think it will be best to completly wipe the main hard drive (C:/) and start from scratch, inc. Operating System… the works.

I have done this before but It was ages ago and I can’t remember how to do it. :smack:

Any help. What is the “code” to wipe it in dos? C:/delete/wipe???

Her computer is currently running Windows ME.



If you want to kill it all, it’s format c: /s /mbr (/s is optional as a new OS will do this for you) and /mbr used to work on older DOS systems (not 100% sure it works on the newer format command).

The best way is to use FDISK to wipe the partition, make a new one and start from there (Windows 98/XP will format the drive for you).

Cheers badmana but I can’t seem to get it to work.

Do you think you could talk me through it? slowly? from scratch?

I would really appreciate it.


There is no format /mbr. It’s a common confusion.

You need to get a clean, virus-free boot disk (preferably from a known clean computer). Boot to the floppy and type:

fdisk /mbr
format c: /u

Then boot up with the Windows 98, ME, or XP CD and go through the setup process and it should be allright.

Did it last weekend to start my Windows form a fresh start.

  1. Backup everything including all your drivers.

  2. Double check your backups

  3. Bootup from your installation disk (either floppy or your CDROM). You have to use a bootdisk, since you can’t format the drive Windows is booting from.

  4. Type “format c:” at the prompt (no quotation marks)

  5. After it’s finished, type setup and follow the instructions

“4) Type “format c:” at the prompt (no quotation marks)”

What happens to system files needed to boot the HD?

Why not use: format c:/s ?

Because you’ll need to boot off a CD-ROM (or floppy) to install Windows anyway?

Go to
Click on “utilities”, then scroll down to “partitioning” and download DELPART. Burn it to a floppy and take it to the problem machine and let it do its thing.

You can surf that site for a plethora of other cool things. Including a boot disk for the OS if you need that too.

I should have noted that the bootdisk I was referring to is the Windows Installer floppy disk that came with your Windows software, and I was doing this for Win98, not the later versions.


It’s worked.

Why oh why there can’t just be a “reset” button on the back of these damn machines I will never know.


Why? Do you know how many idiots would press said button and call tech support complaining of lost data?

All of them! :smiley:

This wouldn’t just be any button. It would be very similar to the “big red button” that the President has for his WMD’s.

It would have warning signs, little flashing lights, a plastic removable cover to stop accidental pressing, the lot!

But yes, some idiot who didn’t need to would still press it. But hey, if they are that stupid, they deserve it!

I never found a PC computer that didn’t have a reset button.


Okay, a “reset to factory settings” button.

you happy? smart arse! :slight_smile:

I have purchased approx. 120 PC’s from Dell over the past two years. None have had a reset button.

  1. Make or get a clean Boot Disk for your OS.
  2. Format or not . Suit yourself at this point.
  3. Get a copy of your hard drive’s installation program. Let it do the dirty work. Some of them will overwrite the entire disk after formatting with 1’s and 0’s to ensure obliteration of data. Get the drive information, got to manufacturer’s web site and get their Disk Manager or installation program.
    No “Reset Button” use Ctr.-Alt.-Del. simultaneously twice.