how do i reformat my dell inspiron laptop? - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

how do i reformat my dell inspiron laptop?


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how do i reformat my dell inspiron laptop?

  • Ive had a dell inspiron 1100 laptop for less than a year. While being at university ive noticed it to be much slower and always creating those error message boxes on the screen. I think this is much to do with spyware and adware being added, or even viruses. Ive tryed all types of ad spy removers and virus software but feel its still causing problems so have resolved in reformating the hard disk?

    How can i do this?


  • First off, I assume you've got your backup needs taken care of already.  If not, please find a safe place (CD or another hard drive) to store any files you don't wish to lose.

    As for the reformat, It's actually not that hard (assuming winXP).  First though, it's very helpful if you create some sort of disc with files you will need immediately following the reinstallation (a friend with a CD burner will work fine if you don't have one).  Go to dell's download section and download all of the drivers and applications that you need (they will list more than will apply to your system, so only get what your system has!).  This ensures you get only the latest drivers (the ones on your Dell CD are probably old).

    Then make another disc (or put it on the same one if you have room) of windows updates that you will need.  Feel free to just put SP2 on a CD as that is really all you need.

    Once you've made your disc of drivers and dell applications (and anything else you think you might want close at hand), and windows patches, insert your windowsXP CD into your computer and turn your computer off.  Tap the appropriate F-Key when booting up (usually f12 -- i think?) to access the boot menu and allow you to boot to a CD.  Once you boot to the CD, follow the on screen prompts to install a new copy of winXP.  Delete the main partition (on screen prompts will tell you how), then re-create the main partition, and reformat it.  The installation will continue and life should be good.

    When the installation is complete, install service pack 2.  Then install the dell chipset drivers, then the notebook system software, then everything else.  Check device manager when you are done and uninstall/reinstall("scan for changes") any devices still listed as unknown (USB 2 controllers will not be detected until you do this sometimes).

    Then bring your data back from the backups you made of important documents and files.  Then install any programs ya need.

  • right ive managed to do everything to the partion screen. It comes up with:

    - : partition 1 (FAT)

    C: partion 2 (Ntfs)

    unpartioned space

    Which one do i need to delete?


  • Delete the NTFS partition and then recreate it ... (I assume it's noticably bigger than the FAT one?)
  • Ive finished re-creating the partition and have been able to load all the drivers back on safely so far i have had no problems and its been running smoothly!

    Thanks for the advice Nemesis ; )

  • I belive the FAT partition is where the Dell Diagnosis is stored when you boot up (F12)