When all else fails, formatting your PC is the best way to ensure that you completely clean your computer and solve any computer issues you may have been having. This is a nerve wracking process however and one that many people will want computer help with. At the same time you need to know whether it’s really necessary and what your options are, as well as how to prepare for a hard drive wipe. Here we will look in more detail at formatting hard drives and help you through the process.
Formatting your hard drive essentially means sending it back to factory settings and that means uninstalling everything that you have on there so that it’s only hard ware and not software. Most computer problems that need PC repair are software problems – that means issues with Windows or with viruses, and are not physical problems. In any instance where this is the case then, you will easily be able to repair your computer with a format. At the same time though it does mean losing all of your personal files which can be a distressing process and there is some risk involved if you don’t know what you are doing and don’t use computer help.
Of course if you do understand the process then it is possible to back up the majority of your files on an external hard drive or on a disk or even online and this then means that things like your documents, your films, your pictures, your music etc will all be saved. However even if you have an external hard drive there will still be things you lose such as your system settings, some of your software and your settings within that software. It can also take a long time for you to set things up again and it can take a while before it feels like your computer again.
If you decide to go ahead with a computer format then it’s important to know what you are doing and to have a few disks to hand before you do (or to use computer help). The reason for this is that you will not only lose your own files, but also important system files that your computer needs to run. Thus you need to be able to put these back on your computer if you are going to recover from the wipe.
This then means that you need to have a Windows disk (or your chosen operating system) to hand, and you need the computer to boot off of that so that you can install from it. Before that you will have just an MS Dos prompt from which you can do relatively little. Also important is to make sure that you have the ‘drivers’ for your various hardware which is the software that tells your computer how to use various parts such as the keyboard, the monitor etc. Without these you can find yourself with a damaged resolution and no input.
The whole process takes a couple of hours and it is best if you have a back up computer to use in the meantime. If it works though you will have a computer that is as good as new – literally.