Need to reformat and reinstall XP, best way to do this??


OSNN Addict
1 Mar 2004
Due to some insane tweaking on my part I have completely buggered my XP operating system. I have it running now but it is highly unstable. I am going to save (on disc) all my important stuff then I want to reformat the hard drive and reinstall. With Windows 98 I could do this easily. What is the best way to do this with XP.



OSNN Veteran Addict
25 Jan 2003
Since your buggered already try this first:

Back up your data.
Do a repair install. Boot from the windows XP CD and the first time it asks you if you want to do a repair say no. It will ask you again latter. Say yes the second time. This will leave much of your settings and data intact but replace the messed up XP files.

See if the repair install cleaned up the mod's. If not Boot from the Win XP CD again and say yes to repair the first time it asks. This will give you a totally clean install.

Before you do any of this run a search on the osnn forums for "slipstreaming XP" it will tell you how to make a new XP CD with SP1 installed already. This saves hours off the reload time.

You should not need to reformat.


Today's Special Value
20 Apr 2004
reinstall xp

First make sure your data is backed up.

Make sure your computer boots all devices (i.e. CD-ROM) before you begin.
If not, this can be setup through your computer's BIOS.

Insert XP disk, and boot CD.

Following the on screen instructions, format your HD.

Create a partition on the newly formatted HD.

Install XP following on screen instructions on new partition.


Here are more detailed instructions and even a nice video:,24330,2102233,00.html


The First Rebirth
23 Jan 2003
Don't forget to disconnect your ethernet cable if you have a direct connection to your cable/DSL modem. Don't want to get a virus while your firewall is down.


The Voices Talk to Me
5 Dec 2002
Correct me if I am worng, but I don't think the XP install does a LLF of the HDD does it? To do a totally clean install wouldn't you need to run a format utility on the HDD and then do the XP install?


Blade Runner
7 Sep 2002
Yes a LLF (low level format {0's written to each sector of the HD or the first 8 gigs}) is nice however not mandatory. A Full format from windows xp boot cd usually fixes most problems.
You can do this by getting the software from the manufacture of your hard drive. If you do this you can select Quick Format as the drive is clean and the Full is not necessarily needed. If not Hitatchi's software works for other brands. But its still best if u get one from your manufacture.

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