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Windows 7: Formatting Hard drive

16 Feb 2014   #1
joni

windows xp
 
 
Formatting Hard drive

Purchased new comp without operating system, after installing my own Windows operating system found they had sent me the wrong spec of computer. Now have to return for correct comp spec to be sent to me. My question how do I format the hard drive to remove windows and return the comp in the clean condition I received it. Your help gratefully appreciated.
joni


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Feb 2014   #2
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Just make another clean install. All your info and the old OS will be gone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #3
dsperber

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 (2)
 
 

If you have "activated" the installed Windows using the product key you used, you may have a problem installing Windows again on the replacement machine they send you... depending on the nature of that product key you used.

If it's an OEM key, it can only be used on the one machine it was used on. It can't be used on another machine.

If it's a retail key, it can only be used on one machine at a time. So you need to "de-activate" it on the current machine before returning it, and then you'll be able to use that key again to freshly install Windows again on the replacement machine when it arrives.

As far as doing a FORMAT of some kind on the hard drive before returning it, if you haven't put any of your own proprietary data on it yet I wouldn't worry about it. They're going to re-load the hard drive with whatever they put on it whenever selling a new machine no matter what you do. So just be sure to "de-activate" the product key if you used a retail key and if you've already activated your installation of Windows on this machine.

NOTE: MS is reasonably reasonable in understanding that people sometimes forget to de-activate a Windows installation before doing a hardware upgrade (or swap, as in your case). So the automated activation that is attempted from the second install will likely be rejected by their Registration Server. You'll then have to use the "activate by phone" method, and possibly have to speak to someone who will manually "void out" your previous activation using the retail product key, and then will give you some new numbers to enter into the onscreen "phone activation" window in order to accomplish the new activation successfully.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Feb 2014   #4
3D Jed

Windows 7 pro x64 SP1
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #5
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Clean the HD Drive, using Step one in this tutorial:
SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #6
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Just use the Windows dvd to format the drive, then just take the disc out, done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #7
King Arthur

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

If you're really paranoid about completely wiping your HDD before sending it back, I would suggest using DBAN.

Tutorial: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ard-drive.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
Just use the Windows dvd to format the drive, then just take the disc out, done.
Right, that is the easiest way. Run command prompt from the installation disc with these commands:

Diskpart
List disk

Select disk n (where n is the number that was given for your disk in List disk)
Clean All
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Feb 2014   #9
Computer0304

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by King Arthur View Post
If you're really paranoid about completely wiping your HDD before sending it back, I would suggest using DBAN.

Tutorial: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials...ard-drive.html
DBAN might be a bit overpowered and may wear the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2014   #10
joni

windows xp
 
 

Many thanks for all your suggestions and help. Managed to wipe hard drive clean from the many inputs you sent.

Thanks again joni
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Formatting Hard drive




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