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Windows 7: Windows 7 installation - which partitions can I delete?

12 Apr 2010   #1

windows vista
Windows 7 installation - which partitions can I delete?

My computer is knackered and I want to wipe it clean and start again. I don't want to keep ANY of what's on there as it had a virus that corrupted my internet explorer and I want to fix it. I have backed everything I do want up onto disk already.

So I'm installing windows 7 custom installation from rebooting it as it says, but it gives me options to format or delete 3 partitions: 1 is a reserved small space (~1.5GB i think), the other is the vista operating system (~55GB), the last is a data partition (~50GB). So now I don't know which I can and can't delete in order to clean my computer completely, yet still have it working and working via windows 7! What is the difference between formatting and deleting anyway, will formatting clean my explorer of the virus it had?

Any suggestions? THANK YOU!!! :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64

Welcome to SF!

To clean your computer completely, you will want to delete all the partitions, then format the drive.

You cannot delete the system reserved or Windows partition while in Windows; that needs to be done from the installation disc or repair disc.

To completely clean your drive, first boot up from your installation or repair disc. When you get to the language screen, press Shift+F10 to pull up a command prompt.

Then enter the following:


list disk

select disk
[number of the disk you want to clean]

clean all

That should do it. You can then reinstall your OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Apr 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP


Do you have a Win7 DVD? Is it Upgrade or Full Retail?

As you have a virus, you really don't have much choice but to deep clean the HD to be sure you are clean. Use the Diskpart commands given by Jonathan above using the Win7 DVD. Then boot back into the DVD to do a Custom install, using Drive tools to Create New partition(s) as you wish, format before installing to first partition.

If you haven't made your Vista Recovery Disks, you might want to do that if you want a path back to Factory condition for later resale or servicing of the computer. Be sure to scan the disks for infection after making them.

To make sure you're not reimporting any infection, place your Data disk in another computer's drive and run full AV scan on the drive. Ditto the Win7 DVD afterwards. We recommend free MS Security Essentials as best lightweight effective AV.

If you have Upgrade version DVD, you'll need to use one of the workarounds given here to install to a clean HD without Vista: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

The installer is mostly driver-complete, with newer being quickly delivered via optional Windows Updates. Any missing drivers or apps can then be found on the manufacturer's Support Downloads webpage for your model computer, Adobe (flash, Reader) and Java (runtime, free Ofc suite) websites. You might also want to back up your Vista Windows/System32/drivers and driverstore files to browse for any missing drivers, but be sure to scan it for infection along with other data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jan 2011   #4

64 bit Ultimate

Thanks A Lot... I thought I cannot delete or format any of my HD before installing Window 7....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2011   #5
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello ems21, welcome to Seven Forums!

Here's some useful information below.
information   Information

After you have made backups of everything you care to save and you want to do a real wipe "clean all" to the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) have a look at this tutorial at the link below, it over-writes everything, all the old Windows code including all the old Windows drivers, giving you the best possible space to install Windows 7 to; it goes hand-in-hand with a clean install.

SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

How to Do a Clean Installation with Windows 7

Do a Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows 7 installation - which partitions can I delete?

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