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How to partition and format a hard disk in Windows XP
Important If you follow these steps on a hard disk that is not empty, all the data on that hard disk is permanently deleted. We recommend that you back up your hard disk before you follow these steps.
To partition and format your hard disk by using the Windows XP Setup program:
1. Insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive, or insert the first Windows XP Setup disk into the floppy disk drive, and then restart the computer.
Note To start your computer from the Windows XP CD-ROM (or from the startup disk), your computer must be configured to start from the CD-ROM drive, the DVD-ROM drive, or the floppy disk drive. In some cases, you may have to modify your computer's BIOS settings to set this configuration. For information about how to configure your computer to start from the CD-ROM drive, the DVD-ROM drive, or the floppy disk drive, see the documentation that is included with your computer, or contact the computer manufacturer.
2. If you are starting the computer from the Windows XP CD-ROM, select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do this.
Note If your hard disk controller requires a third-party original equipment manufacturer (OEM) driver, press F6 to specify the driver.
For additional information about how to use F6 to supply a third-party OEM device driver while the Windows Setup program is running, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314859 Limited OEM driver support is available with F6 during Windows XP Setup If you are starting from the Windows XP Setup disks, insert each of the additional disks when you are prompted, and then press ENTER to continue after you insert each disk.
3. At the Welcome to Setup page, press ENTER.
4. Press F8 to accept the Windows XP Licensing Agreement.
5. If an existing Windows XP installation is detected, you are prompted to repair it. To bypass the repair, press ESC.
6. All the existing partitions and the unpartitioned spaces are listed for each physical hard disk. Use the ARROW keys to select the partition or the unpartitioned space where you want to create a new partition. Press D to delete an existing partition, or press C to create a new partition by using unpartitioned space. If you press D to delete an existing partition, you must then press L (or press ENTER, and then press L if it is the System partition) to confirm that you want to delete the partition. Repeat this step for each of the existing partitions that you want to use for the new partition. When all the partitions are deleted, select the remaining unpartitioned space, and then press C to create the new partition.
Note If you want to create a partition where one or more partitions already exist, you must first delete the existing partition or partitions, and then create the new partition.
7. Type the size in megabytes (MB) that you want to use for the new partition, and then press ENTER, or just press ENTER to create the partition with the maximum size.
8. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 to create additional partitions if you want them.
9. If you want to install Windows XP, use the ARROW keys to select the partition where you want to install Windows XP, and then press ENTER. If you do not want to format the partition and install Windows XP, press F3 two times to quit the Windows Setup program, and then do not follow the remaining steps. In this case, you must use a different utility to format the partition.
10. Select the format option that you want to use for the partition, and then press ENTER. You have the following options:
Format the partition by using the NTFS file system (Quick)
Format the partition by using the FAT file system (Quick)
Format the partition by using the NTFS file system
Format the partition by using the FAT file system
Leave the current file system intact (no changes)
The option to leave the current file system intact is not available if the selected partition is a new partition. The FAT file system option is not available if the selected partition is more than 32 gigabytes (GB). If the partition is larger than 2 GB, the Windows Setup program uses the FAT32 file system (you must press ENTER to confirm). If the partition is smaller than 2 GB, the Windows Setup program uses the FAT16 file system.
Note If you deleted and created a new System partition, but you are installing Windows XP on a different partition, you will be prompted to select a file system for both the System and startup partitions. 11. After the Windows Setup program formats the partition, follow the instructions that appear on the screen to continue. After the Windows Setup program is completed, you can use the Disk Management tools in Windows XP to create or format more partitions.
For additional information about how to use the Windows XP Disk Management tools to partition and format your hard disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Posted on Oct 19, 2008
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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