In this tech article I will go over how to remove Microsoft Windows
or revert to a previous version of Windows. Why would you want to delete Windows
? You may want to remove Windows
because you do not like that version you have installed, or maybe you want a different operating system like Linux.
In my method I will not focus on data backup and recovery. If you wish to backup your data, you can do so. After installation of your operating system you can restore the data from backup. Install fresh operating system
This method is the easiest and I would say least problematic. This will format(wipe) your hard drive and install a clean operating system. No files will be saved or transferred in this method. So be sure to backup any important data you wish to save as it will be deleted during this method.
1)You will need the operating system media. The operating system you wish to install can be on a DVD
flash drive for example.
2)Insert the media and reboot the computer.
3)As the computer is booting up, you will see some options come up during the boot process(very briefly). One of these options will be for your BIOS. It may say press f11 for bios, or DEL for settings. What we want to do is go into the computer BIOS and change the boot order
4) Once in the BIOS, change your boot order
so the operating system media is booted first. For example, if you have your new operating system on a USB flash drive, then you want to make sure the USB flash drive is first in the boot order list.
5)Once you make the boot order changes, exit out of BIOS saving your settings
. When your computer reboots again it will boot to the media you selected.
6)Depending on what operating system you had installed before, you may get different options. You may get options to perform a recovery and or to just do a fresh install. We want to make sure you do a fresh install
. This will format(wipe) the hard drive and install the operating system you wish to use. The hard drive will be formatted and the operating system installed. Once installed, you will go over settings basic computer settings like language, time, computer name and internet connectivity. This varies depending on the operating system you are using. Be sure to follow the on screen prompts. If you installed Windows 7 over an older version of Windows
In this method you can revert Windows 7 to a previous version of Windows. The Windows 7 installation will have created a Windows.old folder that contains your previous operating system and personal files. This Windows.old folder is in the root of the Windows partition. Reverting does not keep any current files or settings so beware. Your computer will be reverted to its previous state before Windows 7 was installed.
The following tech article from Microsoft will go over the process to revert Windows 7 to a previous version of Windows that was installed. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971760
The following tech article from Microsoft will go over how to do this process with Windows XP.
Wipe hard drive securely
If you want to truly erase data you will need to use software utilities to do this. Deleting data on your computer or reformatting your hard drive will not completely erase the data. There are numerous software programs out there you can use, free and costly.
A free tool you can use to erase your hard drive is KillDisk. You can click the link below to visit the site and download the software.
I hope my article was informative. Be sure to check out my other Tips and Tricks by clicking on my profile name and then clicking on "Tips" at the top left of my profile.
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