If your computer has been attacked by a virus and you don’t know what to do, your last resort is to format your laptop. Formatting is also helpful if your computer is running very slowly or encountering serious errors.
It is quite easy to format or reformat a laptop, however, you should backup all information on the computer before beginning. In this article, you will learn 4 effective ways to format/reformat a laptop running on Windows 11/10/8/7.
Part 1: Why You Need to Format a Laptop/Computer
Formatting or re-formatting a laptop restores the operating system to its factory state. It is usually a difficult decision to make as you will lose all of your information on the computer. Despite that, some reasons just make it inevitable if you want to optimize the safety and function of your computer.
Below are some reasons that make formatting or re-formatting a laptop necessary:
- Booting Issues: When your laptop won’t boot properly or displays just the blue/black screen, and in some cases it stops at the DOS screen, formatting and re-installing system is likely.
- Virus Attack: If your computer is infected by virus or malware, formatting is a good choice to protect your data security.
- Operating System Upgrade: If your laptop is running an outdated system, you may want to format and upgrade it to Windows 11.
- Optimize Performance: Sometimes you’ll have to repartition your laptop’s disk and make them reasonable.
- Speed Up Computer: When your laptop is running slowly due to issues like outdated operating system, lots of junk data and other compatibility issues, then you can format your system to get it to perform better again.
Part 2: How to Format a Laptop/Computer
So if you falls into any of the category above or for some other reason you want to format or reformat your laptop running on Windows 11/10/8/7, follow any of the method below and you won’t go wrong.
Option 1. Format Laptop/Computer using Windows Installation CDs
It is very easy to format a laptop using Windows installation CDs which is available to most users. However, you need to ensure that you have all the software required to restore your computer. If your computer does not have a CD driver, you can skip to other options to format it.
- To begin this process, you’d better back up all your data on another storage device such as external hard drive, CDs or DVDs.
- Choose a restoration method. You can use the installation CDs that came along with your computer if it is available.
- Now insert the operating system disk into your CD or DVD drive.
- Wait for it to auto-run and from the menu or options page that come up, select installation of a new operating system. For some reason, it won’t auto run. In that case, double-click on “My Computer”, right click the drive that has OS disk, then click on “Auto-Run”.
- Wait for the CD to proceed automatically and follow the prompts when required.
- Upon the operating system installation is complete, you’ll get a fresh desktop.
Option 2. Format Laptop/Computer using Restoration Partition
Usually, the manufacturer of your computer create a separate partition in the memory, which is known as restoration partition. It contains all the necessary files to re-install your system. If you don’t have any installation disc, you can access to the restoration partition to format your laptop.
- Go to the power menu and initiate a system restart. When your system begins to reboot, press the F10 key repeatedly. When your laptop boots, it will give you two options – Repair or Restore
- Select the Restore option and allow the restore partition of your system to do the rest including formatting and installation of the OS, native drivers and software.
- Be patient and allow the system to complete the task. Upon completion, you’ll have a fresh like new system.
Option 3. Format Laptop Windows 10 with Reset This PC
Windows 10 is a peculiar OS that sometimes requires special consideration to complete certain actions. Same can be said of formatting a laptop running on Windows 10. Follow steps below to format a laptop Windows 10 with Reset this PC:
- On the bottom left corner of your laptop, click the Start button > then the gear icon to go to “Settings”.
- From the Settings menu, select “Update & Security” > “Recovery” (You’ll find the tab from the left panel).
- Check the available options and select “Reset this PC” > click “Get S`tarted”. You’ll see two options afterwards – “Keep my files” (this action will remove all your apps and settings, but your personal files will be preserved) and “Remove everything” (this will erase everything including all of your personal files, apps and settings.
- Click on “Remove everything” to format your laptop then two options will appear again. “Just remove my files” (with this you can recover your data later on from the drive of your laptop) and the other option is “Remove files and clean my drive” which requires lot of time but will completely remove all the data from your system including the drive. Click on the latter option – “Remove files and clean my drive.”
- Click on “Next” then “Reset” button to start the process. Your laptop will restart at this stage so do not panic. Upon completion of the reset process, a fresh Windows 10 will greet you.
Option 4. Format Laptop Windows 7 with System Repair Disc
If you are working with a laptop on Windows 7, you can easily format the computer with System Repair Disc. Here’s how to do it:
- Start your laptop and tap on Control Panel > Backup and Restore > Create a system repair disc.
- Insert a CD into your computer and tap “Create disc” > “Close” > “OK”.
- Enter the boot menu by typing F10 or F12 then select the CD as boot device. Click “Enter” > “Next”, then select your windows system in “Use recovery tools that can help fix problems starting Windows”.
- Click “Next” > “Command Prompt”. Enter “Format c:/fs:NTFS” to format your system disk.
Bonus: How to Recover Data after Formatting Laptop
If unfortunately, you didn’t make a backup before formatting your laptop and lose important information, you still chance to get them back. Fucosoft Data Recovery is a professional software that allows you to recover deleted or lost files from any storage device, including laptop, PC, external hard drive, SD card, USB flash drive, mobile phone, digital camera, and many more. Using it, you can recover any types of files, such as photos, videos, audios, documents, email and archives in a few clicks.
Here is how to recover data after formatting your laptop:
Step 1: Download, install and run the Windows Data Recovery software on your computer, then choose the formatted hard disk where you lost your data.
Step 2: Click “Start” and the program will begin an all-round scan on the hard drive you selected. Upon completion of the scan, all files will be displayed by file types and folders.
Step 3: Preview and select the files you’re interested in, then click “Recover” to initiate the recovery process. Please don’t save the recovered files to the location where they lost.
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