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Interactive video lesson plan for: How to Format a Hard Drive with Windows XP

Activity overview:

Nutella Bread Recipe:

Watch more How to Understand Computers videos:

If you want to throw out that old computer but worry about someone accessing your information, this guide will wipe your hard drive clean.

Step 1: Back up files
Back up important files or transfer them to your new computer before formatting the drive.

Use a USB flash drive or your computer's recordable disk drive to back up your files.

Step 2: Click on Start
Click on the Start or Windows icon button and then click on Control Panel from the pop-up menu.

Step 3: Select System and Maintenance
Select System and Maintenance and then scroll down to click on Administrative Tools.

Step 4: Double-click on Computer Management
Double-click on Computer Management, and then select Disk Management under Storage from the Navigation Pane on the left side of the new window.

Step 5: Right-click on the drive
Right-click on the drive you wish to format and select Format from the drop-down menu.

Step 6: Choose Format option
Choose to format the drive either in NTFS or FAT 32 and then either a full or quick format.

A full format is recommended as a quick format does not completely erase the drive.

Step 7: Wait
Wait for the computer to finish before doing anything else. A full format of your primary drive may take several hours, so be patient.

Did You Know?
A recent Gallup poll found that identity theft topped the crime concern list with 66 percent of Americans worrying they will be a victim.

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