I have a Dell Dem 2400 with XP on it. I want to completely clean the hard drive & reload XP. Can I use a Microsoft Format Utility and then reload or will loading the XP CD format & clean the drive?
The reason for wanting to do this is because I think I have a virus.
Some viruses can be removed with a little work and a format and reinstall isnt always needed, however if this is the path you wish to use simply boot from the XP CD and follow the prompts to install a new copy of XP. when you get to the part about the available partitions choose to remove them all and then recreate them, this will erease all the data on the drive.
Make sure you have backed up your important data and that you have all the drivers you need before proceeding.
If your Dell Dimension 2400 has its Recovery Partition still
You can restore it by pressing F12 when the blue Dell text appears after POST. There's a restore partition on the hard drive with a Ghost image of the original OS install.
You run this and it formats the drive and does a new install of XP - DELETING ALL DATA on C Drive
Once completed you may need to update all your drivers H E R E
If the Recovery Partition no longer exists, you are able to use Ididmyc600 option, except you do not need to manually re-create the Partition, as the Windows setup does this automatically on a non partitioned HardDrive.