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If you have just bought or assembled a brand new computer without any software installed on the hard drive, you will need to format the hard drive before installing your operating system. You can also format a hard drive when there is a software problem on the drive. However, it's important to note that formatting involves erasing any files that are present on a hard drive and starting over with a “clean slate”, and it should only be done with the understanding that the drive will be left empty after you format.
Formatting a hard drive is a simple process. There is software available that can help with this, or using Windows XP a hard drive can be formatted. Depending on your file system, to format your hard drive, place the Windows XP setup CD in the CD-ROM and boot for this drive.
For example, for the FAT 32 file system, select the option to enter the “Recovery Console”, and from here enter the “Format” command and the drive name you would like to format, and hit “Enter”.