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How to reformat at computer (PCs)

1.  How to reformat a Dell Inspiron 6400

Reformatting differs from system to system.  This page will be an ongoing, incomplete collection of the different procedures.

NOTE: Collect ALL DISKS FIRST before you begin ANY reformat procedure.  Also BACKUP all of your files on a CD or DVD and remember to look in your My Documents / My Pictures folder.

1.  Operating System Disk (when reformatting older computers - often not necessary for newer computers and laptops).
2.  Driver / setup disks for:
          A.  Modems
          B.   Routers
          C.  Additional CD or DVD drives / writers
          D.  Printers and scanners

On newer systems the operating system is permanently saved with the computer so you will not need a Windows Disk. 

When you turn on your computer you will notice some white text at the bottom of the screen.  The text will say something similar to "Press ESC =Boot Menu, Press F1= Setup , Press F10 =System Recovery"  In this example you would want to press the F10 Key before the black screen disappears.  This area will give you a choice between just "fixing" your system and total "destructive" recovery.  Destructive Recovery is Reformatting.  EVERYTHING WILL BE TOTALLY ERASED.  You will never be able to recover those files again.  So make sure you back everything up on disk AND that you have the drivers to make the parts of your computer work.
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