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– How to Format the C Drive With Windows 7: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

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This post shows how to format Windows 7 C drive using USB when you don’t have Windows installation CD/DVD; or from Command Prompt if you have CD. Click on your “C” disk drive when Windows asks which partition you want to “change,” or install. Your computer will then begin formatting, or. When you try to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7, from Windows Server To free up space on your hard disk, Disk Cleanup finds and then removes.

5 Free and Easy Ways to Format Your ‘C’ Drive.


Last Updated: March 3, She has more than 20 years of experience creating technical documentation and leading support teams at major web hosting and software companies. Nicole also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Portland State University and teaches composition, fiction-writing, and zine-making at various institutions.

This article has been viewed 1,, times. In Windows 7, you can format your C drive without being required to format all the other disk drives, or partitions, on your computer.

The Windows 7 installation disc that was included with your computer at the time of purchase will allow you to format the C drive and erase all your settings, files, and programs on that partition.

To format your C drive, you can save and back up your files and programs to an external disc before using the Windows 7 installation discs to complete the formatting procedure.

Insert a Windows 7 install disc or drive. Reboot the PC. Press any key to boot from the disc or drive. Select a language and click Next. Click Install Now. Accept the terms and click Next. Select the drive and click Format. Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue. No account yet? Create an account. Popular Categories.

All Categories. Edit this Article. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article Steps. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Article Summary. The Windows 7 installation disc that came with your computer can be used to format your main hard drive. If you don’t have a Windows 7 installation disc, you can borrow one or get one from your PC manufacturer.

After formatting your C drive, you’ll be able to reinstall Windows 7 or your preferred operating system. Back up and save your files. Formatting the C drive will erase all files, programs, and information saved on the C drive, so you may want to back up any files you want saved. Save your files to an external hard drive or disc, or save your files to another folder on the network, if applicable. Obtain your computer name if connected to a network. After your C drive has been formatted, you may be prompted for your computer name during the installation process in order to reconnect to the network.

Go to your computer’s “Start” menu, right-click on “Computer,” then select “Properties” from the menu that appears. Your computer name will be shown below “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings.

Insert the Windows 7 installation disc. In some cases, you may have the Windows 7 installation program saved on a Universal Serial Bus USB flash drive, which can also be inserted. Turn off your computer. Your computer will have to reboot in order to read the Windows 7 installation disc.

Open your “Start” menu, then click on “Shut Down. Power on your computer. When your computer powers back on, it will read the installation disc and begin the formatting process. Format your C drive. After the computer has recognized the installation disc, you will be prompted to press any key on your keyboard to continue.

The installation wizard will then appear on your screen. Select your language from the “Install Windows” page, then click on “Next” to proceed. Read and review the Windows 7 license terms. In order to proceed to the next screen, you will be required to place a check mark in the box next to “I accept the license terms. Select “Drive options advanced ” when asked where you want Windows installed. Choosing this option will allow you to select the C drive as the only drive you want to format.

Click on your “C” disk drive when Windows asks which partition you want to “change,” or install. Your computer will then begin formatting, or erasing, all the data currently existing on your C drive. Windows will notify you when the formatting procedure has finished. Re-install Windows 7 on your C drive. After your C drive has been formatted, you will be required to re-install Windows 7 to that partition.

Click on “Next” after Windows has notified you that the formatting procedure has completed. The Windows installation wizard will continue to walk you through the installation process. You will be prompted for your computer name if you are connected to a network, and for information such as your user name. Restore your saved files. After Windows has completed the installation process, you can insert your external hard drive or disc into the computer to restore your files back to the C drive.

Formatting removes all data from the drive for a clean install. Before formatting, you will need to back up your data to removable media, a second hard drive, or the cloud.

Not Helpful 7 Helpful Jonathan Hickey. Yes, and it will also remove the entire Windows operating system, so I would not recommend doing this unless absolutely necessary. Not Helpful 3 Helpful 9. Windows XP does not have a format option. You will to have to manually clean the PC yourself, or use a cleaning tool, such as CCleaner. Not Helpful 17 Helpful Not Helpful 9 Helpful Right-click the C drive and there should be an option to format it.

If there is no option, right-click the C drive and choose “Properties. Not Helpful 10 Helpful On Windows systems, you should be able to go to the control panel and computer restoration settings to re-image the device.

You may have to click on advanced settings for the selection to appear. It usually depends on what operating system you are using. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 4. If you want to reinstall it that is. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 1. Not Helpful 3 Helpful 0. If you bought Windows yourself, just reuse the installation media and key as before. Because the hardware in the system is nearly identical, Microsoft will identity this and allow you to reactivate Windows.

Alternatively, you can manually deactivate your key so it can be used again. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 1. If you are having issues after you have installed Windows then it may be you don’t have the correct drivers installed for your motherboard refer to the manufacturers notes to see what your motherboard is.

You should be able to find the most up-to-date drivers on their website. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. You may want to connect to the Internet before you restore your backup files to the C drive. Connecting to the Internet may prompt you to update or download new drivers for the applications and programs you are re-installing.

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Windows 7 professional format c drive free. How to Format The Hard Disk Drive in Windows 7?

Is this article up to date? In some cases, you may have the Windows 7 installation program saved on a Universal Serial Bus USB flash drive, which can also be inserted. This can be due to several factors. Updated: March 3,


– How to: Format C Drive in Windows 7 Without CD/DVD?


To format C means to format the C drive, or the primary partition that Windows or your other operating system is installed on. When you format C, you erase the operating system and other information on that drive. Unfortunately, it’s very much not a straightforward process.

You can’t format the C drive like you can format another drive in Windows because you’re within Windows when you perform it. To do it from within Windows would be like lifting a chair in the air while sitting on it—you just can’t. The solution is to format C from outside of Windows, meaning you need a way to do it from somewhere other than your Windows installation.

While that all might sound very complicated, it’s actually quite easy to do. Below are several completely free ways to format your C drive, each of which we’ve linked to extensive instructions. If you’re trying to format your C drive because you want to replace or reinstall Windows, you do not need to format ahead of time.

Formatting is done automatically during the Windows installation. Skip this article entirely and instead learn how to do a clean install of Windows.

Formatting does not permanently erase the data on the drive. If you want to completely erase the information on the C drive, see No. The easiest way to format C is by completing part of a Windows installation. It’s not easiest as far as the number of steps goes, but since most of us have a Windows Setup DVD or flash drive lying around, we have easy access to a means to format drives outside of Windows.

Keep reading if you only have a Windows XP disc. However, it doesn’t at all matter what Windows operating system is on your C drive, including Windows XP. The only requirement is that the setup media needs to be from a newer version of Windows. Feel free to borrow a friend’s disc or flash drive if you’d like to try this method. Since you won’t be installing Windows, you don’t need to worry about having a “valid” copy of Windows or a product key.

If you don’t have access to Windows installation media, but you do still have access to a working copy of Windows 11, 10, 8, or 7, you can create a System Repair Disc or Recovery Drive depending on your version of Windows and then boot from that and format C from there. You can only format C in one of these two ways if you have access to Windows 11, 10, 8, or 7 to create the media. If you don’t, find someone who does and create the repair disc or flash drive from their computer.

The biggest caveat here is that you must also have Windows XP installed on your C drive. However, if you don’t have access to a newer version of Windows, this option may be your best bet.

This Recovery Console method to format C also applies to Windows This will be your best option to format C if you don’t have access to any kind of Windows install media and can’t get access to a newer version of Windows to create a repair disc or recovery drive.

Any of these tools that have formatting capabilities will be able to format C without a problem. At the moment, the link above goes directly to the Ultimate Boot CD site, one of several programs that allow formatting from a bootable disc. We’ll update this link to a list of such programs soon. Data destruction software goes a step beyond formatting C. Data destruction software truly destroys the data on a drive, returning it to the essentially the same state it was in after leaving the hard drive factory.

If you’re wanting to format C because you want to make sure everything on your primary drive is permanently erased, you should wipe your hard drive using these instructions. When you visit this site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Cookies collect information about your preferences and your device and are used to make the site work as you expect it to, to understand how you interact with the site, and to show advertisements that are targeted to your interests.

You can find out more and change our default settings with Cookies Settings. By Tim Fisher. Tim Fisher. Tim Fisher has more than 30 years’ of professional technology experience. He’s been writing about tech for more than two decades and serves as the VP and General Manager of Lifewire. Tweet Share Email. Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Email Address Sign up There was an error. Please try again. You’re in! Thanks for signing up.

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