How To Format Computer Hard Drive Using Windows Command Prompt To Install Windows 7

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           Installing Windows 7 OS

Is your computer repeatedly getting restarted, and bringing up frequent error messages? Most probably you have a corrupted operating system on your computer. A reinstallation of the Windows OS could definitely fix such an error, and make your computer work better. Before you reinstall the OS, you need to first format the partition. Microsoft Windows lets you perform this task without the need of any third party formatting tool. The built-in format function in Windows lets you format the hard disc easily. This is done using the Windows Command Prompt at the time of system boot up.

It’s always a good practice to format the drive before you install any Windows operating system. The following Windows 7 Help guidelines will assist you with formatting the hard drive using the Command Prompt option.


  • Restart your Windows 7 computer. As the system boots up displaying the Windows logo screen, press “F8” key repeatedly on your keyboard to bring up the “Advanced Boot Options” screen.
  • As you get the Advanced Boot Options screen, look for the “Repair Your Computer” menu. Select this option using the keyboard arrow keys, and press the Enter key.
  • This will bring up the “System Recovery Options” screen and from this screen, select “Command Prompt” option.
  • As you get the Command Prompt window, type “C: /q /fs:NTFS” after the “C:\”. Press the “Enter” key. This will perform a quick format of the hard drive. You need to be aware that formatting the hard drive will erase all your date stored in it. If you want to perform full formatting, just type “C: /p:2 /fs:NTFS” and press the “Enter” key.
  • Wait until the formatting is complete. Formatting might take minutes to hours to complete depending on the type of formatting you choose, and the size of your computer hard drive.

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  • After the formatting is complete, restart your computer. Now put the Windows 7 installation CD into your computer’s CD/DVD drive. The installation wizard will appear on your screen; follow the onscreen instructions to perform a clean installation of Windows 7 OS.

Since formatting erases all computer data from the hard drive, you need to back up your important data to some external storage like an external hard drive or USB drive. After the OS installation, you can simply copy the data back to your computer hard drive. Windows 7 Help menu contains useful information and tips on how to perform formatting using the Windows Command Prompt. Go through these and perform the task by yourself.