This is a pretty drastic process and takes several hours. If you have system slow downs and ongoing bugs you may be able to repair with software tools (see here), however that said, on with the show. The procedure will decimate the data on your C: drive, so it's crucial that you back up all the data you don't want to lose. Don't forget items like e-mail data and address books (see: How to backup e-mail.). Back up all your documents including your "My Documents" folder and all the data you've stored on your Windows Desktop which you'll find in c:\Windows\Desktop or c:\Windows\Profiles\\desktop, where is your Windows log-on. Don't worry about backing up programs that you can reinstall later, unless you want a complete backup of your C: drive in the event of a problem. Now, create a boot disk. Creating a Windows 98 boot disk is easy. If Windows 98 came factory-installed with your machine then one may have been supplied with your documentation. If not, you can create one through the Control Panel. In Windows, go to Add/Remove Programs and click the "StartUp Disk" tab and click the "Create Disk" button. It will create a boot disk on a blank floppy for you with CD-ROM support. This is important, as you'll need access to your CD-ROM drive to do a new Windows98 install. Once the boot disk is created, test it to see if you can access your CD-ROM drive. To do this reboot the machine with the floppy disk in the floppy drive and when the machine restarts choose "Start with CD-ROM support". At the prompt type d: and hit the Enter key. If the machine responds with D:\> you are in business. Next type "format c:" without the quotes (and hit ENTER). The C: drive (main hard drive) will then be wiped clean. Once the reformat is finished put your Windows CD-ROM disk in the CD-ROM drive, and type "D:\setup" at the prompt. Once Windows is finished installing, reinstall your backup software and restore your data to the hard drive.
at a c promts C:\ type in format C: the line will look like this C:\format C: It will ask you if you want to format your drive. Yes is go, No is keep what you have. You had better have a boot disk or you will end up with an empty computer. Boot from the windows 98 CD first, then format the C drive as described above.
Insert your Windows 98 CD and reboot your computer. Begin the Windows 98 setup process. It will tell you that it does not recognize the filesystem on the hard drive, and will ask you to reformat it. Do so. It will then format the hard drive and reboot the computer. Start the setup program again, and follow the on-screen prompts to install Windows 98.
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