Computer Terminology
Microsoft Windows

What does it mean to reformat a computer?

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Answered 2007-08-10 17:48:33

Actually we usually speak of reformatting the hard driveon the computer. The computer's hard drive is the internal drive that has no removable media. On it will be stored the operating system (such as Windows or Unix), most of the applications (programs) you use, plus all kinds of data files. A hard drive is a disk (or set of disks) with a magnetizable coating on which a recording head can write information. Each kind of computer and operating system has its own way of formatting that information, but they all write in concentric circles, grouping the information into smaller blocks or sectors. Before data can be stored on a hard drive (or any magnetic disk, actually), it must be formatted. This process magnetically creates the writeable areas on the disk. To reformat the disk means to recreate these areas, refreshing the disk to a new state. A full format permanently erases everything on the disk as part of the process. A "quick format" may be available, which will not bother to erase everything but will just mark everything as erased, with pretty much the same result. (Custom programs may be able to recover some erased information, but only if it has not yet been overwritten.) Generally, when you reformat a hard drive--at least, the primary drive on the computer--you want to make it bootable, installing on it the components of the operating system that allow you to run your computer.

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You can reformat your computer as much times as you want. This is a process where the hard drive gets erased and a new operation system is installed.

Reformat it. Google "How to reformat a computer." Or over write it with over write program. ErAce is one and can be found from

You can do this from a terminal window, however reformatting the computer will require you to reload the operating system from scratch (and you will lose all your data) before you can use it again.

If you mean to reformat the hard drive, you need to insert your copy of your operating system recovery CD and reboot the computer.

total reformat and reinstall. Not a difficult job to do!

Thankfully there are non that we know of in Windows.

You can't actually reformat when it's off. You'll need to power it up with a bootable CD or floppy disk which has the format command available. Besides, what you are formatting is the hard drive, not the computer. Or you can remove the hard drive from the computer in question and format it in another computer.

... You mean... HOW TO CLEAN AN INFECTED COMPUTER?- it will be much safer to put all your important files on back-up and try to reformat it, then install an anti virus for future security.

because you are downloads that detect virus and you need to reformat it..... :D

You can not 'reformat' a CPU. The Central Processor Unit (CPU) of a computer is the heart of a PC that processes (like a huge bank of switches) the instructions and information passing through the computer. As such its configuration changes from microsecond to microsecond as you use the PC. The only things you can reformat in respect to a computer are its data storage devices (normally disks) and the process usually involves overwriting anything that was on the disk before and starting clean. Be warned, if you reformat your system disk you will lose your computers operating system and it wont work afterwards!

Depends on what you mean by reset. In most instances a Restart is considered a reset. But to completely reset the computer to factory default you would need to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

Use a card reader, read the memory card from your computer and reformat it from there.

most of the time u can put the sd in, go to computer, right click on the sd drive, select format, the select the format, and click on reformat

There are various ways to reformat a Kingston SD card. You can insert it in your computer and then right-click on it and click on the format option. This will erase all the data in the card.

You can normally plug a memory card into a computer jack. From there, simply right-click it on My Computer and click Format

If there is no physical damage, you can reformat it easily through either your camera, or your computer via a card reader. If you go the computer route you can format it whenever it pops up as a 'mass storage device'. Was it damaged in the x-ray machine?

You have to reformat your computer which means you will have to re-install all your softwares and lost your documents (if you havent done any backup). Dont forget to install anti-virus after you have done the reformat.

Reformat has three syllables.

You reformat it. In windows click my computer or my pc. Then you right-click on the sd card.

Best way to do this is to simply reformat your computer/hard drive.

You need to reformat your question.

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