Formating my laptop hard drive

I did the win 10 upgrade on my laptop but the email programs I use stopped working so I reverted back to Win7 BUT the email programs don't work under Win7 either now.
So how do I format the hard disk and do a clean install of either Win 7 or my old faithful XP?
Yes I know formatting will wipe out everything on the disk but that doesn't matter because I have very little on the laptop and only use it for email when traveling.
Thanks for any help in advance.

Discussion is locked

Reply to: Formating my laptop hard drive
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: Formating my laptop hard drive
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
- Collapse -
Clarification Request

Not something I've done for close to a decade now. If I want a clean install I boot my Windows DVD and remove all partitions. Then I let Windows (installer) do that partition and format for me.

It seems odd to go to such extremes over an email app.

- Collapse -
Re: Formatting?

How do I boot from my Windows DVD? The email program is about the only thing I use on the laptop and the problem is not in the program it's something in the operating system. It all worked perfectly before I 'Upgraded' to Windows 10.

- Collapse -
Re: boot from DVD

If it doesn't do that automatically, boot into the BIOS setup to set the DVD-drive as first boot device.

Remember that it might be necessary to install drivers and utilitity programs before Internet works on that machine; that's a necessary precondition for e-mailing. That's why we recommend the recovery discs from the maker or using the recovery partition.

See if you can find the manual or enough information to go into the BIOS or use the recovery partition on Internet.

- Collapse -

Chances are you have a factory restore partition on that hdd.
Check your manual.
That will bring you back to day one.
It's a brutal way to go just because some app does not work.
How about uninstall the app and reinstall the app.

- Collapse -
Re: Install

I don't 'think' there are any partitions on the HD but how would I find out?
It's an old laptop, I don't have a manual for it.
The email program I use is fantastic, no installation required all I have to do is copy and paste the folder it lives in and the tree under that folder, create a short cut and drop it on my desktop, jobs done. And yes I did do that too, I copied and pasted from my working desktop, it was exactly the same problem. Something was screwed up in the operating system when I 'Upgraded' to Windows 10 so nuking the lot is a simple, logical and certain cure.

- Collapse -
Re: e-mail program

That's strange. As far as I know Windows 7 didn't come with any mail program. So the first thing to do after you installed Windows 7 is to install that program and reenter the settings for your e-mail account.

- Collapse -
Re: e-mail program

I did not say the email program was part of Win 10, it's a stand alone program that I have used since the days of Windows 3.1 running under DOS, yes it has been upgraded in that time. It does *not* have to be installed it only needs to copy and paste the directory it lives in and the folders in the tree under it, create a shortcut and place on my desktop, jobs done and yes I did do that. What I mean is the program was working perfectly under win 7 (As it did under Win 3.1, Win 95, Win 98 and XP), when I upgraded to Win 10 it stopped working (Load part then freeze) then when I reverted to Win 7 it didn't work with the same load part and freeze fault. So it's something in the operating system not in my email program. So yes I did a copy and paste of the program, the settings are naturally the same in the copy and paste and it's not a setting problem it's a part load then freeze problem.

- Collapse -
Re: email program

Thanks for the clarification.

If the program didn't work after reverting to Windows 7 the regular way, your only chance is to go back to factory conditions (followed by a series of Windows Updates) and install (that is: copy/paste) it again like you did when this machine was new. Using another source for Windows (either a regular Windows 7 disk or a Windows Vista or XP disk) is more difficult because of drivers needed.

Or install another e-mail program. Or do you e-mail from your smartphone or tablet during your holidays.

- Collapse -
Recovery partition

Get the make and model of the machine.
Plug that into google and search for a manual.
Read the manual and see what it says about recovery.

If no help contact the maker and see if they will sell you a manual and recovery media.

- Collapse -
Use a Windows 7 Installer Disc
IF YOU HAVE AN OPTICAL DRIVE: Formatting Windows 7 is easy enough. All you need is the Windows 7 Installer disc. Be sure you get the version you're used to (Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, etc.), go into your laptop's BIOS and make sure that the optical drive in your laptop is set to boot FIRST. Then boot up into the CD and when you get to the menu of what disk you want to install windows onto, choose the main partition (Usually the largest capacity) and at the bottom of the page click format. Then you can install Windows normally!

IF YOU DON'T HAVE AN OPTICAL DRIVE: This is going to be a little bit more difficult, but do-able. Try to find a USB drive with Windows 7 on it, then you can install using the steps above except setting the USB drive to boot first in the BIOS. Another alternative is borrowing someone's computer WITH an optical drive and installing Windows 7 onto your hard drive instead of theirs. You could get a Windows 7 .iso file online and use a program to burn the setup files to a flash drive, but you NEED to own the same version disc for it to be legal and it's pretty complicated, so I recommend trying the tips above.

Wish you luck!

CNET Forums

Forum Info