Formatting or re-installing windows on a Dell system is much simpler then doing so on other machines. If for any reason you need to format your Dell system or re-install windows on it, read on.
Dell packages a CD with each of their systems. This CD will read “Dell windows XP home, " “Dell windows XP pro, " or something along those lines. This is a Dell version of Windows XP that when inserted into your CD-ROM drive at startup, will simply ask you if you need to format or re-install windows. It is a step-by-step dialog which is very simple, and is actually easier then the blue “Windows setup" screen. This blue screen is infamous; and is disliked by many PC users. It can be difficult to understand unless you are an advanced user.
The great thing about this disk is you won't need to access the Dell BIOS/CMOS and change your boot sequence for your PC to read it before your hard drive (in most cases). If you put the CD into your drive, re-boot, and your box still loads windows instead of booting from the CD, you will need to change your boot sequence in your BIOS. This is not too difficult - just look for what key is “setup" at startup. Usually, this is delete, or one of the F keys like F1, F2, F10, F11, or F12.
Once in setup, look around the different menus for the boot sequence. Make sure it is set to boot to CD-ROM for first boot device, then hard drive as second (or third). As long as it is set to CD-ROM first, and hard drive is somewhere after that, it doesn't matter what's in there.
And that's basically it for formatting or re-installing Windows on a Dell box. Dell kept it easy for their clients, in an effort to maintain user-friendliness in the most difficult of situations. Their stock goes up in my book.
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