« 22. Install the Operating System20. Bios Setup »

21. Preparing the Hard Drive for the OS


  06:00:00 pm by Admin, Categories: How to build a Computer

This step may not even be necessary, but we wanted to include it for reference. The newest versions of Windows, including Windows XP and Windows Vista, have a way to partition and format the hard drive during the installation process. If you plan on installing either of these versions of Windows on a new hard drive as a standard installation, then you do not have to do anything except specify how you want the drive setup during the install process. Skip the information below and continue on to the next step.

If you plan on installing multiple operating systems, or want the drive split up into separate sections or partitions, then you may want to so this before starting the install. Third party utilities are available to handle partitioning and formatting, some of which are free. This will need to be done to the hard drive prior to installing windows if you have a specific way you want to set the drive up. Make sure to use a compatible file type if you do your own partitioning, NTFS for Windows XP is recommended, and Windows Vista uses a newer version of NTFS so make sure your partition utility program will set the drive up to be ready for Vista if you are planning to install it.


We are going to assume that this is a standard Windows installation, and continue on to the next step.

Next Step: Install the Operating System >


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