Reformatting Hard Drives
So I want to reformat all my drives. However, there is some information that I want to keep. What's the best method I could use to save this data and not copy over any potentially harmful things from the drives?
What do you mean "information"? Do you mean regular files, or game save data? If it's not much you want to keep, and you have the space to do so, save your files to another external hard drive, a USB thumb drive, burn them to a cd or dvd, or even save them to a free cloud storage service. If you need a free cloud storage service to use, PM me for a recommendation and to earn yourself extra free space.
If you are talking about a lot of files (many gigs worth), you are better off saving to an external drive or USB thumb drive. Just be sure those drives have enough space for you to save your files to.
Backup ALL your data to 1 massive USB portable hard drive.
After you have backed up all the data take what is now an empty hard drive and re-install Windows onto it.
After windows is done, install antivirus, super anti spyware, malware bytes, and run full virus and spyware scans on the external hard drive. If there is anything damaging at this point it gets quarantined out and data is left safe and clean.
Backup computer before formatting with free backup software
As backup and recovery software, AOMEI Backupper enables you to backup system, disks, partitions, and files to any other location, so you can restore it to the original state when the something unexpected happens. It allows you to create bootable media with CD or USB disk, so you can boot your PC from the bootable media to backup hard drive even when system crashes.
Backup before formatting hard drive:
1. Downlaod and run AOMEI Backupper.
2. At the Home screen, click “Backup” and choose the backup option you want. Here is “Disk Backup”.
3. At the next screen, click “Step 1” to select the hard drive that needs backing up.
4. Click “Step 2” to select a destination location where you want to save the backup file. If you want to backup to external hard drive, just make sure it is well connected and recognizable in Windows File Explorer.
5. Click “Start Backup” to start the backup.
Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10 have a built-in Disk Management tool (see below), but the fastest way to format a hard drive is to click the Start button, then Computer and right-click on the hard drive you want to wipe (you can't format the drive on which Windows is installed for obvious reasons). Choose Format… from the menu and a new window will appear with a few formatting options.
By default Quick Format is checked, and you can choose the file system and allocation unit size as well as changing the volume label (the drive's name). Typically, you can leave all settings unchanged and click the Start button. In under a minute your hard drive will be formatted.