Help with wiping a harddrive.

Hey everyone, my computer is starting to run a little buggy and I was thinking of wiping it clean. I just want to know what should I back up before I do this, I'm backing up my personnel files, music and what not, but is there anything else I should? I have my Windows XP home edition, and plan to just reinstall that.

But an even larger issue is that I don't know how to wipe my hard drive clean and I don't know the steps to getting my computer back to normal, could anyone please tell me? I am running XP Home with SP2, I have a 200gb hard drive from Western Digital. Thanks in advance.
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More about help wiping harddrive
  1. As Mpmilchfamily said. There are some virus's that can infect the master boot record but I don't think there are that many out there any more. If you think that you have one of these then use the software from the drive manufacturers website and do a zero write on the drive. They call it different things but it basically writes zeros to the whole drive. The only part of the drive that would need to be zero written is the MBR so you could abort the process after a few minutes to save the time to zero write the whole drive. This would be enough to clear any potential MBR virus's.
  2. I see, thanks then, I don't think I have any of those viruses mentioned. I'm going to back up my stuff now. Once again thanks.
  3. Don't worry about wiping your drive. Worry about backing up your data. You can always format the drive when you install Xp
  4. I am trying to wipe clean old OS's from my hard drive after installing Windows XP Corporate..and I tried to do this with the recovery disk, and it wouldn't follow the command agree and enter(duracom recovery disk)
    IBM 300 Personal Computer.

    I don't have any problems,except for needing my space back that the old windows is using up.Thankx.
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