I have a computer I am selling to a friend who wants it to be free of the Windows I have before he receives it. How do I perform a clean format so that the motherboard BIOS loads when he boots the system?
"so that the motherboard BIOS loads when he boots the system"
That part i do not understand. The BIOS is always loaded once you turn on your computer. After the BIOS POST is complete, it will load the OS and handle control over to the OS.
If you want to wipe your disk because of privacy reasons, use one of the many free tools available: Eraser (opensource) is a windows app, UBCD (ultimate boot cd) is a nice bootable utility which also has erasing stuff and any linux livecd will work as well, issuing a:
dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda bs=1M
WARNING: this will destroy ALL data on the disk /dev/sda (the first harddrive you can find). Use with care!