You may have a recovery partion, most Compaq or hp have this unless you were supplied with a set of recovery disc's if the system is old.
I am not an expert at this type of problem. I would suggest that you go to one of the forums below that specialise in more general computer problems. They have people that know more about this sort of problem.
Tell them why you need to format and post a link to this topic, and have your model number to hand.Good Hardware and Software Help Forums Computer Trouble
here : http://forums.techguy.org/21-windows-nt-2000-xp/
here : http://forums.pcpitstop.com/index.php?showforum=3
All may require you to register free before posting for help.
The re-format process will wipe the computer's hard drive clean, destroying all data and programs installed, so please make sure you back-up all data before re-formatting
the computer's hard drive. This includes address books, email accounts, documents, music, settings, saved games, and anything else not obsolete.
here is some information to help you http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourse ... ackup.mspx
Dont forget Items like Hardware Drivers, and the Key Codes and media so you can install any software that you may have installed now
Physically unplug the computer from the Internet before re-formatting.
Do not go back online untill you are protected by a hardware firewall, NAT router, or a software firewall, and have Installed a ANTIVIRUS, or you can be infected in a few seconds going back online,
Then visit the windows updates and download install all Critical updates, keep revisting untill all are downloaded and installed. Visit Microsoft's Windows Update Site Frequently
- It is important that you visit http://www.windowsupdate.com
regularly. This will ensure your computer has always the latest security updates available installed on your computer. If there are new updates to install, install them immediately, reboot your computer, and revisit the site until there are no more critical updates. Install SpywareBlaster
- SpywareBlaster will added a large list of programs and sites into your Internet Explorer settings that will protect you from running and downloading known malicious programs.
A tutorial on installing & using this product can be found here: Using SpywareBlaster to protect your computer from Spyware and Malware Download and Install a HOSTS File
A Hosts file is a plain text file which prevents your computer from inadvertently connecting to malware, spyware and adware sites by redirecting the connection request back to your own machine address (127.0.0.1). It is a very effective defense system.
If you are part fo a business network, if you are on AOL, or if you use Norton to scan e-mail, be sure to read the special instructions in the tutorial below..
Be sure to disable the service "DNS Client" FIRST
to allow the use of large HOSTS files without slowdowns.
If this isn't done first, the next reboot may take a VERY LONG TIME.
This is how to do it. First be sure you are signed in as a user with administrative privileges:
MVPS Hosts file <= The MVPS Hosts file replaces your current HOSTS file with one containing well know ad sites etc. Basically, this prevents your coputer from connecting to those sites by redirecting them to 127.0.0.1 which is your local computer Install Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
Stop and Disable the DNS Client Service
Go to Start, Run and type Services.msc and click OK.
Under the Extended Tab, Scroll down and find this service.
Right-Click on the DNS Client Service. Choose Properties
Select the General tab. Click on the Stop button.
Click the Arrow-down tab on the right-hand side at the Start-up Type box.
From the drop-down menu, click on Manual
Click the Apply tab, then click OK
- Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a new and powerful anti-malware tool. It is
totally free but for real-time protection you will have to pay a small one-time fee. Tutorial on installing & using this product can be found below:Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Setup GuideMalwarebytes' Anti-Malware Scanning GuideGood luck