Note: These instructions are designed to help students living on-campus at the University of Northern Iowa. If you find them beneficial, feel free to use them, but no support will be able to be provided unless you live on-campus at UNI.
Why Should I Reformat My Computer?
Sometimes viruses, spyware, or other programs can corrupt your operating system to a degree that they cannot be fixed or would take too long to fix. Reformatting your computer will install a clean copy of the operating system, removing any problems that previously existed.
Before You Reformat
Make certain that you back up ALL files that you wish to keep (papers, pictures, music, etc.) because they will all be lost when you reformat. These are typically stored in the My Documents folder, although they may reside in other locations depending on where you save files. Also, any programs that you have installed will need to be re-installed after reformatting, so be sure to save the installers or CDs if you want them back on your computer.
Determining Your Operating System
Information on determining your operating system can be found here.