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I have installed fedora 14 xfce.

However, I want to totally format the hard disk so I have no operating systems left on there.

I have created a usb boot disk for installing windows.

So I want to re-format the whole hard disk. Then boot up with the usb and install windows. Once I have done that. Then use the rest of the hard disk to install Fedora 14 from my other usb.

However, I am not sure how to completely format the hard disk. I want to start from a clean disk.

Many thanks for any advice,

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It has been a while since I installed Windows, but I assume the installer allows you to format the drive before laying down the OS? Otherwise, you could boot from the linux thumbdrive and manually partition/format the disk using your tool of choice (gparted/parted/fdisk/mkfs)

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The Windows installer will let you delete existing partitions before installing Windows. Alternatively, you could use GParted in Fedora or as a live CD.

(Technically, deleting a partition won't destroy the existing data, but all that an OS cares about is that the space is marked as "free".)

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If you would like a method that will work no matter what the OS is, take a look at Darik’s Boot And Nuke (commonly known as DBAN). I keep a copy in my laptop bag at all times, never know when it might come in handy.

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When installing the new OS, you should be able to select to format all partitions and data and install the OS on one total partition.

DBAN (mentioned above) can also be used but unless you need to make the data unrecoverable it seems unnecessary and time consuming.

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