removing partitions and formatting

i have a fairly old laptop that i would like to reformat. it has windows 98 already on it, and i was thinking about re-installing that on it, or perhaps trying out linux.

the hard drive has a partition that takes up about a gig of its 4 gig capacity, which has all of the drivers backed up on it. i want to get rid of that partition so i will have an extra gig to work with. i have formatted my desktop computer once before, but never have had any experience with partitions.

so how would i get rid of that partition and format the hard drive?

and if you want to know, here are the specs

When you install the operation system there is at early point a way to delete the partition and then the hd will be one. At the point in installation where you can select a hd to install to, at that point on screen somewhere.

edit added-> In xp you can do stuff to hardrives this way control panel -> administration -> then the icon with only computer. So if the hd is put to as secondary hd to other computer that has xp, then this would be one way to delete the partition. I have never opened a laptop case so i have now idea though if them are built a bit differently. Anyways this second way is perhaps just nonsense, making it more complex than it has to be but mentioning it anyways, its an option.

When you format you gernerally have a couple of options. format the whole drive removing all partitions or format single partitions (keep partition /size intact) /erase partitions (adding the space back to the main pool)

so booting from the install disk should allow me to do this?

yes. “Yes” is too short reply so gotto say something more:
If you decide to go with linux then i recommend finding out which software can be installed straight from repository. I mean, choose a linux version that you know you can get the software which you need.

If you got the brand and model of your hard drive (ie. maxtor, quantum, seagate, western digital, etc) you can download specific formatting tools from their sites. It will create a boot cd that will allow you to format in a matter of seconds and get rid of partitions. After that, you’ll be ready to install your OS.

Generally, I wouldn’t recommend partitioning a drive unless you know what you’re doing… But as long as you don’t mind losing what’s on the drive, you really can’t do any harm.

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thank you, you guys are a lot of help :slight_smile:

If you have a copy of Win98 or DOS (that’s bootable on your lil’ laptop) look for the FDISK utility. This will allow you to clean out all the partitions on your system and create a new full-sized one. There may be issues with the 4GB size, so you may google for an FDISK clone that can do a “better” job. Don’t use the format that comes with DOS/Win, tho. Leave the formatting up to the Linux installer. (In fact, its likely that you’d be better off using the FDISK-equivilent Linux app altogether… if your planning to go that direction.)