How to Delete an Old Installation of Windows XP

By Mikhail Polenin

To delete a Windows installation, you must delete the partition where Windows was installed on your hard drive.
i hard drive macro image by Ray Kasprzak from

Although Windows XP cannot be deleted, you can format your hard drive using any Windows operating system disk and even reinstall Windows if you want. You can’t simply delete or uninstall Windows XP once you boot because your hard drive volume can’t be dismounted while the operating system runs. Because of this, you need an external source to fully get rid of Windows.

Put your Windows CD or DVD in your CD/DVD drive’s tray and restart your computer. If you didn’t turn on your computer, turn it on and quickly put the disk in.

Press a key on your keyboard when you get the prompt to press any key. Wait until the installer loads.

Press "Enter" to continue the setup when the installer welcomes you.

Press F8 when the Windows license comes on.

Select the drive with Windows installed and press “L” on your keyboard to delete its partition.

Press "Enter" or "Return" on your keyboard to install Windows on the partition you select. You can skip this step if you don’t want to install Windows on the partition again.


Back up all the crucial information on your hard drive before you begin this process. Deleting a partition clears out all the information you have on your hard drive volume.