Yes DoomUK it is really is. =) Generally in your BIOS your BOOT SEQUENCE is set to:
3: IDE-0 (your hard drive with the OS)
If you've never changed your boot sequence you should be fine. If not you might want to go into your BIOS.. (generally the button is DELETE you hit that when your computer is at POST just FIRST starting up.)
So anyway you want the CD-ROM drive to boot BEFORE your HD. Unplug the hard drive you're afraid of accidentally erasing though if you just follow procedure that could never happen =) but for safety and paranoai precautions just unplug the power and IDE cable.
Now.....with the note that in your boot sequence your CD-ROM drive is before your HARD DRIVE...lets begin a format =)
Pop in your WinXP CD when you first start up your computer after it does a little of its normal POST activities you should see text at the top of the screen that'll say 'Press any key to boot from cd.' and you gotta hit any key within like 3 seconds otherwise it'll skip the cd-rom and assume you DONT want to boot from that.
Now if you've booted from the CD you'll come to a blue screen and it'll say its loading a bunch of stuff at the bottom. Don't worry its just getting itself ready for installation. At this point I think it is you'll see one of those I AGREE TO THE TERMS things...make sure you look at what key is I AGREE usually F8 but ya gotta watch out for what key does what.
So after you hit I AGREE....you should see a little box that says C: with the size of your drive and underneath that there should say something to the effect of Partitioned Space. Above that you'll see some options like 'HIT R TO REPAIR AN EXISTING WINDOWS SETUP'...' HIT ENTER TO CREATE A WINDOWS SETUP' and the one you want is 'HIT D TO DELETE A PARTITION' I don't know if the keys like D are the EXACT ones to hit, but I'm just giving you the idea of the options you'll see. You'll want to DELETE A PARTITION...once you see that option. You will be deleting your C: Partition..this should be the one with your OS on it and none of your personal data...you need to have everything backed up WAY before you even get to this point. SO if you had anything on C: that you need...stop before you hit DELETE PARTITION cause thats instantaenous. It'll ask you what partition to delete and if you've unplugged that 2nd hard drive you should only see one under C: If you haven't unplugged that second then make sure you're looking under C: should be the very top one. After you've deleted the partition. You'll be back at the screen where it says REPAIR EXISTING blah blah blah and now you'll see an option that'll say CREATE A PARTITION....you'll want to select that option and select to create it on the C: Drive...it'll ask you to name it and even allocate it's size cause you can have multiple partitions but thats a whole other story....don't bother fiddling with any keys just hit CREATE PARTITION select to put it on C: and hit ENTER on the size it wants to create cause it'll be auto to make it the full size. Once you do the Create partition it'll look like it did somewhat before when you deleted the partition except it'll have nothing but free space! At this point you DO want to now hit 'SET UP A WINDOWS INSTALLATION' and it'll ask you what kind of format you want it in. select NTFS format and NOT I REPEAT DO NOT SELECT QUICK FORMAT... Select NTFS Format and then your computer will have to take like 30-45 mins to format the space. After that it'll reboot and when it reboots after formatting..when it asks you to press any key to boot from cd....DON"T DO IT...YOU NO LONGER NEED TO BOOT FROM CD....it'll boot from your IDE Hard drive, but this time its got installation files on it! From there its nothing but clicking NEXT and setting up personal preferences which is usually just setting the time =P. It'll take up to 2 hours to finally get it all formatted but yes. THIS DELETES EVERYTHING...your system will run smooth and brand new =) if you're confused in anyway just PM me and I'll try to do a little more of a walkthrough for ya. Good luck
Disk Cleanup an Defragmenter utilities freezing up
Do you think formatting would rid me of these problems? If not then I won't waste my time...
Yes it will....because those things work only on corrupted and misplaced files...since you're cleaning everything out and replacing it brand spanking new...they won't technically have a job to do...not until you start installing stuff and visiting all them porn sites you're hittin up ;P