4 Methods: How to Format Windows 7 Laptop Step by Step?

Wanna format your Windows 7 laptop before selling it or for other reasons? This article will tell you how to format Windows 7 laptop with 4 different methods. Check them out and choose a proper one.


By Emily / Updated on October 9, 2023

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When need to format Windows 7 laptop?

Formatting Windows 7 laptop hard drive is the process of restoring a hard drive to a freshly formatted state. So if you want to give, donate or sell your laptop to someone else without sharing your data, you had better format Windows 7 laptop beforehand.

Besides, if your laptop is working slower and slower, you can also format the hard drive to enjoy much storage space as possible as the storage is available without any bugs or modified settings that could slow down your laptop. Also, when some stubborn viruses attack your Windows 7 laptop and you cannot remove these Trojan viruses, formatting the laptop is also an effective way to solve that. So knowing how to format Windows 7 laptop is quite important.

4 methods: format Windows 7 laptop effectively

Here, let’s take a look at how to format laptop with Windows 7 installed on. On the whole, there are 4 methods you can try.

Contents on the formatted hard drive are gone and cannot be recovered rapidly. So make sure you have backed up crucial files before starting to format your Windows 7 laptop. Since the entire laptop will be wiped, it is suggested to backup to external storage or perform cloud backup.

Method 1. Format Windows 7 laptop to factory settings via “Control Panel”

1. Click Start, then choose Control Panel. Click System and Security.

Windows7 System And Security

2. Select Backup and Restore displayed on the new page.

Windows7 Backup And Restore

3. In the Backup and Restore window, click on the Recover system settings or your computer.

Win7 Recover System Setting

4. Next, select Advanced recovery methods.

Win7 Advanced Recovery Methods

5. Now you’ll be provided with two options: Restore files from a system image backup and Return Your Computer to Factory Condition. Select the second option.

If your computer doesn’t have a recovery partition, then the factory reset option is not available and you’ll see the “Reinstall Windows (requires Windows installation disc)” option instead.

6. Now again you have two options: create a Back up now and Skip. If you want to make a backup, click the first one. Or you can click skip.

Win7 Backup Now

7. Click the Restart button to reboot your Windows 7 laptop and to start the factory reset process.

Then your laptop will shut down and restart after a while. After that you will receive a new notification asking you to select a keyboard input method. Click “Next”. Finally, you will be presented with three options again:

①Restore operation system to factory default.

②Restore operating systems and Retain user data (You still have the option to restore your data)


You just select Restore operation system to factory default. Then click Next and again Next and at last Ok.

Method 2. Format laptop Windows 7 with System Repair Disc

This method requires you to prepare a disc for creating a system repair disc.

1. Start your laptop and click Control Panel-> Backup and Restore-> Create a system repair disc.

2. Insert a blank CD into your laptop and click Create disc. Then select Close and OK.

Win7 Create Disc

3. Restart your PC, type F10 or F12 to enter the boot menu, select the CD as the first boot device. Click Enter and Next, then select your windows system.

4. Click Next and Command Prompt. Type command “format c: /fs:ntfs” and press on Enter to format C drive.

you are unable to format system partition (usually c: drive) after entering the operating system. So you need to do that in the WinPE environment.

Method 3. Format Windows 7 laptop with installation CD

If you have Windows 7 installation CD, you can follow the steps to format Windows 7 hard drive.

1. Insert the Windows installation CD into your laptop, and restart your computer.

2. Constantly press Delete to enter BIOS. Select Advanced BIOS Features and set the First Boot Device to CDROM. Click Y to save the exit the setup.

3. In the Windows Setup screen, press shift+F10 to open Command Prompt window.

4. Type “format c:/” in the window and enter Y to complete the formatting process.

Method 4. Format Windows 7 laptop with USB (Freeware)

If you don’t have Windows installation CD, you can make a bootable USB drive and format Windows 7 drive with USB. This can be done easily with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.  This is a free disk manager that has versatile features: clean junk files on the computer, extend C drive, migrate OS to SSD, recover lost data, and so on. You can free download it now and see how to format Windows 7 laptop without CD.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Part 1. Create a bootable USB drive

1.1. Insert an empty USB to your laptop. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. In the top toolbar, click “Tools” > “Make Bootable Media”.

Make Bootable Media

1.2. Choose USB drive and click “Proceed”.

Choose Usb Drive

1.3. Wait for the process to be finished.



The bootable USB drive contains the pre-installed AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

Part 2. Format Windows 7 drive with the bootable USB

2.1. Boot Windows 7 laptop from the bootable USB drive. Once login, you will be in the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Right-click the C drive and choose “Format Partition”.

Format C Drive

2.2. In this window, choose a file system and click “OK”.

Choose File System

2.3. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the pending operation.


This is how to format Windows 7 laptop with USB drive. Besides that, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can also delete system partition within Windows. Namely, you can remove data from Windows 7 drive without CD or USB. Just right-click the system drive, choose "Delete Partition".

Delete System Partition

Then select a deletion method. If you choose "Delete partition and wipe data on it", you can wipe the system drive and fill sectors with zero.

Delete Partition Quickly

Finally, back to the main interface, click "Apply" and "Proceed" to commit the pending operation.

If you want to wipe everything from the entire system disk (including C drive and other partitions), you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Its "Wipe Hard Drive" feature is able to wipe system disk within Windows, not requiring any bootable media, either.

Wipe System Disk


In this post, we have introduced how to format Windows 7 laptop with 4 different methods. No matter whether you have installation CD or not, you can find a way to wipe all data on Windows 7 laptop before selling or donating it to others.

If your Windows 7 drive is an SSD drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can also help you to securely erase SSD without damaging its lifespan and performance. If you are planning to wipe Windows Server, please go for AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Emily · Staff Editor
Emily is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; she has a great passion for providing easy solutions for people to tackle with all disk or partition management problems. In addition to writing articles about disk/partition management, she also edits great tutorials on how to back up and restore disk for data security. In her spare time, she loves to learn computer skill to improve herself or stay with her family to enjoy a good day.