How to Format HP Laptop in Windows 10 Securely [Two Ways Included]?

Intend to format hard drive for HP laptop like Pavilion in Windows 10/7 when it won’t reset to factory settings? Learn specific HP laptop format steps using CD or USB drive.


By Lucas / Updated on October 9, 2023

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In need of formatting hard drive in HP laptop

HP laptop earns a good reputation among its users all over the world, in which laptops like Pavilion G6, G4, and DV6 series are more popular. Why would some users still ask how to format HP laptop in Windows 10? In general, one of the following causes is the main factor that leading to the demand.

✐ HP laptop won’t reset to factory settings without The Recovery disc
After using an HP laptop for a long period of time, some users want to restore their laptop to factory setup to gain peak performance. The Recovery disc that was received from HP support can help perform Factory Reset. However, if you don't have The Recovery disc, let alone reinstall the original operating system.
✐ HP laptop won’t do a system restore
Some users try to reset computers to gain more storage on HP laptops or ensure smooth running. It can be achieved by repeatedly pressing the F11 key after powering on the computer until Recovery Manager opens. Choose System Restore and follow the wizard to complete. Nevertheless, the HP laptop fails to restore or even fails to restart in a few cases.

It is suggested to turn to the professional assistance of HP Support in those cases. However, formatting the hard drive in HP Pavilion is a possible solution as well. One can perform a system reinstallation after the system drive totally erased.

How to format HP laptop in Windows 10/8/7 securely?

Two ways are available below in reformatting hard drive of HP laptop. Turn to the first solution if you have a Windows installation disc in hand. Also, you can refer to the second one to learn how to format HP laptop in Windows 7 without CD, for instance. Let’s get to know them one by one.

Note: these two operations will cause data loss and system unbootable on HP laptop hard drive. Please backup important files to cloud storage or external drive in advance if necessary.

How to format HP laptop with installation disc?

In the first place, shut down your HP laptop and insert the installation disc.

1. Boot up your HP laptop from the installation disc. To do that, you may need to change boot order in BIOS.

2. Click Repair your computer in the screen of Install now after two “Next” clicks.

3. Press Shift + F10 to start command prompt.

4. Type diskpart and press Enter at the prompt, and then type following commands successively and press Enter after each input.

◆ list disk
◆ select disk n (where n is the disk number of the hard drive you want to format)
◆ clean
◆ exit

To format system drive only, input these commands instead:

◆ list disk
◆ select disk n (where n is the disk number of the hard drive you want to format)
◆ list partition
◆ select partition m (where m is the volume number of the system drive)
◆ format fs=ntfs quick
◆ exit

5. Wait for the process completes and shut down your computer.

Tips: you can install Windows operating system with the help of Windows installation disc immediately after formatting the drive, or overwrite the current operating system by installing new Windows OS directly.

It is quite helpful to format hard drive on HP laptop by using the installation disc. However, not all users have installation disc around. Also, some users may not familiar with command-line operations, which becomes a potential cause for unnecessary data loss. Fortunately, there is another easier way to secure erase HP laptop hard drive. Let’s take a closer look.

How to format HP laptop with USB drive?

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is free partition manager that helps you erase or format HP laptop thoroughly. It allows you to format partition or wipe hard drive in a graphical user interface. It also embeds the technology to secure erase SSD without hurting its lifespan. In addition, if you cannot boot up your laptop successfully, you can use the feature Make Bootable Media on a good condition PC and then do the formatting in WinPE mode. Take formatting HP laptop hard drive with a bootable USB drive for example.

1. Prepare a USB drive and plug it into your HP laptop. Insert it into a Windows-based good condition computer if your HP laptop cannot boot.

2. Free download, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard on that computer.

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

3. Click on ToolsMake Bootable Media in the left pane. Choose USB drive option in the next page and then click Proceed to start.

Make Bootable Media

Notice: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard will be pre-installed on the USB drive.

4. Shut down your HP laptop (or remove the USB drive from the computer) and then boot HP laptop from the USB drive. You may need to change boot order as covered before.

5. Once log in, you’ll see loaded AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Right-click the hard drive you want to format and select from the menu to execute.

  • Wipe Hard Drive: It will delete all partitions and erase all data on the selected hard drive.

Fill Sectors With Zero System

✍ Choose the first option to fill hard drive with zero, if you want to other three wiping methods, upgrade to Professional version.

✔ Fill sectors with random data: This method will write random data to all sectors on hard drive, making it harder for recovery software to find any meaningful data.
✔ DoD 5220,22-M: A software-based data sanitization method, can prevent all software based file recovery methods from recovering data from the hard drive. It is safer but takes a longer time.
✔ Gutmann: A software-based data sanitization method, can prevent all software based file recovery methods, and most hardware-based recovery method from retrieving information on the wiped hard drive. It is much more secure, but it takes a rather long time.

  • Delete All Partitions: You have two choices, delete all partitions only, or delete all partitions and wipe all data on the hard drive.

Choose First Option

6. Click Apply on the toolbar and then Proceed in the pop-up window to execute the changes. Then, shut down your laptop.

Tips: To format a certain partition like system drive only, please right-click the partition and select Format Partition from the menu. And then, specify partition label, file system and cluster size for that partition. Finally, click Apply and then Proceed to take effect.

After formatting hard drive on HP laptop, you may want to know how to clean install Windows 10 to hard drive. Above steps also apply to how to format HP laptop in Windows 11/8/8.1/7/XP/Vista.

Further reading: How to factory reset HP laptop without The Recovery disc?

Some users prefer a factory resetting to it make a quick and good fix for their HP laptop, but they don't have The Recovery disc. In HP computers, users can use Windows Settings to realize a factory reset. Here are detailed steps.

1. Type reset this pc in the Windows search box, then select Reset this PC.

2. Click Get started in the settings.

3. Select an option, Keep my files or Remove everything.

Keep my files

▶ If you want to keep your personal files, apps, and customizations, click Keep my files > Next > Reset.

Your computer will then re-install the operating system and restart. You’re done factory resetting your HP laptop.

▶ If you want to remove all your personal files, apps, and settings, click Remove everything, and go on with the following steps:

If you only want to remove everything from the drive where Windows is installed, click Only the drive where Windows is installed. Or If you want to recycle your PC and remove all files from it, click All drives.

Only Windows drive

If you only want to delete your files, click Just remove my files. Or if you want to clean the drive, click Remove files and clean the drive.

Just move my files

Click Reset, and wait for the reset process to complete, which will take a while.


In this post, there are two ways are discussed on how to format HP laptop in Windows 10 when your HP laptop doesn't have the Recovery disc to reset to factory settings or won’t do a system restore. No matter which method you choose, the final purpose is to build a fast and secure Windows environment on an HP laptop.

AOMEI Partition Assistant can help you with more easier operations. Besides the features we've mentioned in this post, if you upgrade to the Professional Edition, you can unlock more practical functions like disk clone, Recover Data, OS migration, App Mover, SSD Secure erase, etc.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.