I have an old Dell Dimension 4700 with Windows XP on it. How can I reformat the hard drive so nothing can be recovered, then reinstall Windows XP from disc?
Unless you really need to wipe it that clean, I don't recommend doing it. If you still like to proceed, you can download the following software:
Keep in mind that it will take some time to format it vs a regular full format.
If you have the full install XP CD, you just need to insert it into your CD drive and you should see a prompt to press any key to continue (just hit any key on your keyboard when prompted). If it doesn't show the prompt or boot from the CD, you will need to change the boot sequence in the BIOS to do this. For a Dell, you should turn on the computer and tap F2 button repeatedly until it brings you to the BIOS/POST page. Use the + and - keys to change the order. You want the CD drive to be the first one on the list. Save the changes and restart the computer. It should detect the CD now.