Does wiping my hard drive also wipe my operating systems?

Good morning.
Back in 2009 I purchased a dell laptop with XP. I upgraded it to 7home premium. Now being almost 9 years old there is almost no space at all left,even after using duplicate fingers and such. So I copied its entire contents to a external hard drive and am planning to wipe out everything thing with a drive wiper to clean it out and try to get it as close to factory reset as I can.(It's going to be used more as a word processor for my writing). Will this process also wipe my operating system too? Will I have to reinstall windows 7 ,though I used an upgrade disk, leaving me with no windows 7 disks? Or should I just wait and try to install the new windows 10? Sheesh! I do ask alit, don't I? Lol.... Any and all help would be appreciated. Thanks


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
On a Dell laptop you should have the facility to boot into a recovery system which will restore the laptop to factory settings. This means it will wipe all data and updates, setting it back to the state in which you bought it. You could then reinstall the Windows 7 upgrade. Dell recovery boot is commonly achieved by pressing control/F11 keys during startup.


Senior Member
Sounds like what you need is to install a larger hard drive. Other than being low on disk space is the system running OK? If the system is running OK, then you could buy a larger hard drive and clone the current hard drive to it. This will allow you to increase the disk space without losing anything. Cloning is similar to copying everything to an external drive like you said you have done already but actually creates an exact copy of the disk. The original drive can then be removed and replaced with the clone.

If you don't feel you have the skill to do this, you should be able to find a local shop that could do it for you.

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