I'm running Windows XP Home edition on my Acer laptop. The system is getting quite slow and cluttered and although I keep the hard drives clear of junk, remove adware etc. and defrag on a regular basis, I'd like to just clear everything from the PC and start again. Not only that, there seems to be a problem with windows meaning I can't download the updates, Microsoft have failed to find a solution to this despite endless correspondence. So my question is: How can I remove the operating system and everything on (basically, reformat the hard drives) so that I can install windows again plus all of my applications with a clean system? I can't get access to the DOS prompt unless I go Start>Run>cmd so I can't reformat that way! Plus, I don't have a windows CD as the laptop came with windows pre installed when I bought it. I have the product key of course but no install CD.
I hope this makes sense - basically I want to clear everything from the PC and start again, but I'm not sure which steps to take to do it, I don't want to render my system useless!