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question re: removing all traces of Windows ME OS


I've a 3-year-old laptop, IBM iSeries ThinkPad with Celeron processor.  I'm considering completely removing all traces of anything Windows-related prior to installing Debian and open-source productivity software.  I'd like to see what the computing experience is like devoid of Microsoft products as much as possible.

While I'm not a complete novice (I've installed/upgraded Windows OS and various patches and updates in the past, edited my registry, screw around with files occasionally in DOS, etc.), I'm not an IT guy by any stretch of the imagination.  All of the Linux web sites I've seen assume users will leave their Windows OS on their hard drive rather than remove it completely, hence this email.  

What's the protocol for removing all traces of Windows ME?  How's about good old "format C:\?"  Whatever the protocol, once the OS is removed will the computer boot from the Debian CD and allow me to install it?    

Sorry to ask such a broad question.  If the answer is too involved to reply by email, can you suggest a web site?


Chris Moffa
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