Re: Formatting prior to installing
Since you do not care about the data on the drive, just let Windows 7 DVD clear out the all the partitions on the drive for you. This step will happen when you go to install/setup the new fresh Win 7 installation. It will then format and partition your drive for you, but if you do not remove the old partitions, then you will:
1.) Have much less disk space to work with and install your new os and programs
2.) Disk parameters from the old partition will remain, and the disk is likely to remain as a dynamic disk.
Removing all old partitions will set up your drive as a new one, and Win 7 will default to a basic drive setup when it formats and partitions your drive unless you tell it to do a dynamic setup.
Understanding the difference between basic and dynamic disks here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/understand-the-differences-between-basic-disks-and-dynamic-disks/5797060
Note that the author states that there is a catch: You can convert a basic volume to dynamic, but you cannot change or go back to a basic volume without erasing all data on the volume first.