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[ubuntu] help with reinstallation of ubuntu 12.04

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http://ubuntuforums.org – Hi Guys, I'm really happy with ubuntu 12.04 lts, except for the fact that mine is as slow as snail mail. My fault though as I haven't done a clean install since I wiped the dreaded windows off my Acer Aspire 1 some years ago, and since then I've only ever done upgrades. My question to you is how do I do a clean install ? I have an external dvd burner which works through the usb, and I know hot to direct the computer to boot from it. However, what I don't know how to do is format the hard drive and wipe the memory boot record ? So that the computer is bare ready for a new clean install !! Any (Hardware)