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How to restore your Windows 7 computer to factory settings

Article ID : 125843Date Published : 2009-08-29Journal ID : 64d8f890-9021-4731-9761-b3ea652e5ece

You may need to restore your computer to factory settings to fix some computer problems or crashes or to clear your personal information from the system. Follow these instructions to reset your computer.

WarningWarning: Restoring your computer to the factory settings will remove all files and programs except those it came with. You will lose all personal files, including photos, emails and programs, if you do not back up your files and data.

To restore your Windows 7 computer to factory settings

  1. Back up important files and data. If you do not back up your files, you will lose them.
  2. Turn off your computer.
  3. Disconnect everything but the monitor, keyboard and mouse. This includes your:
    • scanner
    • printer
    • modem or network cables
    • mobile phone and tablet
    • USB flash drive or other external hard drive
  4. If your laptop is docked, remove it from the docking station.
  5. When the Dell logo appears, press F8 several times to open the Advanced Boot Options menu.
    NoteNote: If the Advanced Boot Options menu doesn't open, wait for the Windows login prompt. Then restart the computer and try again.

  6. Use the Arrow keys to select Repair Your Computer and then press Enter.
  7. On the System Recovery Options menu, select a keyboard layout and click Next.
  8. To access the recovery options, log in as an administrator and click OK to open the Dell Factory Image Restore menu.
  9. Depending on your configuration, you may need to select Dell Factory Tools and then Dell Factory Image Restore.
  10. Click Next to open the Confirm Data Deletion menu.
  11. Select the Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition check box and click Next.
    NoteNote: The restore process begins and may take five or more minutes to complete. A message appears when the operating system and factory-installed applications have been restored to factory condition.

  12. After the restore operation is complete, click Finish to restart the computer.
  13. Restore any data or programs you want from back up files.

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