Restoring PC to Factory settings - I'm terrified!

  bristolgirl 17:26 18 Jan 2009

Happy New year o' helpful people!

I need to restore my PC to factory settings. There is just far too much rubbish on it.

Now, I'm terrified of doing this, mainly because I won't have a clue what I am doing.

Is there some easy step-by-step guide I could use? I also have Carbonite installed on my PC, which backs up all my documents.

Please help.

Many thanks!!

  sharpamat 17:38 18 Jan 2009

It does just what it says. anything that you have on your system put there by you is lost after this. That not only includes programs but e mails documents etc.

the process is simple but you need to save all of what you intend to keep to either a disc or a spare hard drive Just rember if it was not on a system when you took it home it wont be there after a restore and there will be no way to get it back

  iqs 17:42 18 Jan 2009

not sure if this helps? click here

It can be terrifying,but as long as you back up all your data first,and take your time it should be straight forward.

Depending if you have a recovery disc or original/OEM XP disc,the procedure is different .

With XP you can action a repair install,the recovery discs I have used offer a non destructive install,both in theory keeps all your data and apps in place.Or a clean install as it was when first purchased .

Read the link and see if it clarifies the procedure .

  bristolgirl 17:57 18 Jan 2009

Thank you for your answers! Much appreciated.

As I back everything up on Carbonite online, I am guessing that the 1st thing I need to do is get my internet back and restore everything I want back from Carbonite.

I'm not sure iqs, what recovery disc I have if any, I guess that I am going to have to have a route around to see what I can find. Thank you for the link though, I will have a good read.

Also, as I use googlemail for my emails, I am assuming that nothing will be lost there. Or am I wrong?

  DieSse 18:00 18 Jan 2009

"Also, as I use googlemail for my emails, I am assuming that nothing will be lost there."

You're correct.

  iqs 18:42 18 Jan 2009

Hope it all gos like clock work,but if you have any problems or questions just ask

  gazzaho 18:44 18 Jan 2009

Firstly determine if you have a genuine (physical) Windows disk or a restore disk, either supplied from the manufacturer or disk/disks you burned when you first switched on your computer. This will determine if you can do a format and re-installation of windows (with the physical disk) or if your only option is to do a factory restore.

If you have a physical windows disk and decide to re-format and re-install Windows be sure you have all the drivers you need for your hardware, I would also advise against connecting to the Internet (disconnect the Internet cable) until after re-installing Windows and installing a virus protection program.

If you only have the restore option available I would suggest visiting your computer manufacturers web site and search for information on restoring your particular computer model as there may be additional steps to take.

  woodchip 18:47 18 Jan 2009

I would suggest you first try Add Remove, and remove all the Programs that you do not need or use, this excludes XP updates though these could be re=downloaded. after removing you could use some Cleaners. This would be a lot less drastic than Reinstalling

  sharpamat 20:02 18 Jan 2009

I would follow woodchip and not restore to factory settings, if you intend to restore then recover from a back up you will as far as I am aware just put back on everthing you have just stated is the reason to RFS thus the restore would be a waste of time
I cannot speak for your mail server, as I have never used them but would presume that saved items inc address book are on your computer so dont be certain without checking the server first

If you have backed them up once you recover the back up you will still have it just as it is at present

  Graham John 20:14 18 Jan 2009

I recently did a DEll factory restore and was amazed how easy and quick it was, no more than half an hour. All the drivers were still there (unlike a windows reinstall) and I was back on line, with firewall, within a few minutes after that. I immediately put my anti-virus (Mcafee) then restored from Windows 'back-up and restore'.

The only stuff I lost was Outlook emails and addresses but this does not worry you with googlemail. Good luck. Graham

  bristolgirl 12:16 15 Feb 2009

I am really sorry for being so rude and not replying before, after all of your help. (Illness sometimes prevents me for long periods of time).

Anyway, I have found the Recovery CD-Rom, so I guess that is a good place to start. However, I am still looking for my XP Disc.

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