Rebooting a pc back to factory settings

  bear73 16:52 02 Jan 2011


Hoping someone can offer some advice. We would like to upgrade our OS from Vista to Windows 7 but before doing so I would dearly like to clean to pc of all the c**p it had accumalted over the past 4 years. I have numerous issues with Vista and want rid and would like to take the opportunity to take the pc back to basics and start again.

We have an external hard drive so backing up all essential data should be no problem. I just wanted peoples opinion on how easy it is to do, is it worth doing. I used to know someone who regularly cleared his pc of all junk and started again.

Any help, tips, step by step guides would be appreciated. I am a bit of a clean and tidy freak and it appeals to me to rid the pc of all rubbish before upgrading to Windows 7.


P.S I am a fairly competent pc user so with some guidelines should be ok. We are light users of the pc so its just photos, word/excel documents. backups of emails in Outlook etc.

  woodchip 17:00 02 Jan 2011

You should have created a Restore disc when you got the PC. To restore using the CD DVD you load the Disc and start PC tapping F11 as it starts this takes you to the Restore function. look out for F11 on the screen to press for Restore as it starts. F10 is for BIOS setup

  bremner 17:07 02 Jan 2011

What is the make and model of your computer.

Some manufacturers have an alternative to what woodchip has posted. They have the recovery data in a hidden partition on the computer and the machine can be returned to factory settings by pressing a function key. On Acers it is f10 for example.

  bear73 17:14 02 Jan 2011


I have a Dell Dimension C521. Just had a look through the discs that came with it and there doesn't seem to be a reboot to factory settings one/ There is one to reinstall the Vista OS and others containing various drivers for the Dell printer (that we don't use), the Dell Monitor and a a cd for reinstalling "Dell" Dimention Computer Software (contents Device Drivers and Diagnostics and Utilities).


  bear73 17:18 02 Jan 2011

Have also realised it would mean reinstalling all hardware such as our printer and wireless modem. I have all the original discs for these so that should be ok (although I recall setting up the Netgear router was a nightmare for my husband and he may not want to repeat that)!

Is there anything I would need to backup on to an external hard drive that isn't obvious? I would do all my personal files, videos and photos etc. I presumer I would need to save something from Microsoft Outlook so I can get back into all my personal and archived mail folders. Anything else?


  bremner 17:19 02 Jan 2011

click here this is the manual that shows you how to do a restore

  VoG II 17:56 02 Jan 2011

click here should help with Outlook.

  bear73 18:08 02 Jan 2011

Great thankd for all your replies. I may be brave enough to do this :-)

Hubby was wondering if current pc was ok to run Windows 7, it's a Dell Dimension C521 about 4 years old. AMD Athlon 64 x 2 Dual Core Processor, "2GB installed memory (926MB available), 4.11GB Virtual memory (2.94GB available).


  VoG II 18:11 02 Jan 2011

Check click here

  bear73 18:13 02 Jan 2011

Thanks VoG, just found that myself and am running it now :-)

  bear73 18:22 02 Jan 2011

Can someone please enlighten me on the difference between 32 bit and 64 bit systems? There were two seperate sets of results on the Windows 7 compatability test one for 32 and one for 64.


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