How to Do a Factory Restore Without the Disk

The factory restore disc is a critical component of your computer system, as it gives you the ability to start over when things go seriously awry. If you find yourself without a factory restore disc, either because it's been lost or your model didn't include one to begin with, there is a backup option for reinstalling the operating system. Each computer manufacturer has its own system restore option for recovering the factory settings without using the restore disc.

...
A few clicks is all that's needed to restore your computer.

Gateway

Step

Eject any discs currently in the Gateway computer's disc drives. Unplug any extraneous USB devices, such as external hard drives or printers. Remove your computer's Ethernet cable, if you use one.

Step

Open the Gateway's "Start" menu and navigate to "All Programs." Open the "System Recovery" folder and click the "Gateway System Recovery" icon.

Step

Click "Yes" and wait for the computer to automatically restart. Select the "Full System Restore (Destructive)" radio button and click "Next."

Step

Click "Yes" and "Restart." Wait for the system restore to finish running and reconnect any devices you removed earlier.

Alienware/Dell

Step

Remove any discs in the computer's disc drive. Turn off the computer and unplug all the peripheral components attached to the computer's ports, such as printers or network cables.

Step

Press the computer's power button and wait for the Alienware or Dell logo to load on the screen during the system boot sequence. Press the "F8" key repeatedly until the "Advanced Boot Options" menu loads on the screen.

Step

Tap the "Down Arrow" key to navigate to the "Repair Your Computer" option. Press "Enter." Scroll to "Dell Factory Image Recovery and DataSafe Options" and tap "Enter."

Step

Click "Next" at each prompt and click "Finish" to restore the computer to factory settings.

HP

Step

Disconnect any printers, scanners or USB devices attached to the computer and eject any discs in the optical drive. Click the HP's "Start" menu and select "All Programs."

Step

Open the "Recovery Manager" folder and click the "HP Recovery Manager" icon. Locate the "Need Help Immediately" heading at the left end of the window. Scroll down and click "System Recovery" and wait for the computer to restart.

Step

Click "System Recovery" when the recovery window loads on the screen. Click "Next" at each of the prompts to start the restore process. Click "Restart" to finish the process.