How to Reboot a Computer to Make It Like New

By Isaiah David

Over time, Windows operating systems become more unstable, run more and more slowly, and develop more bugs. If you want to make everything work like it did when your computer was brand new, you may need to reboot Windows. To do this, you will need to back up everything by hand and individually install all of the programs you use.

Step 1

Gather all of the installation CDs that came with your computer. You should have a Windows boot disk, driver disks and perhaps a Microsoft Office or WordPerfect disk as well.

Step 2

Make a list of any other programs you use on your computer. If they are commercial programs that you bought, find the installation disks and any software keys. If they are free programs, you will probably be able to download them from the Internet again once you have reinstalled.

Step 3

Back up all media files. Copy all of your music, word processing files, pictures, movies and anything else you want to keep onto a backup drive. Portable external hard drives are good for this purpose.

Step 4

Turn off your computer. Turn it back on with the Windows boot disk in. When it asks if you want to reinstall Windows, click "Yes."

Step 5

Enter the software key when you are prompted to do so. The software key is a sequence of numbers and letters printed either on the CD case or the box the Windows software came in. You will not be able to reinstall without it.

Step 6

Restart your computer and reinstall all of your other programs.

Step 7

Copy all of your backup files back into your "My Documents" directory. Your computer should now be good as new.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are installing multiple programs, click "No" when the computer asks if you want to restart. Only restart the computer after you have reinstalled the last program. This will save a lot of time.
  • Make sure that you don't miss backing up anything. Whatever you forget to copy will be completely lost.