How to Reboot a Dell PC to Factory Condition Without the Restore CD

Most computer manufacturers include a custom recovery system on a hidden partition of the computer. This means if anything should happen to your computer, and you do not have your system restore CDs, you can restore your computer to its factory condition using this hidden partition. Given that most people do not know about this partition, it is important to understand how to boot into the recovery system if you want to restore your Dell computer to its factory condition.

Computer with flat screen and mouse
credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Instructions

Step

Turn your computer off by selecting the shut down icon in your start menu.

Step

Disconnect everything from your computer except the keyboard, mouse and monitor. All printers, USB drives, web cams and other devices should be disconnected, as they can interfere with the system recovery.

Step

Turn your computer back on.

Step

Press the Ctrl and F11 keys on your keyboard as soon you see the Dell logo appear on the screen. If your machine continues to boot into Windows, you did not press the buttons in time. Restart your computer again and press Ctrl and F11 as soon as the computer starts up.

Step

Press the “Restore” button when the “Dell PC Restore by Symantec” window appears on the screen.

Step

Click the “Confirm” button when you are warned that all data on your computer will be lost.

Step

Wait approximately 10 minutes for the system restore to complete.

Step

Click the “Finish” button when the restoration process has completed to restart your computer into a fresh, factory-condition installation of Windows.