How to Reset a Dell Latitude D520 to Factory Settings Without a Recovery CD

By Dustin Thornton

The Latitude D520 is a Windows XP-based laptop manufactured by Dell. If your computer has significant software problems such as viruses, adware or you simply wish to erase all information on the computer, you can do so using a PC restore. Normally you must have a recovery CD to perform a PC restore on computers, but most Dell models contain a PC Restore by Symantec recovery option that you can access and use to restore your computer to factory setting without a recovery CD.

Step 1

Disconnect any connected peripherals from your laptop. This includes USB drives, printers or external mice and keyboards. Connect the computer to only the charger and connect the charger to a wall outlet.

Step 2

Restart the computer if already turned on, or start the computer.

Step 3

Press the "Ctrl" key and "F11" key simultaneously on the keyboard when the Dell logo appears on the screen. The Dell PC Restore by Symantec window appears.

Step 4

Click the "Restore" option. A warning message appears.

Step 5

Click the "Confirm" option. Allow the computer to revert to factory settings. According to Dell, this process normally takes from eight to 10 minutes to complete; a progress bar appears showing the time until completion.

Step 6

Click "Finish" once the process completes. The computer will restart in the same state it was when you first purchased the laptop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Run the XP Files and Settings Transfer Wizard, if you wish to backup your documents, pictures, videos and music prior to running the recovery process.