The Eee PC series is a highly customizable series of personal computing netbooks produced by Asus since 2007. Designed for students and personal use consumers, the Eee PC ships with either a custom-developed Xandros operating system (a version of Linux) or the more familiar Windows XP. Asus designed the series with the knowledge that many of its users would be new to a Linux environment, and provided a fail-safe method of reverting the computer back to its original factory settings in case anything ever went wrong. Windows XP users also have the option of resetting their Eee PCs, though the method differs significantly.
Restoring factory settings in Linux
Back up all your data onto an SD card or other external media card. A factory reset of an Eee PC will erase any data, customizations or other files you've added since you got the computer, as it will effectively wipe the hard drive clean of any files except what it came with out of the box. Transfer all your photos, documents and other personal files onto a flash drive or media card before beginning the reset.
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Turn your computer off, and then turn it back on. A restart will not always work -- it must be completely turned off, then turned back on. As soon as the computer starts to power on, begin pressing the "F9" button repeatedly and in fairly rapid, though not necessarily rapid-fire, succession. Keep pressing "F9" until a bare-bones screen appears with three options. If the computer begins to boot and you don't see this screen, turn it back off and on again, and hit the "F9" repeatedly a little faster than the last time.
Choose the third option on the screen, which reads "Reset to factory settings," by pressing the "Down Arrow" key until this option is highlighted, then press "Enter." This will begin the process of reverting your computer to the original software and programming state in which you purchased it. Any and all customizations and personal files you have since installed on the computer will be deleted, so make sure that you've backed them all up prior to choosing this step. The computer will warn you about this danger and provide a prompt asking you if you really want to proceed with the reset. Type "yes" in lowercase letters and press the "Enter" key again, and the machine will begin resetting itself to its original factory settings. Once it's done, which will take a mere minute or two, press "Enter" to reboot the computer, and it'll be good as new.
Resetting with Windows XP
Backup all your data on a flash drive, SD card or some other external method. As with the Linux resetting procedure, restoring a Windows XP PC to its original factory settings will wipe out any files, programs and documents that did not come with the computer out of the box, so you must back up anything you'd like to keep. If you have Windows XP on your Eee PC, you have several options for restoring it back to its factory settings.
Most Eee PCs do not come with an internal optical drive. Attach an external DVD drive to one of the USB ports of the machine, and insert the Eee PC Support DVD that came with the computer into the drive. Reboot your computer with the DVD in the DVD drive. This will force the computer to boot from the DVD in the optical drive, which will automatically start the process of restoring the computer to its original configuration. Simply follow the instructions on screen, which, like its Linux counterpart, will involve pressing "Enter" and/or typing "yes" when prompted, though the process will take a little longer than with a Linux environment.
If your Windows machine has a recovery partition, it can be reset without a support DVD. Before any reset, disable the Boot Booster, an applet that helps the Eee boot faster in a Windows environment. Reboot the computer while pressing the "F2" key until the BIOS screen pops up, then use the arrow keys to navigate to the menu tab on the top labeled "Boot." Press "Enter," and navigate with the arrow keys to disable Boot Booster. Save this configuration by pressing the "F10" key.
Connect an external DVD or CD-ROM drive to an empty USB port on the computer, and insert the Windows XP installation disk into the drive. Reboot the computer, and it will automatically boot from the DVD drive. The screen will prompt you to press any key in order to boot from the Windows installation CD. Press any key to begin the process.
The boot process will give you three options. Select the option to set up a new installation of Windows XP by pressing the "Enter" key. At the Windows licensing agreement screen, press "F8" to proceed. At the next screen, you'll be given the option to do a fresh install or simply repair the current installation. Press the "R" key in order to repair the installation, which is more or less the same as re-installing the operating system. Follow the remaining onscreen instructions and enter your Genuine Windows product key when you're prompted to do so, then reboot the computer. Your Eee PC should reboot as though you have newly taken it out of the box.
Things You'll Need
Eee PC Support DVD (for Windows XP only)
Windows Installation CD (optional, for Windows XP only)
Genuine Windows product key (for Windows XP only)