How to Restore a Laptop to Factory Settings

Restoring your laptop to factory settings can take up to an hour to perform, depending upon the type of laptop and operating system on your machine. Prior to performing a system recovery, you should remove any external peripherals, such as ExpressCards, PC Cards, and USB-connected printers and hard drives.

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Restore on a Dell

Step

Turn on the laptop. Press the "F8" key until the "Advanced Boot Options" screen appears.

Step

Select "Repair Your Computer" using the arrow keys. Press the "Enter" key.

Step

Choose your "Language," then "Next." Login with an administrator-level username and password. Click "OK."

Step

Select "Dell Factory Image Restore," then "Next." Tick the check box next to "Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition." Click "Next."

Step

Click on "Finish" after the computer has concluded the factory restoration.

Restore on an HP

Step

Insert the HP recovery disk. Restart the computer, and press the "F11" key.

Step

Press the "F" key to "reinstall factory settings." If your computer's operating system is damaged, you may only see "perform a full system recovery" as an option. In this case, press "R."

Step

Insert any disks if prompted by the restoration program. Otherwise, permit the computer to restart as needed.

Restore Via Disks (Generic)

Step

Insert the "Recovery Disk" or "System Recovery Disk." If you have more than one disk, make sure you insert "Disk 1" or "Part 1."

Step

Press any key to boot from CD if prompted to do so.

Step

Choose a "Full System Restore," "Restore Factory Settings," or another option worded similarly.

Step

Confirm that you want to perform the restoration. Press "Next," "Yes," or "OK," as needed.

Step

Press "Finish" or "Restart" when prompted by the computer.