How to Restore Dell Windows Vista to Factory Settings

By Techwalla Contributor

It can be frustrating when your Dell computer acts abnormal due to corrupted files. If you tried almost every trick to fix your Windows Vista operating system and it still does not behave properly, you can reset it to its factory settings. This should be a last resort, because you will lose every installation and every file you've stored.

Things You'll Need

  • Writable CD or memory stick

Step 1

Burn all of your important files to a CD or store them on a memory stick. You will lose each bit of information stored in your computer, including the programs, such as Microsoft Office.

Step 2

Unplug all the devices and drivers from your CPU -- except the keyboard and the mouse -- including your printer, camera and memory stick.

Step 3

Shut off the computer and then turn it on, or simply restart it.

Step 4

Press the "F8" key repeatedly as soon as you see the Dell logo. Do not stop until you see the Advanced Boot Options screen.

Step 5

Press the down arrow and choose "Repair your computer." Hit "Enter."

Step 6

Select the keyboard layout "US" from the drop-down menu and click "OK."

Step 7

Log into your account as an administrator. Type in your password. Click "OK."

Step 8

Click "Dell Factory Image Restore" at the bottom of the options.

Step 9

Click "Next" in the window that opens.

Step 10

Click to check the box next to "Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition" to confirm and click "Next." This will generate an operation that will take about 45 minutes to complete. Click "Finish" when the process is complete to restart your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • This operation will erase all the data that you had stored in your computer including any software that you had installed, such as MS Word.
  • Please consult dell customer service if this algorithm does not work for your computer. Unfortunately I am not a computer expert so i wont have answers to your individual problems.