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How to restore computer back to factory settings without resore disk....


erik_m_vos's Avatar
erik_m_vos erik_m_vos is offline
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18-Dec-2008, 07:42 PM #1
Red face How to restore computer back to factory settings without resore disk....
I have windows xp, and I can't even GET a restore disk anymore from compaq. XP isn't made anymore, and I like xp and don't really want to get a new computer.... .How do you restore your computer back to factory settings without actually having a restore disk. I just want to start over, fresh with like only windows on it.......
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18-Dec-2008, 08:00 PM #2
First ... See if you can still make your own recovery CDs.
Something like ....
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18-Dec-2008, 08:03 PM #3
Open My Computer to find out if you have a Restore Partition on your HDD.

It will show up as 2 HDD's. One will be the C: drive and the Restore partition will be probably D, if it's there.

Another way to tell if you have a Restore partition is at the boot logo, you will see an F key to press to enter the Recovery Partition. I believe Compaq uses F11 as the Key.
Get into the Restore partition and follow the prompts to wipe and restore the PC back to the original configuration.

You will lose everything you installed, so if you have any inportant data, copy it somewhere.
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18-Dec-2008, 08:55 PM #4
As long as you have YOUR key code, I'm pretty sure you can use any CD to re-install the OS (being the same version) then LEGALLY activate it with your key.
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18-Dec-2008, 11:38 PM #5
ok, I have a D drive which has recovery stuff in it. When I restart my computer, it always asks whether I wanna go to windows xp home edition, or microsoft windows recovery console.... so I chose the second... then it asks .... which windows installation would you like to log onto...
1. D:\ MiniNT
2. D:\ I386

When I choose any of those, it just takes me to THAT command prompt... what do I do from there? , or.... can I go into that D directory form MY COMPUTER and click on some file there that will do it? (sorry to sound like an idiot, I don't know a ton about computers)
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19-Dec-2008, 12:28 AM #6
That Recovery Console is just a command prompt where you can type only a certain set list of commands (quite a few actually) to fix certain issues, run a disk check, etc.

Someone may have installed the Recovery Console so it is always available as a bootup option........usually, it is not.

When you choose the Windows installation C:/windows

Press the number key corresponding to which is next to that line....1, 2, 3 etc.

Next, it will ask for the Administrator password, if none was ever set, try pressing the Enter key once, and yuo should then get the command line, with cursor ready for command inputs.

Just about anything you need to do to Windows you can find info on and help with here:

At the above page, there is good help with tutorial pictures step by steps, etc. that may help you.

Doing a System Recovery, or reinstalling more what you want to do.
Consider also a Repair install.....but, you do need the XP install media OR a way to start the Recovery app which, on some brands, has a less than full system recovery>>more like a Repair, where documents and files are not touched.

Only SOME computers, like SOME models of HPs, have a choice, some only will set things back to factory settings, so be warned before you attempt this, you must know what your machine can or cannot do and how it all works.

As was posted> PCs with the Restore partitions usually have a key to press at bootup, that starts the process. Or, you can run it right from normal Windows....restore just one application......Recover the whole computer.....and so on.

As was posted>>> Check to see if the Recovery disk creator utility is there and perhaps you can make a set of disks.

The Recovery DISKS usually only will allow full system recovery to factory specs.
Mung (computer term), the act of making several incremental changes to an item that combine to destroy it
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Last edited by Byteman; 19-Dec-2008 at 12:36 AM..
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19-Dec-2008, 03:01 AM #7
Only problem with that is, I don't have a CDW, just a CDR so I can't "write" disks.... (yeah, i know, it's old).... I'm working on getting a CDWR but Basically what I'm doing is wanting to just go back to nothing on the computer but windows.... there is too many years worth of crap that have been installed, uninstalled, etc. I just want to start over clean. I've copied all my files I want to save onto a zip drive and put those on my wifes laptop..... I just need to know step by step kinda what to do.....
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19-Dec-2008, 04:44 AM #8
If you get to the OS Selection menu, you've passed the PC Recovery (if it's still functional).
Depending on the model, you have to repeatedly tap F10 or F11 as soon as it's powered on.

You might be able to start it from within Windows. If you have the same Menu that Noyb shows in his attached picture, it's the 2nd one down from the one that is highlighted. HP PC System Recovery.


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19-Dec-2008, 01:16 PM #9

Go here and type in the model of your Compaq Presario and see if a recovery kit is available for purchase.

You need to remember that a recovery of your computer will revert it back to the same way it was when you purchased it, complete with the original outdated software and all the extra bloatware and trial/demo crap.

If you want a pristine fresh computer, you need to use an actual XP CD to format the hard drive and wipe out everything and then do a fresh install of XP.

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