Factory restore for dell inspiron 531S

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Thread Starter
Feb 10, 2010
My computer is very slow and is rented. I was wondering how I would go about doing a full factory system restore to its orginal factory settings and if I had to have the disc ( which i don't). If anyone can help that will be great. My husband says it has to have a disc but I read it doesn't........ :confused:


(Tired of computer being slow)
Oct 3, 2007
Factory restore on a Dell is never done using the CD/DVD, dell puts the factory restore (if your system has it) on a hidden partition on the hard drive.

Is is accessed (XP) by holding the Ctrl key down and tapping F11 at the dell splash screen at the beginning of startup.

Vista you would tap F8 several times.

Jan 15, 2009
Hi and welcome to TSG this is from the dell manual
Using Dell PC Restore

NOTICE: Using Dell PC Restore or Dell Factory Image Restore permanently deletes all data on the hard drive and removes any programs or drivers installed after you received your computer. If possible, back up the data before using these options. Use PC Restore or Dell Factory Image Restore only if System Restore did not resolve your operating system problem.
NOTE: Dell PC Restore by Symantec and Dell Factory Image Restore may not be available in certain countries or on certain computers.
Use Dell PC Restore (Windows XP) or Dell Factory Image Restore (Windows Vista) only as the last method to restore your operating system. These options restore your hard drive to the operating state it was in when you purchased the computer. Any programs or files added since you received your computer—including data files—are permanently deleted from the hard drive. Data files include documents, spreadsheets, e-mail messages, digital photos, music files, and so on. If possible, back up all data before using PC Restore and Dell Factory Image Restore.
Windows XP: Dell PC Restore

  1. Turn on the computer.
During the boot process, a blue bar with www.dell.com appears at the top of the screen.
  1. Immediately upon seeing the blue bar, press <Ctrl><F11>.
If you do not press <Ctrl><F11> in time, let the computer finish starting, and then restart the computer again.
NOTICE: If you do not want to proceed with PC Restore, click Reboot in the following step.
  1. <LI value=3>On the next screen that appears, click Restore.
  2. On the next screen, click Confirm.
The restore process takes approximately 6&#8211;10 minutes to complete.
  1. When prompted, click Finish to reboot the computer.
NOTE: Do not manually shut down the computer. Click Finish and let the computer completely reboot.
  1. When prompted, click Yes.
The computer restarts. Because the computer is restored to its original operating state, the screens that appear, such as the End User License Agreement, are the same ones that appeared the first time the computer was turned on.
  1. Click Next.
The System Restore screen appears and the computer restarts.
  1. After the computer restarts, click OK.
Windows Vista: Dell Factory Image Restore

  1. <LI value=1>Turn on the computer. When the Dell logo appears, press <F8> several times to access the Vista Advanced Boot Options Window.
  2. Select Repair Your Computer.
The System Recovery Options window appears.
  1. <LI value=3>Select a keyboard layout and click Next.

    <LI value=4>To access the recovery options, log on as a local user. To access the command prompt, type administrator in the User name field, then click OK.
  2. Click Dell Factory Image Restore.
NOTE: Depending upon your configuration, you may need to select Dell Factory Tools, then Dell Factory Image Restore.
The Dell Factory Image Restore welcome screen appears.
  1. Click Next.
The Confirm Data Deletion screen appears.
NOTICE: If you do not want to proceed with Factory Image Restore, click Cancel.
  1. Click the checkbox to confirm that you want to continue reformatting the hard drive and restoring the system software to the factory condition, then click Next.
The restore process begins and may take five or more minutes to complete.
A message appears when the operating system and factory-installed applications have been restored to factory condition.
  1. Click Finish to reboot the system.
Removing Dell PC Restore

NOTICE: Removing Dell PC Restore from the hard drive permanently deletes the PC Restore utility from your computer. After you have removed Dell PC Restore, you will not be able to use it to restore your computer's operating system.
Dell PC Restore enables you to restore your hard drive to the operating state it was in when you purchased your computer. It is recommended that you do not remove PC Restore from your computer, even to gain additional hard-drive space. If you remove PC Restore from the hard drive, you cannot ever recall it, and you will never be able to use PC Restore to return your computer's operating system to its original state.
To remove PC Restore:
  1. <LI value=1>Log on to the computer as a local administrator.

    <LI value=2>In Windows Explorer, go to c:\dell\utilities\DSR.
  2. Double-click the filename DSRIRRemv2.exe.
NOTE: If you do not log on as a local administrator, a message appears stating that you must log on as administrator. Click Quit, and then log on as a local administrator.
NOTE: If the partition for PC Restore does not exist on your computer's hard drive, a message appears stating that the partition was not found. Click Quit; there is no partition to delete.
  1. <LI value=4>Click OK to remove the PC Restore partition on the hard drive.
  2. Click Yes when a confirmation message appears.
The PC Restore partition is deleted and the newly available disk space is added to the free space allocation on the hard drive.
  1. <LI value=6>Right-click Local Disk (C) in Windows Explorer, click Properties, and verify that the additional disk space is available as indicated by the increased value for Free Space.

    <LI value=7>Click Finish to close the PC Restore Removal window.
  2. Restart the computer.
Using the Operating System CD

Before You Begin

If you are considering reinstalling the Windows operating system to correct a problem with a newly installed driver, first try using Windows Device Driver Rollback. (see Using Windows Device Driver Rollback). If Device Driver Rollback does not resolve the problem, then use System Restore to return your operating system to the operating state it was in before you installed the new device driver (see Using Microsoft Windows System Restore).
NOTICE: Before performing the installation, back up all data files on your primary hard drive. For conventional hard drive configurations, the primary hard drive is the first drive detected by the computer.
To reinstall Windows, you need the following items:
  • Dell&#8482; Operating System CD
  • Drivers and Utilities media
NOTE: The Drivers and Utilities media contains drivers that were installed during assembly of the computer. Use the Drivers and Utilities media to load any required drivers. Depending on the region from where you ordered your computer, or whether you requested the CDs or DVDs, the Drivers and Utilities media and Operating System CD may not ship with your system.
Reinstalling Windows XP or Windows Vista

The reinstallation process can take 1 to 2 hours to complete. After you reinstall the operating system, you must also reinstall the device drivers, virus protection program, and other software.
NOTICE: The Operating System CD provides options for reinstalling Windows Operating System. The options will overwrite files and possibly affect programs installed on your hard drive. Therefore, do not reinstall Windows unless a Dell technical support representative instructs you to do so.
NOTE: It is highly recommended that you attempt to perform a Windows Vista system restore first and then, if necessary, a Dell OS restore (to take it back to as-shipped condition), before attempting a complete OS reinstallation. Complete reinstallation of the operating system is a complex task.
  1. <LI value=1>Save and close any open files and exit any open programs.

    <LI value=2>Insert the Operating System CD. Click Exit if the Install Windows Vista message appears.
  2. Restart the computer. Press <F12> immediately after the DELL&#8482; logo appears.
If the operating system logo appears, wait until you see the Windows desktop, and then shut down the computer and try again.
NOTE: The next steps change the boot sequence for one time only. On the next start-up, the computer boots according to the devices specified in the system setup program.
  1. <LI value=4>When the boot device list appears, highlight CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive and press <Enter>.

    <LI value=5>Press any key to Boot from CD-ROM.
  2. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.


Thread Starter
Feb 10, 2010
Ty i am glad to hear that. now i can try to get the computer working properly and hopefully not have any more problems. If I do I'll be back on here LOL...


(tired of a slow computer) * prays and hopes it works*:)


Thread Starter
Feb 10, 2010
Ok I did that now the system won't even restart windows to go through the first process. Keeps turning its self off during the first time start up. what do I do now?? plse plse help need this computer badly to keep in touch with husband in iraq....


very confused
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