Restore laptop back to factory specs.....

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hruiz14

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My friend asked me to fix his laptop since all he knows how to do is go online. I took it home with me and took a look and the thing has so much spyware and adware in it that it takes nearly 5 min just to start up. So when i finally got to windows I looked around and he doesn't really have any programs or files that I can't replace or re-install. So what I want to do is restore the laptop back to how it was out of the box. Only problem is he has no recovery disk. It is an Averatec laptop, an older one, and wanted to know if there was a way to do this without the recovery disk? I called averatec and they wanted $20 for the disk and it will take 7-10 days to get it. I was kinda hoping to do this this weekend. Thanks in advance.
 

cwwozniak

Chuck
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See if there is a PDF file on the laptop for the User Guide/Manual. If so, it may have information on recovery options if the computer did not come with recovery discs.

If the computer did come with recovery discs and your friend no longer has them, then somebody may end up $20 poorer and have to wait for the replacements.

EDIT: I found some information that was for an Averatec AV1020 and it may or may not work for other models. It said that pressing the F4 key on power up should access a hidden partition on the hard drive that has the recovery program.
 

hruiz14

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cwwozniak said:
See if there is a PDF file on the laptop for the User Guide/Manual. If so, it may have information on recovery options if the computer did not come with recovery discs.

If the computer did come with recovery discs and your friend no longer has them, then somebody may end up $20 poorer and have to wait for the replacements.

Yea thats what I told him. I'm at work right now so i'll check when I get home about that PDF file, but the laptop is 2 or 3 years old so it might not have it.

I was looking into Norton Ghost but there was a few problems with that. 1. I would want it for me so I can't install it on his and my comp. and 2 I don't know how it would work on making a recovery file if the laptop is already messed up. I'll just have to wait and see what happens when i get home.

Thanks for the reply.
 
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Norton Ghost is a wonderful Program. IF you already have it installed.it's more of a preventitive than a fixer. OR you can run it on his and try to fix it. if it doesn't work you can always put the computer back to the way it was prior to ou touching it. :)
 

hruiz14

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Drew7997 said:
Norton Ghost is a wonderful Program. IF you already have it installed.it's more of a preventitive than a fixer. OR you can run it on his and try to fix it. if it doesn't work you can always put the computer back to the way it was prior to ou touching it. :)
Yea thats what I was thinking, it might be too late to try Ghost on his. I just thought of something else though, The serial or CD-Key on the bottom of the laptop, is that for windows? I remember seeing one on there but dont' remember what it was for. If it is for windows, can i use any XP cd and just use that CD-Key on it? Or is that not going to work?
 

SUEOHIO

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the numbers you are asking about are they the windows product keys. a genuine windows product key has 25 letters and numbers in it. on the laptop does it have a c o a sticker anyware? a genuine windows xp etc will say microsoft and then give the product keys. does he still have the windows cd or was it preinstalled with the computer? no you cant just use any old windows cd to restore it you either have to use what came in the computer, or buy a new copy of whatever windows you have now. if you cant find the product keys use a handy item called magic jelly bean. download and install it and it will tell you the 25 number key you already have. i hope this has been of some help to you.
 
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I have found that quite often when a computer takes that long to boot, Windows has stepped down the transfer rate of the hard drive from DMA mode to PIO mode, check in Device Manager, IDE ATA/ATAPI controller, Primary IDE Channel, Advanced properties and check the current transfer mode. If it is PIO mode then uninstall it then restart your laptop and it will be back in DMA mode. If you choose to re-install Windows, you should be able to use a borrowed CD and the CD key on the COA that is on your computer. You may have to call Microsoft when you activate it though.
 
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pishbloom2 said:
the numbers you are asking about are they the windows product keys. a genuine windows product key has 25 letters and numbers in it. on the laptop does it have a c o a sticker anyware? a genuine windows xp etc will say microsoft and then give the product keys. does he still have the windows cd or was it preinstalled with the computer? no you cant just use any old windows cd to restore it you either have to use what came in the computer, or buy a new copy of whatever windows you have now. if you cant find the product keys use a handy item called magic jelly bean. download and install it and it will tell you the 25 number key you already have. i hope this has been of some help to you.
pishbloom, magical Jelly beans probably won't work on an oem because the mfgr has a master code that will show up. The coa on the laptop will only work if you have the exact same copy of Windows...
 

SUEOHIO

SUE
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thats possible. however if he doesnt have an actual windows cd the magical jelly bean will at least tell him the product key. but if he has to make a clean reinstall or a repair without any cd he will have to buy another copy of windows and put in the new product key and then reactivate it. i dont know if using a borrowed cd and then using your product key is a good idea. you could probably call microsoft though and explain the situation i heard they may give you a new product key. its worth a try just to make sure everything is all legal so microsoft doesnt get snippy and pull the plug on your windows. :)
 
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It is perfectly legal to borrow a CD and use it to reinstall Windows using the CD key on the COA sticker on the pc. You are paying for the COA, not the physical media itself. I have done this many times on customer PC's using my own Window CD's.
 

SUEOHIO

SUE
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well i just learned something new. i was told you couldnt borrow one as it would cause all kinds of problems. i thought you paid for the coa and the disc. now i know.
 
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If you borrow one . . it must be a non-branded OEM version of the same Home or Pro. Non branded meaning it can't be a Dell . . HP . . ect . . You can use it to install and enter the Product Key on the bottom of the laptop
 
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