4 Ways To Factory Reset Your Windows Computer

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Today we have a great little article for you;
4 Ways To Factory Reset Your Windows Computer

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A Dan Thompson contribution

4 Ways To Factory Reset Your Windows Computer

4
Ways To Factory Reset Your Windows Computer

4 Ways To Factory Reset Your Windows Computer

A reset to factory conditions is the quickest and easiest way to return to
normal, whether your system has been running slow or caught a virus. Not
only does it get your computer clean, but it will also run at optimal
performance. Here are four different ways you can reset your Windows
computer.

1. Use the Recovery Partition

Modern computers come with the operating system pre-installed and a
recovery partition to restore it.

A partition is a portion of the hard drive that is sectioned off.
Primarily, they’re used to limit the amount of space that can be used for
certain data. For example, a hard drive could have several partitions: a
recovery partition which contains all the recovery setup files necessary for
a clean refresh of the operating system, a partition for the operating
system and all installed programs, and a partition for all extra data.

Starting a recovery via the recovery partition usually means that you have
to press one of the “F” keys (such as F1-F12) the moment after you hit the
power button. These should be:

Acer – Alt + F10

Asus – F9

Dell/Alienware – F8

HP – F11

Lenovo – F11

MSI – F3

Samsung – F4

Sony – F10

Toshiba – 0 (not numpad) while turning on, release key when Toshiba logo
appears

Doing so tells the BIOS (the basic firmware that runs primitive functions )
that you’d like to run the recovery setup rather than load your Windows
installation. Then, simply follow the on-screen instructions to complete
the recovery – it should be very similar to a full-screen installation of
any other program.

Once the recovery installer has completed, your computer will be in the
exact same state as it was when you turned it on for the first time. This
may also include all of the bloatware that came with it.

2. Use Recovery Discs

If your computer doesn’t have a recovery partition, but it did come with the
operating system pre-installed, it should have come with recovery discs.
These are CDs or DVDs that contain all of the recovery setup data that would
normally be stored in a recovery partition.

In other words, the experience with the recovery discs should be exactly the
same as it is with a recovery partition. The only difference is that you
have to boot off of the discs rather than a recovery partition.

Christian wrote up a general

guide to creating a Windows 8 Recovery Disc, including how to save it to a
USB flash drive found at the URL below.

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-create-a-windows-8-recovery-disk/

3. Some manufacturers also include utilities that allow you to burn your
own recovery discs, offering you another location for the recovery data. Or
you could delete the recovery partition so you can use more of your hard
drive for your stuff. Recovery partitions tend to be in the 20GB vicinity,
so you’re gaining quite a bit of extra space.

Note that by deleting the recovery partition, you won’t be able to use the
“boot by pressing an F key” method of starting the recovery; you’ll be
forced to use the discs that you burned yourself from then on. Be careful
not to scratch them!

4. “Refresh” or “Reset” Windows 8

If you use Windows 8 or later, you’re in luck. Microsoft implemented its own
functions for
“refreshing” and “resetting” your computer, which make a
factory reset quicker and easier. These options allow you to reset your
computer based on what you want.

“Refreshing” means that you get to keep your personal data as well as
installed Metro apps, but it’ll delete all other applications.

“Resetting,” which Windows called “Remove everything and reinstall Windows,”
means that you lose everything, including your Metro apps, personal data,
and other applications and return to a fresh copy of Windows. In other
words, there’s no need to completely reinstall Windows 8 if there are any
issues.

“Resetting” your computer is also a great way to prepare it for sale to
another person, so that Windows remains installed, but all of your personal
files and programs are erased.

To access these settings, open the Settings charm from the right sidebar,
and then choose the Change PC settings option at the bottom. Select the
General category, and then choose the Get Started button under your option
of choice.

You can even access these options in case your computer fails to boot
Windows properly.

Reinstall Windows From Scratch

If your computer didn’t come with any recovery data at all, then you’ll have
to reset your computer the old fashioned way: by installing vanilla Windows
and finding all necessary drivers. This method is certainly more tedious,
but it gives you more control over the reset process.

For this method, you’ll need your
Windows license key and

installation media.

Once complete, you’ll also be free of any bloatware that may have plagued
your computer in the past.

Be aware that if you choose this method although you have a recovery
partition on your system, you need to be cautious when choosing which
partition to install Windows to. It may try to use the entire hard drive and
thereby wipe out your recovery partition (if you have one). You can
consciously accept this fact and continue, but you may also want to keep it
just in case.

Final Thoughts

With all these options to factory reset your computer, you will hopefully
find one that applies to your computer if the need arises. If you’re unsure
whether you can take advantage of recovery partitions or discs, check with
your computer’s manufacturer as they should have documentation available.
You might also be able to purchase recovery media directly from the
manufacturer.

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