Desktop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

System recovery to out of box state

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A friend has a Dell 435T running Vista 64 bit. Her kids and their friends have been using it and have things messed up on it. She asked me if I could make it so it was like when she first bought it. It shows the D recovery partition in computer. She has no idea where the disks that came with the computer are and she didn't make the recovery disks when she first got the computer. I did the f8-repair your computer etc etc. I get to a point that asks for a passoword. She said she has never had a password on it. She called her kids and they never put a password in there. I tried "administrator" which didn't work. What is the passsword it is asking for? The only other thing I guess would be for her to call Dell and buy a recovery disk.



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  • Hello Wayne,

    It seems like the image is still on the hard drive.  What you need to do is to reboot the machine and hit ctrl + F11 on the dell startup screen & it should take you into where you can reload the factory image or run test on the system.  Select the factory image & it will restore the system to when it came out of the box.  Now you will need to save all data that you don’t want erased as it will be deleted.

    Let us know how it goes

    DELL-Sam L
    Dell | Social Outreach Services - Enterprise
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  • You need to log in using an account having administrative privileges; the account used to log in to the computer normally should work.  I didn't realize it was possible to set up Vista without a password, but if she normally logs into her account by simply pressing "Return", perhaps that will also work with the F8 Repair process.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Thanks for the replys Dell-sam and Jack Shack. Thanks for the info. She is at work right now so I can't do anything until about 7:00PM pacific time. She just boots the computer and it comes up with the desktop and never asks for a password so I don't kow how she has things setup. The ctrl+f11 seems like the easiest way so will try that when she gets home. Thanks again to you both, I will let you know how it goes.


  • Got the computer back to the out of box condition. She liked the idea of a password and didn't know it could be done so we set her up as administrator and assigned a password. We went back through the f8 routine and when it asked for a password we entered the new password and it went right through. from there we just followed the prompts. One other question. Should we be able to make a set of recovery disks now that it's back to the original configuration? I could not find that feature anywhere.


  • Whether or not the computer is capable of making a set of restore disks depends on when the computer was purchased.  As of April, 2009, Dell was beginning to install Data Safe Local on their consumer products.  If you have that program available in the Start menu you can use that to make an image to DVD (assumes the computer is equipped with a DVD writable drive) or I believe you can also make an image to a 16 GB USB memory key.  If you don't see the program on the menu it will be necessary to find the paperwork for the computer to see if it is supposed to have it.

    Failing that I'm afraid you would need to purchase an imaging program to back up the system.

    EDIT:  Here is a Dell perspective of system restore:  Restoring Your Computer to Factory Settings.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Thanks JackShack. I had forgtten it was in the Data safe. I found it and made her a set of 2 DVD recovery disks. Thanks for that link. I printed it out and will keep it on hand. You have helped make a lady very happy and according to her the computer is running twice as fast as before.