Inspiron 1501 AMD Vista Basic - System Restore withouth the Disks - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

Inspiron 1501 AMD Vista Basic - System Restore withouth the Disks


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Inspiron 1501 AMD Vista Basic - System Restore withouth the Disks

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Hello to all,

I got an Inspiron 1501 from my sister who got herself a better computer. Now, I want to restore the PC to factory settings and wipe out the HD completely because I am getting all kinds of annoying errors, the computer is pretty slow, and I really just want a fresh start. The problem is that I did not get the Recovery disks that come with the laptop initially. She said that there were none in the box. The laptop is only two years old and I have tried to use the separate partition for recovery but to no avail. I have read a few posts saying that when the "Blue Dell bar at the top" shows up to press CTRL + F11 and it should bring me to a menu for restoring/resintalling purposes. The thing is...I do not get said bar at the top of my screen when I reboot the PC, thus I cannot acces that menu. The screen goes black then goes to the main Dell logo, with the F2 and F12 set-up etc, but I never see the blue bar at the top. I pressed the CTRL + F11 command there and nothing worked.

I also read about pressing the F8 key, which would bring me to and "Advanced Booting Menu" and thus giving me the option to restore. Now, this key DOES work BUT when I select the option to "Repair My System" nothing happens and the computer continues to start up and eventually goes to the desktop. According to the support notes, the computer should access the built-in repair utility that asks me what I want to do and/or if I want to Format the HD. I never get to that screen. ANY help or support is greatly appreciated. I do not know what else to try. Thanks much in advance.


PS: I am also getting a werid message for the battery when the PC starts. IT says: "The battery cannot be identified. This system will be unable to charge this battery." I checked the battery and it's the one the laptop came with. Any thoughts? Thanks again!

All Replies
  • The restore under Vista is invoked with F8 before Windows loads.  Choose Repair My Computer and then restore.

    You've either a faulty battery or, if there's no other indictation of trouble with the battery, a faulty mainboard.


  • Hi, thanks for your reply. I tried the F8 thing and it does not work. It brings me to the Advanced Booting Menu, I see the option for restoring but when I select it and press Enter the computer just loads Vista and nothing happens. It does not get to the next page so I can start the restoring. :(

  • Check your local craigslist.Dell restore dvds are usually in large supply there.Winxp also works on the 1501.

  • Hi I am having the same problem, however I am unable to get into the advanced boot menu I am pressing f8 at the right time, however it will not go to the menu. Any suggestions?

  • Here are the steps I took:

    • Keep pressing F8 while the POST is going
    • Stop pressing when computer starts beeping
    • Start pressing again when beeping stops
    • Advanced boot menu pops up


    I just followed the instructions here:

    Article ID: 336966

    "Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings"


  • Okay as for the battery, it is dying.  I got my replacement for my inspiron 1501 from and have been satisfied ever since.  still working like a charm.

    As for the rest, I just read this:


    If you want it back to the way it was shipped do this no disk required

    Using Dell PC Restore by Symantec
    NOTICE: Using Dell PC Restore permanently deletes all data on the hard drive and removes any applications or
    drivers installed after you received your computer. If possible, back up the data before using PC Restore. Use PC
    Restore only if System Restore did not resolve your operating system problem.
    NOTE: Dell PC Restore by Symantec is not available in all countries or on all computers.
    Use Dell PC Restore by Symantec only as the last method to restore your operating system.
    PC Restore restores 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.
    To use PC Restore:
    1 Turn on the computer.
    During the boot process, a blue bar with appears at the top of the screen.
    2 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.
    3 On the next screen that appears, click Restore.
    4 On the next screen, click Confirm.
    The restore process takes approximately 6–10 minutes to complete.
    56 Troubleshooting Tools
    5 When prompted, click Finish to reboot the computer.
    NOTE: Do not manually shut down the computer. Click Finish and let the computer completely reboot.
    6 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.
    7 Click Next.
    The System Restore screen appears and the computer restarts.
    8 After the computer restarts, click OK.

    REMEMBER go to Microsoft Updates as all those downloaded since you got the mach will be GONE

    If you just want to restore to an earlier date

    Restoring the Computer to an Earlier Operating State
    If problems occur after you install a device driver, use Device Driver Rollback (see "Using Windows XP
    Device Driver Rollback" on page 52) to resolve the problem. If that is unsuccessful, then use System
    NOTICE: Before you restore the computer to an earlier operating state, save and close any open files and exit any
    open programs. Do not alter, open, or delete any files or programs until the system restoration is complete.
    1 Click the Start button, point to All Programs→ Accessories→ System Tools, and then click System
    2 Ensure that Restore my computer to an earlier time is selected and click Next.
    3 Click a calendar date to which you want to restore your computer.
    The Select a Restore Point screen provides a calendar that allows you to see and select restore points.
    All calendar dates with available restore points appear in boldface type.
    4 Select a restore point and click Next.
    If a calendar date has only one restore point, then that restore point is automatically selected. If two or
    more restore points are available, click the restore point that you prefer.
    5 Click Next.
    The Restoration Complete screen appears after System Restore finishes collecting data and then the
    computer restarts.
    6 After the computer restarts, click OK.
    To change the restore point, you can either repeat the steps using a different restore point, or you can

    Hope this helps


    I have a degree in electrical engineering 30 years field experience and have taught computers at several VA facilities."

    It seems legit.  Give it a whack.
    Good luck with it.
  • You can request backup dvds of your oem software below. However it will only be for the original owner. So you will need  your Sisters information and you will have to send it to her.


    Own: Dell Chromebook 11, Alienware M11xR2


    Forum Member since 2004

    "If your issue was resolved, please click  Yes ".


  • Yeah, my PC says the ame thing about the battery and is werrrrrrrryyyy slow.