I'm trying to do a factory reset on my Dell laptop. I didn't receive a CD when I bought it so I tried doing it through the BIOS. I hit F8 repeatedly and got to the repair your computer screen. I selected that option and then it shows a screen that says Windows loading files. Unfortunately, after that it just freezes once the loading bar is full. Then after maybe 10 minutes it goes to resuming Windows normally (I assume a time out of some sort). Is there another way to do a factory reset? Like I said I don't have the CD because it didn't come with it. Or maybe I'm doing something wrong? Thanks
Dell does not ship any factory recovery discs for systems. There is a ‘Dell DataSafe Local Backup’ application installed in the system wherein you could create recovery discs.Please follow the steps below to restore the computer to factory state.
If the above steps are not working and your system is booting into the operating system then follow the steps in the link given below to create a factory recovery discs and use the discs to restore the computer to factory state.
If the computer is not booting into the operating system then I am afraid you will have to perform manual operating system reinstallation from the operating system discs.
Please let me know if this helps.
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My system recovery tools simply will not load. Every time I do the F8 and click repair, the computer boots to normal windows.
Is there another way?
If you have not yet done so, run an extended hard drive diagnostic (F12 at powerup). It sounds like a faulty hard drive is a strong possibility.
Ran complete tests and they all came back normal. The HDD is not the issue. Any other thoughts on why I cannot access the recovery tools?
I am having a problem restoring a 5110 laptop for a client of mine also. The laptop has been blue screening everyday at a more and more frequent rate and it is driving my client insane since she needs it for work. After a full battery of tests including memory scans, anti-virus/malware scans, and other general hardware/software checks and updates I was at my wits end and just backed up her data and prepared to do a system restore per the instructions in the user manual. Unlike some other people in this thread, I did get to the menu of diagnostic/recovery options (one tip here is that the "Loading Windows Files" screen seems to stay up for an extended period of time with no hdd activity before continuing to load the recovery environment which might make some people assume it is locked up or stalled). The problem for me is that when I choose the option to reload the factory image I get a message informing me that there is not image to restore from on the hard drive and to choose another location where it might be. Well...there is no other location and the only media shipped with the laptop was a drivers and utilities disc. I know the recovery was not removed from the unit after being shipped from the factory since I set the laptop up for the client when it was taken out of the shipping box and she lacks the knowledge to do so herself even if she wanted to for some reason. So I can only assume the recovery partition/image was not properly installed from the factory.
Sadly, Dell tech support is not what it used to be apparently as evidenced by a call I placed to Dell support. Of course the person that answered my call was from India, which is not what I have an issue with since I was able to understand her fairly easily, but that she seemed to have only the slightest connection with Dell and only seemed to want to sell me other products. When I asked about my recovery partition issue she asked why I wanted to use it and I informed her of the blue screening issues and immediately told me I had a virus (without doing any troubleshooting, this was literally within 20 seconds into the conversation) and tried to sell me a year subscription to System Mechanic for $109. When I informed her that I was a tech and there was no virus and that I just wanted to clear up why there was apparently no factory recovery image she went into another sales pitch for a one time service fee of something like $129 during which a factory image would be created....to me, something is smelling fishy here. This is NOT the Dell service and support I have come to know and trust and has made me recommend Dell products on several occasions over the years. If I was not so sure that I dialed the customer support number from the Dell web site myself I would have sworn I had been connected with one of the "Internet Tech Support" virus calls people have been getting in the USA.
I have to get this clients laptop fully functioning with no constant blue screens and I feel very responsible since I suggested the Dell laptop and helped her pick it out but that is made so much more difficult without a reliable factory recovery method and I take little comfort in finding that others are having issues with this on the exact same laptop my client has.
Any help on this issue would be greatly appreciated.
You might be able to make recovery disks if the client hasn't already. These, once done, should allow a recovery access to the tools.
PS: My recovery disk won't load windows.exe so it is pretty useless.
Try a different DVD drive - external if you don't have another internal.
No luck. At this point, I am out of options.
Can you get the system to start up from a standard Windows install DVD?
No luck. At this point, I am out of options.
Not quite you aren't! I know I myself find the dell recovery options to most of the time not work and be useless as well! I ran into this issue as well, and plan on solving it in the near future.
By creating a way to clone your valid copy of windows (just the OS [no other files / data on your hd]) which would work sort of like a windows installer disc, but would allow you to reinstall your OS onto your same computer at least (possibly new / other computers as well) as many times as you want without it 'counting' as a re-install... (where windows will start wanting you to buy a new product key after a few installations)
Until I figure that out though... Here's what you can do...
Go to control panel -> system and security -> system...
Write down your product key (it also may be on a sticker on the bottom of your pc ,in which case I would still write it down)
Take note of your exact version of windows...
Now here's the tricky part... Find a factory untouched(not modified by a 3rd party) Windows installer disc ISO for your exact version of windows. Try TPB ;) (don't be scared [and look for the purple / aim for a purple skull if its there and/or read comments])
1. Burn the ISO disc image file to disc (IMGBURN if unsure what to use) or make a bootable USB Windows Installer disc (search online many resources for that)
2. Backup all your files you want and boot from the USB or disc installer that you made!
3. Before installing delete all partitions and create new ones how you want and format them!
4. Proceed with clean install and use your valid product key when asked for it, you should be up and running in your second mark against your product key. (I think you get 3-4 uses) If you have used up all your uses usually microsoft will be nice and you can give them your old used up product key and they'll give you instructions and a new code you can use to activate it once more!
5. You're up and running in your environment once again, and with a fresh start! :)
Look forward to my software coming out! Unlike cloning your entire hard drive making it so you have to when you first freshly got the computer you would've had to make your clone backup then. (which most people forget to do or just are using their new computer so neglect to do it)
Instead it only clones the necessary system files to get you back up and running with the same product key already set up, not having to 'use' it again.
Steve, thanks so much for your help.
I did (most) of what you suggested. Here is what I did differently and it worked great.
1 - before starting I went to the Dell support page and discovered and downloaded the specific drivers for the wireless card (there were 5 drivers that my service tag identified: wireless, audio, video, bluetooth and one other...I burned them all to a DVD)
2 - I didn't bother partitioning and formatting because once I hit F12 and chose 'boot from CD/DVD" the new installation of Windows asks if you want to format 'C' drive...I said yes,
3 - When windows was installed, I installed the drivers and went onto Dell's support site. I chose what remaining 3rd party software I wanted from there. Using the Microsoft Office Key that came with the laptop, I Googled and found a place where Microsoft allowed me to download and install Office.
4 - Finally, rather than using the McAfee AV that came with the laptop originally, I downloaded and installed AVG Free, which is (IMO) the best free version of AV.
By taking what you recommended and adding these four steps, I now have a clean version of Windows, only the software I want and it boots and runs like a new computer.
Thanks again, Steve. I owe you!