Restore Dell Dimension to original factory settings

Software & Operating Systems

Software & Operating Systems
Microsoft, Linux, Productivity software, discussion

Restore Dell Dimension to original factory settings

  • Does anyone know of a quick way to do a simple restore to factory EVERYTHING on a Dell Dimension 3000? I want it like it was before I cracked the celophane tape on the Dell box the day it arrived to me. The machine works fine now, but I want to use it as an office computer and it has all of my kids junk accumulated on it over the last year. I read somewhere once before that this is possible, but I can't remember how and can't find it anywhere on the web. It was like a simple 2 step procedure - walk away and come back some time later and its all done! Anyone?
  • Epaxton,
     
    If your Dell was shipped on or after 7/14/2004, it has Dell PC Restore by Symantec.  The procedure to restore your 3000 to as shipped configuration is here:  http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/kb/en/document?dn=1090151
     
    Tony

  • Oops,
    Got to figure out what key combo causes post before I finish editing.  Was just going to add that Ctrl and F11 keys must be released simultaneously.  Little easier said than done.
    Tony

    Message Edited by tgsmith on 02-13-2006 11:07 PM

  • Wow! That is easy. To think what I went through last time when I deleted all partitions, reset partitions and then loaded all the drivers, etc, etc, etc. Why doesn't everyone have this feature. It is fantastic.
     
    Much appreciated!
  • Epaxton,

    You're welcome.

    Tony.

  • Hi, I think my computer is a Dell 2350 Dimension.  I got it in 2003, and I was thinking of restoring to Factory Settings.  My brother suggested also.

    I am having several weird problems with my computer.  I have to click Turn Off about 3 times before my computer slowly does so.  Instead of this, I have been turning it off from the Monitor or whatever you call it (I forgot!) where the DVD's CD's Floppy Disk goes because it's so ridiculous to wait.

    I had a problem with my Norton Program that it's already fixed, but I am telling this because it's part of the weird problems.  The problems were that it would turn-off by itself from time to time and the computer would warn me that it was turned off, and if I didn't turn it on, it'd expire.  I had to do this several times, until I thought something's not right.  It would just happen, but this is fixed now.  It was part of the whole weird computer problem.

    My e-mail Outlook program can't receive messages, so instead we have to go online to check our e-mails.

    I noticed recently that I don't have the icon on the botton computer toolbar where it had like a butterfly or Windows Icon to keep up to date with Windows.  I noticed recently that I used to have that before, and it's not there anymore.

    There are weird things, and it seems as if someone manipulated my computer.  I have checked with Norton, there's no problem.

    I also did a Self-Scan at dell.com and when through a few fixes except for the memory (they suggest I buy one), and it did not fix the problems with turning it off.

    Because of these weird problems, I am thinking restoring them might be the best option.  Will this lose all files such as Word Documents by using the System Restore Point?

    I am also very careful with this because in 2003,  months later, I had a problem where I couldn't get into the computer, and the person I talked to to fix this--instead of system restore (because I could not reach in to save my documents), guided me to rename the file in the computer in order to access my computer and still have my files I couldn't reach to save to do a restore point.  Things were well, until now--these weird and strange things are happening.  I am not sure of the day I did this, so I am not sure if going to the original factory setting wouldn't cause this problem again.

    Also because my computer memory is low, I'd rather not buy more memory.  It just doesn't seem suitable for us and our computer lifestyle if you know what I mean.  I'd rather go back to Factory Settings.  There are garbages that I am sure isn't necessary in the computer except for Word Documents which we can easily save on a disk.

    What do you simply suggest?  Factory setting or fix the problems?  I want it just like I bought it, and I know we'll have to save documents.  I am not sure if the System Restore is the right step or if I got to use other steps such as using the CD's or something else.
     
    Thanks!

    Message Edited by White_Dove on 02-14-2006 02:43 AM

    Message Edited by White_Dove on 02-14-2006 02:49 AM

  • White_Dove,

    Your computer is slow to shut down because it has low memory (and the way it sounds it's probably old and has a slow processor too). Shutting it off with the power button every time will cause damage to your operating system and any files that were being used when you shut it down. That's why you're having "weird problems".

    To fix the problems, I'd suggest you restore the original installation of windows (if possible) and afterwards stop using the power button to switch off. It's only a matter of time before your operating system will be unusable.
  • The thing is that these problems began before I started to shut down with the other button, so it did not began when I started to use that other button to shut off the computer.  We didn't use the other buttons when it would shut off normal unless the computer might have frozen and couldn't do anything else which wasn't common.  I knew that this is likely causing more damage, but it's incredibly ridiculous to wait.  We dread using the computer because of this.

    It is very likely from the low memory which I have gotten from scanning. I, honestly, don't want to buy more memory because it just doesn't seem necessary for what we use the computer for, so if I could restore it to Factory Settings would be better. The only thing we like to save are the word documents files.  We don't care to lose anything else as they are not necessary at all.

    Before I start, is there such thing as a difference between Restoring to Factory Settings and Factory Settings and such a thing as deleting everything and starting all over with the CD's installation?  Do you know what I mean?  Will RESTORING to Factory Settings delete Word Documents?

    I appreciate your help.



  • epaxton wrote:
    Wow! That is easy. To think what I went through last time when I deleted all partitions, reset partitions and then loaded all the drivers, etc, etc, etc. Why doesn't everyone have this feature. It is fantastic.
     
    Much appreciated!



    If by "last time" you mean on this computer, then by deleting the partitions you also deleted this functionality...

    With over 30,000 posts (through early 2007), Rickmktg hasn't bought a Dell computer since July 2005, but has bought two Lenovo laptops...   

    http://www.rickmktg.com/delltalk.htm

  • hi, yesterday i did the PC Restore on my Dell Dimension 3000. Everything seemed to work fine, and it said it was successful. I clicked finish and windows xp was booting up right after the restore and it stopped at a screen with a little blinking sort of underscore in the top left corner. After being stuck at this screen for hours, i decided to shut my computer off and restart it. Now when I start up the dell screen comes on, then the windows XP screen with the bar going across comes on. After that, the screen goes totally black and doesn't do anything. What do i do? No windows XP cd came with my computer, i have files saved to a disk such as my documents, but how do i fix my computer?
     
     
  • By 'last time' I meant on a different computer. Originally I bought 2 identical Dell 3000 for my kids. The first one I restored I did the complete partition-delete thing. The second computer I did the CTRL-F11 thing. First one took about 4 hours, the second one took 6 minutes, (and then another 40 minutes for updates, etc.). I wish I had the knowledge about the CTRL-F11 on the first one. What a mistake to delete everything. Hope this all helps others.
    BTW, can I image the drive, (including partitions), to a bigger 250GB drive and then do the CTRL-F11 to restore?
  • Epaxton,

    Can you image the drive (including partitions)?  Yes.  Can you then use the Ctrl-F11 to restore the system to an as-shipped state?  Ctrl-F11 will no longer work, but Ctrl-F11 functionality can be recreated.  Once imaged, you can use the PC Restore partition to manually restore the system to an as-shipped condition.  The procedures to (1) Recreate Ctrl-F11 functionality and (2) Manually restore the system are here:  http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/fixes.htm

    Print out instructions.  Download needed programs from above site.  Image the drive. Create necessary floppy disks.   Remove existing drive.  Connect imaged drive as primary drive and have at it.

    Note:  Some techs report that Acronis TrueImage 8 can do an image of a Dell hard drive without losing Ctrl-Fll functionality.

    Tony

    Message Edited by tgsmith on 02-16-2006 03:12 AM

  • Hello,

    If I remember correctly, the way to find out the RAM is by going to "My Computer," right-click, Properties, and it says 128 MB of RAM.  I probably do not have that much, which all along has been fine.  Some things in the computer is very much likely we don't use it or need it anyway, so doing a clean re-installation is right for my computer. Thanks for the link.

  • Thanks a lot. I use Acronis, but not sure what version. It seems to have worked everytime I have used it to do a complete image of a drive including all partitions and all the information in those partitions. It is the best image software I have ever used. This is not to say that it will do the partition and info that sits on the Dell drive with CRL-F11 functionality. I willl try it when I install the 250GB drive. I am wondering how the CTRL-F11 function will behave (after imaging to the 250GB) when it sees the large drive partition. My plan is to do the imaging first to retain the other smaller partitions and info contained therein, then recreate the large partition (that was on the 40GB) as drive C for all of the remainder of space. I don't want my Windows partition as the original 38GB (or what ever it was), and then have yet another partition, say D drive, for the remainder of space. I want all the remainder of space to be on C drive with Windows. Do you know what will happen? Or a better way, perhaps using Acronis or Partition Magic after the fact to just resize the partition?

    Also, a second question... Since I am so sold on the CTRL-F11 function, can I recreate the files contained in there after I have setup my computer with Windows Updates, Norton updates, Office loaded, etc, etc.? I woul like to use the functionality as a drive OS backup for myself. Not including data of course. This idea came to me because although the CTRL-F11 restore only took 6 minutes (fantastic!), I still spent the next hour doing all my updates. If I could incorporate all of these into the function, then it would save some time. The kids seem to mess everything up so fast, then I spend at least an evening every couple of weeks cleaning up and backing up their 3 computers. 6 minute restore sounds like it would take so little time that I could actually get on with having a life.

    Thanks.



  • epaxton wrote:

    Thanks a lot. I use Acronis, but not sure what version. It seems to have worked everytime I have used it to do a complete image of a drive including all partitions and all the information in those partitions. It is the best image software I have ever used. This is not to say that it will do the partition and info that sits on the Dell drive with CRL-F11 functionality. I willl try it when I install the 250GB drive. I am wondering how the CTRL-F11 function will behave (after imaging to the 250GB) when it sees the large drive partition. My plan is to do the imaging first to retain the other smaller partitions and info contained therein, then recreate the large partition (that was on the 40GB) as drive C for all of the remainder of space. I don't want my Windows partition as the original 38GB (or what ever it was), and then have yet another partition, say D drive, for the remainder of space. I want all the remainder of space to be on C drive with Windows. Do you know what will happen? Or a better way, perhaps using Acronis or Partition Magic after the fact to just resize the partition?

    Also, a second question... Since I am so sold on the CTRL-F11 function, can I recreate the files contained in there after I have setup my computer with Windows Updates, Norton updates, Office loaded, etc, etc.? I woul like to use the functionality as a drive OS backup for myself. Not including data of course. This idea came to me because although the CTRL-F11 restore only took 6 minutes (fantastic!), I still spent the next hour doing all my updates. If I could incorporate all of these into the function, then it would save some time. The kids seem to mess everything up so fast, then I spend at least an evening every couple of weeks cleaning up and backing up their 3 computers. 6 minute restore sounds like it would take so little time that I could actually get on with having a life.

    Thanks.

    Using the Advanced Forum Search on the bottom of this page, you can quite easily find the answer to this often asked question (your 2nd question).  While it can be done, most consider it a waste of time given that you already have and use Acronis.  Lots of work for little reward.  If you image their systems to a portable hard drive or via a home network, restoration is easy.

    Or, get them to stop doing what they are doing.  I've had two kids on computers for many, many years, and barely an issue.  Downloads are not permitted w/o checking with me, and usually they are Microsoft demo games.  File sharing never was and never will be permitted.

    With over 30,000 posts (through early 2007), Rickmktg hasn't bought a Dell computer since July 2005, but has bought two Lenovo laptops...   

    http://www.rickmktg.com/delltalk.htm