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Windows 7: Most user-friendly way to return 64-bit system to factory settings

11 Oct 2012   #1
nealcall

w 7 home 64 bit
 
 
Most user-friendly way to return 64-bit system to factory settings

I run a refurbished Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium system on my Dell Inspiron 620 MT. Also, I'm not tech savvy, sorry for dumb questions. I've browsed forums, but can't always tell if my specific situation mimics other stuff I see.

I recently tried to install a couple legacy programs through compatibility mode that are causing some weird glitches and I'm also having a hard time removing them from my computer.

I have all my personal data backed up on a separate external hard drive, so I'm not particularly worried about my data.

I was going to try a system restore point prior to the glitchy program installations, but discovered that my system recovery was set to "off" instead of "on" for the system protection, and so hasn't been setting restore points since I bought the thing less than a year ago. It would have been nice to do a restore that would keep my personal data on the machine, but it's not that big of a deal.

So, as far as I can tell, my next option to get rid of these glitchy programs is to do a "clean install"? I'm not sure what media I should use, or what order to do things in, so maybe someone can give me some tips.

I don't have any physical media discs. I DO have a partition on my computer labelled "Recovery (D" with 7.12 G out of 13.6 G free.

Do I need to burn DVDs and recovery media? Do I need to contact the manufacturer for recovery discs? Is using the "Recovery (D" drive the same thing as doing a clean install? What is the easiest way to return my system to an earlier setup? Will all options require me to input the windows authentication code thing that's on a sticker on my desktop? Is that the only code I need?

Thanks for any help, and again, sorry for all the noob questions.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Oct 2012   #2
LittleJay

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

You could try downloading and installing a app called Total Uninstaller. It does a very good job of uninstalling unwanted programs. Although it is paid software you can try it out for 30 days, before having to purchase it.

http://www.martau.com/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #3
nealcall

w 7 home 64 bit
 
 

Little Jay, thanks for the tip. I'm gonna look into that.

But I'd also like to learn the best/easiest way to restore my system. I like the idea of being able to "start fresh."

Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Oct 2012   #4
LittleJay

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

OK then. Since I am not familiar with Dell computers and their recovery partitions, I will leave that to someone else to advise you on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Very simple - from the recovery partition. Here is the procedure:

Save all your important files.

Unplug all the devices and drivers from your CPU (except the keyboard and the mouse), including your printer, camera and memory stick.

Shut off the computer and then turn it on, or simply restart it.

As soon as you see the Dell logo at the start keep on hitting the F8 key repeatedly. Do not stop until you see the screen that says "Repair your computer." There will be other options too but chose this option and hit Enter.

Next you will see a prompt window giving you options to select the keyboard layout select from the drop-down menu "US" and click "OK."

On the next screen you will be asked to select the user ID and the password of your Windows account. Select your user account, but make sure your user account has administrative functions. Type in your password. If you don't have a password, leave it blank and click "OK."

Now you will come to a window with multiple options. Choose the one at the bottom that reads, "Dell Factory Image Restore." By clicking "Dell Factory Image Restore" , it will generate an operation that will take about 45 minutes to complete.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #6
nealcall

w 7 home 64 bit
 
 

Thanks whs! Now, is what you're suggesting the same thing as a "clean install"? Does it require the windows 7 authentication code thing?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #7
C-11

Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-bit
 
 

It will be restored back like it left the factory.
The OS and original programs that were on it. No product ID required.

Windows 7 PC Restore | Dell
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

C-11 is right. You get exactly the same as it came out of the box. It activates automatically.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #9
nealcall

w 7 home 64 bit
 
 

cool. Thanks C-11 and whs. You've answered the questions I really needed. Still curious, though, if there's a difference between this and what people call a "clean install", which I assume is another way of saying "re-installing" the OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #10
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Clean install usually means using the MS installation media - thereby not getting any crapware included.

What you are doing is restoring the factory image - it includes a ton of useless junk, probably.

Dell are better than the others usually, so you maybe fine - also, newer Dells have an option to restore just the o/s - without any junk at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Most user-friendly way to return 64-bit system to factory settings




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