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Windows 7: How do I restore to factory defaults?

18 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7
 
 
How do I restore to factory defaults?

Hi, I'm having some major computer problems and I hope that there is someone here who can help me get it working again. The computer belongs to my mom and she said that she's been having problems for a while so I decided to take a look to see if I could help but it seems I've just made the problems worse so if you do have any suggestions please give me lots of detailed instructions so I don't mess up again! Thanks

Here is what the original problems were:

Windows Explorer was constantly crashing.
You could not get into anything! I tried connecting to the internet but I couldn't get to the network sharing centre because it would crash. I also tried getting into see pictures, videos, documents and music but it would do the same thing.
Error message came up on every reset that something else was no longer working (Sorry I didn't write down what it said and now I can't get back there).
Would not connect to the internet.
I tried connecting both wirelessly and through a wired connection to my internet modem and neither worked. I could not connect wirelessly because windows explorer would crash and when I connected with the ethernet cable it would recognize that it was plugged in but just said “Unidentified Network” and “No Internet Access”.

My original plan was to try to save my mother's personal files (pictures and such) and then restore the computer to factory defaults. Once I realized that I couldn't save her files I tried to do the restore but ended up with more problems. Here's the current situation:

If I reboot and do not press anything then I end up with a completely black screen with the white cursor in the middle. I can move the cursor around but there's nothing on the screen. When I press buttons on the keyboard nothing happens.
If I reboot and press F2 (Setup) it takes me to the setup utility. I have no idea what to do at this screen so I haven't done anything here so far.
If I push F12 (Boot Manager) then it takes me to another menu type screen and again I have no idea what to do here so I haven't changed anything.
If I push (and hold) Alt and F10 then I get a really annoying beeping sound and then “Windows is loading files” followed by a small loading bar and then a black screen with the cursor again.
If I tap the Alt and F10 then it takes me to “Edit Boot Options”. Once again, no idea what to do here and don't want to mess up even more by doing something wrong.

*** For a while I was also getting a black screen that said this: “File possibly corrupt. The file header checksum does not math the computed checksum.”***

Here's what I want to do: I would like to restore the computer to factory defaults in the hopes that it will work like new again. If at all possible I would like to save my mom's pictures and other personal files so that she doesn't lose them all but if she does lose them it would not be the end of the world.

I do not have any sort of recovery disks! All I have is the computer and then my own personal computer that I'm using to post this with. The computer that needs to be restored is an ACER Aspire 5732Z and it is running Windows 7 (although I'm not sure which version or what updates she installed).

If anyone can help me it would be greatly appreciated!!! I would like to get this fixed for her so that I can have my netbook back for school! Thanks in advance for your time


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jul 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, clean install, upgrade disc
 
 

For Acer this should return you to factory defaults. Your personal stuff will be gone as well as updates, etc
. Power on the machine
2. At the white ACER BIOS screen, hold the “Alt” key and press the “F10” key simultaneously to start Acer Recovery
3. Once eRecovery has loaded, click “Restore to Factory Default Settings”
4. Click “OK” to continue
5. From here, the eRecovery process will update all the information on the C: drive and restore a fully functional factory image (approximately 10 minutes).
6. Once eRecovery has run, press “OK” to reboot unit
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for your reply

I just tried what you suggested and no luck. When I start up the computer and push the Alt key and F10 together it just takes me back to the black screen with the cursor any other recommendations?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

If the machine came prebundled with the utility to create a full recovery disk that would be the first thought. That should be available for download at the Acer support site as well along with the instructions for creating a recovery disk set.

The other option you would left with since Windows won't load up following the failed restoration attempts would be simply borrowing a 7 dvd or referring to the guide on performing a repair install. Repair Install

If the preinstall came with SP1 included depending on when the system was bought new read through the warning section in the guide seen there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Thanks for your reply

I went to the link you posted and to be honest... I have no idea what any of that means. I do not have any sort of recovery disk for the computer but I've read that there is recovery stuff on the computer in some sort of hidden partition... any way I can use that? Also, I have a fully functional computer that is running windows 7, is there a way that I can create a recovery disk from that computer in order to fix the broken one?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

The factory utility could have been used while Windows was still running to access the hidden recovery in order to see the disk set made up. You can't simply run the utility on another machine since even the next machine of the exact same will have it's own information as well as the tool intended for use on that brand.

You can borrow a 7 disk or order a recovery disk with the customer info through the place the system was bought from or through a repair shop authorized by Acer if not contacting them directly. The guide there explains how to perform an upgrade over the existing installation to repair the OS without losing all the user files rather then the factory restore method which automatically wipes C to place a new copy of Windows back on.

As for borrowing a 7 dvd from a friend you would still use the OEM sticker key but see all files packed away in the Windows.old folder unless deciding to wipe the C primary first. But you will need some form of 7 media in order to repair by upgrade or perform a clean install.

Acer as well as most other OEMs will generally ship out a recovery disk for shipping costs only once you provide the customer information. The guide does have another option seen there to consider. But the original preinstall would have needed to have seen SP1 included in order to work with the OEM product key found on the sticker.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP

 

Acer Support: Frequently Asked Questions list for Recovery media and Restoring a system to factory load

If these fail then your options are to order Recovery Disks from Acer, or to get the superior Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 for which everything is included in the blue link.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

As for being able to save files and even IE favorites from the drive prior to any restore or clean install there are few other options not mentioned so far.

1) install drive internally on another machine or place drive in a usb(or eSata) enclosure in order to back up personal files from the drive.

2) data recovery programs which can problematic at times once a drive has been wiped.

3) the use of another OS while booting live from cd/dvd or usb flash drive made up for data recovery. Using the "Other OS" For a USB Rescue Device?

The last option includes any live distro like ubuntu, knoppix, Puppy Linux, or Linux Mint which can boot live and access MS partitions to copy files over to another drive or even a flash drive when plugged in when not able to load into the Windows install present at the time. Here I have a live usb stick I carry with me in case someone stuffs up their own Windows machine as seen lately when they managed to get hit with malwares.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I restore to factory defaults?




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