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Windows 7: Trying to restore Dell to factory settings, but F8 not working

22 Jan 2013   #1

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
Trying to restore Dell to factory settings, but F8 not working

I've tried holding down f8, tapping it continuously, holding ctrl f8 and fn f8. I managed to get the advanced menu once, where i actually saw the "repair my computer" option, but when i selected it, windows just continued booting up normally.

I don't have any kind of windows or restore disks, unfortunately.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #2
Saurabh A

Windows 7 64bit

Hi dave0549jv,

If your system boots to 'Windows', you may still create the 'recovery media' yourself. Please have a look at this video for details: Video Support Center
You may also want to refer to the following 'web article':
You may further use this 'media' to 'restore' the system to 'factory defaults'. (Note: Backup all personal data; 'factory restore' leads to data loss)

Would also suggest you to 'release static power' and attempt to access the 'Advanced recovery options' again (Tap F8 key repeatedly). To release 'static power', unplug all peripherals, power cables and battery (if laptop); push and hold down the 'power button' for 10 seconds continuously.

If you are unable to enter 'Windows', please share the 'make/model' of the computer. Would also like to know more about the 'issues' that you are facing.

Do reply with the findings; would be glad to assist.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #3

Windows 10 64 bit

If the Operating System has been changed from the original Dell supplied OS, e.g. upgraded from XP or Vista to Win 7, the recovery partition is no longer valid and the only way to restore is with discs.

The Dell Community users forums are a good place to get help with a Dell, since there are those there familiar with Dell hardware and software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Jan 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1

Are you very sure F8 "repair your computer" doesn't start windows recovery environment??!
Can you still boot win7 normally? If so...why do you want a factory restore?

If win7 is booting fine... post screenshot of disk management please (with all fields visible)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #5


Make sure you're following Dell Windows 7 PC Restore.
If you can boot in, see if you can generate your Recovery Disks now.

If not you can try Restoring F8 link Dell Recovery Partition

But since what Dell would send you is a clean-copy Reinstallation DVD anyway you can go ahead now to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 to get a much better install.

Since Recovery doesn't run you can delete it's partition along with C and System Reserved during reinstall, leaving only the Dell Diagnostics Tools partition if it will still run. Try running it now to fully check your hardware: Dell Diagnostics Utility - How to Run the
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2013   #6

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional / Windows 7 Professional

Boot off Parted Magic disk and load the partition editor, mark the recovery partition as active and restart the computer, let it restore OS to defaults.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #7

windows 7 home premium 64 bit

Firstly, thank you all for your replies.

The computer is an '09 Dell Studio 15

I tried releasing the static power from the machine and restarting. F8 has no effect at this point. I don't even get a menu.

I followed one of the links to a video posted above, where it showed me Dell's recovery program. I made a recovery disc, but it doesn't seem to recognize the disk when I try to recover my system. When I restart with the disk in, I get a black DOS-like screen that says to insert my recovery disc. If I don't have my disc, then I'm supposed to call my system administrator.. because everybody has of those, right??? haha. I also tried booting directly from the CD ROM Drive, to no effect.

I dunno, it seems like my recovery partition is intact, but it may be corrupted.

Basically I just want to remove all of my files and changes, so that I can sell or gift the computer to someone.

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #9

windows 7 home premium 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
Yes, I have tried. It doesn't offer me any dates to choose from, but says it will restore it back to factory condition. That's fine.

The computer then restarts, and this comes up:

I hit enter, and another screen comes up asking which operating system to start. I'm given windows 7 as an option, and i can also press f8 for advanced options.

when i press F8 and 'repair my computer' windows just starts normally, and i'm right back to where i started.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2013   #10


If Factory Recovery or the Recovery Disks won't run, then get the much superior Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. Everything needed is in the blue link.

I gave you this more than a day ago, so you could already be up and running by now with a much better install than Factory recovery,.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Trying to restore Dell to factory settings, but F8 not working

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