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Windows 7: I'm trying to factory reset my Laptop

12 Sep 2017   #1
SlickClyde

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
I'm trying to factory reset my Laptop

I have a problem with my Dell Inspiron 15 that I bought in 2012 and lately it has been sluggish and slow so I plan on getting a new laptop sometime soon. I want to sell the current one and use that $ to go towards my new one but I don't feel comfortable selling it to a stranger without completely restoring it to factory settings.

This is where the problem comes in, I am getting the error "Windows 7 failed to start, Status: 0xc000000f". I searched it online and it seems to be effecting others by not allowing Windows to start up normally and log in. The difference is that I am able to login to the computer just fine to the home screen desktop and continue using it like normal.

I factory restored it multiple times in the first two years of owning it but its been three years since I last restored it to factory settings and in that time it seems Windows has gotten damaged some how. Dell computers come with a factory image that, in order to get to, needs to be accessed through advanced boot options (pressing or holding f8 when the manufacturer logo appears at startup) and selecting "repair your computer". When I select it however, I get the error message "Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause" and at the bottom of the screen it says "Status: 0xc000000f". I cannot do anything but restart the computer.

Another problem is that I no longer have the Windows installation disc that came with the computer that would easily fix this issue and unfortunately the optical drive of the laptop no longer works, though I do have an external one I have been using. Even though the Install disc is missing, I do have a Windows 7 system repair disk that I made but so far, nothing has worked from using it.

I suspect the damage to Windows occurred when I upgraded to windows 10 for free during the 1 year period between July 2015 - July 2016. I immediately reverted back to windows 7 when I learned that my audio hardware was incompatible with the Windows 10 OS. If someone could help me get to the "repair your computer" menu so I can access the factory image, I would be so grateful.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Sep 2017   #2
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Probabaly the bcd entry needs fixing.

1) Can post a screenshot of disk management window?

2) What edition of win 7 is it Home Premium , or Professional?

You might find this boot media useful

17514x64-v3.iso
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2017   #3
SlickClyde

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

My OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.


Attached Thumbnails
I'm trying to factory reset my Laptop-disk-mgt.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Sep 2017   #4
billmcct

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

You can try pressing ctl and f11 at startup to start the recovery. I don't have any Dell computers left to test this but if memory serves it should go straight to recovery.
On HP computers you can start the recovery process from inside windows using "HP recovery manager" from the HP folders in C"/Programs. Look in your Dell programs for something similar.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2017   #5
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi Slick,

have an OEM W7 X64 Home premium download.

https://software-download.microsoft....2fbd5fa95b2b00

Only valid for 24hrs

Roy

transfer the download to a USB, tutorial and tool here
Windows USB/DVD Download Tool - Microsoft Store
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2017   #6
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

There should be an option somewhere, in a Dell folder, for creating a set of factory rebuild disks. Or, you could probably purchase a set from Dell. I suggest that you try to create a set or two of these disks. You will then have that as a rebuild option, should all other methods fail.

Another suggestion: When you get everything back in good working order, use Macrium Reflect Free (or similar software) to do a good image backup of your computer. Be sure to make a Macrium emergency boot disk, so that you can restore the backup to a new drive should your current drive fail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2017   #7
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Boot the media I linked to.

Use dism++ ( under the start menu), or dism10 (on the desktop).

Select factory.wim ( from your recovery partition) as the source and your existing windows partition as the destination, Apply the wim.


( Note: from the booted media, drive letters will appear different - the recovery partion will probably show as D and your windows partition as E)

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SlickClyde View Post
My OS is Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2017   #8
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

To fix F8 repair my computer, you will need to find the path of winre.wim ( or it might be called boot.wim ) on your recovery partition.

To do that, use disk management to add a drive letter ( e.g. letter P ) to your recovery partition. Have a look and see if the path is something like P:\sources\winre.wim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2017   #9
SlickClyde

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

There's a lot to reply to so I will reply to all of you in one post rather than inundating the thread with many.

To mrjimphelps, My pc has "dell datasafe local backup" and costs $50 Cad, I would not want to have to pay that if I can help it, though if all else fails I may go down that road. Thanks.

billmcct, I tried following the steps you suggested. It didn't work. I appreciate the help.

SIW2, You posted twice on this thread in a row, and I'm not sure if those are in chronological or two entirely different suggestions. I am not used to the disk and computer management portion of the control panel. I am trying to follow your instructions but I am a novice when it comes to this sort of thing so I will require more descriptive steps if it is not too much of an inconvenience. So far I downloaded the boot media you linked to, do I copy it to a usb drive or does it have to be burned to a disk? Thanks.

Torchwood, I will attempt your method if all else fails. Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2017   #10
SlickClyde

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
To fix F8 repair my computer, you will need to find the path of winre.wim ( or it might be called boot.wim ) on your recovery partition.

To do that, use disk management to add a drive letter ( e.g. letter P ) to your recovery partition. Have a look and see if the path is something like P:\sources\winre.wim
Are those two posts in chronological order or are they totally unrelated? I am a novice when it comes to disk and computer management. Could you re-post more detailed steps please? So far I downloaded the Iso file you linked. I'm assuming I put that on a usb drive or disk right? or do I need a program to open it from the desktop? Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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