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Windows 7: Restore Factory Settings / F8 doesn't offer "repair computer" option

05 May 2018   #1
cdcDFW

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Restore Factory Settings / F8 doesn't offer "repair computer" option

I'm trying to reset my DELL Latitude E7250 (Windows 7 Pro) to wipe all personal data for resale. Attempting to do this though F8 "repair computer". I'm able to get to F8 screen, but there is no option for "repair computer". I've read several threads and attempted troubleshooting, but no luck. Could be since this was given to me from my old company / something to do with their imaging or permissions?

At the end of the day, just trying to wipe my personal detail and restore to factory settings.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 May 2018   #2
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

Hi cdcDFW, welcome to Seven Forums.

Is there no Advanced Boot options available?

I just did a quick Google search and found a thread that recommended the below (I have never had a Dell BTW).
If you haven't already tried this it might be worth a go!

Reboot and tap your F8 key in steady rhythmic taps as soon as you reboot the computer until you get to the boot menu where you select Advanced Boot Options. You might have to try this a few times before you can get to the boot menu. If you have windows 7 and you can get into windows, you can go to Backup and Restore and make a System Repair CD to use as a boot disk. Then you boot to the CD and select repair your computer. That makes it easier to get to the options to return to Factory Settings.

I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2018   #3
cdcDFW

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I was able to use F8 to get to the Advanced Boot Options menu, but according to what I've read, the next step would be selecting the "repair your computer" option. That option isn't available in my F8 menu so I'm kind of at a stand-still.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 May 2018   #4
Paul Black

7 HP SP1 64-bit Vista HB SP2 32-bit Linux Mint 18.3
 
 

I appreciate that fact cdcDFW,

I don't think you read this part:

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Paul Black View Post
If you have windows 7 and you can get into windows, you can go to Backup and Restore and make a System Repair CD to use as a boot disk. Then you boot to the CD and select repair your computer. That makes it easier to get to the options to return to Factory Settings.
I hope this helps!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2018   #5
cdcDFW

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

I have a CD but no drive to put it in.

Should have known to try F8 one more time before replying

I made it to "repair my computer" and to "System Restore". Now I'm looking to restore it back to factory settings, but I'm only seeing an option to restore from a point in time, none dating back far enough to ensure no personal data is present.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2018   #6
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cdcDFW View Post
DELL Latitude E7250 (Windows 7 Pro) ... I'm able to get to F8 screen, but there is no option for "repair computer" ... Could be since this was given to me from my old company / something to do with their imaging or permissions?
Yes, that's quite common. If it's a large company, their IT dept. may well have wiped the OEM Windows partition and restored their own custom image. That will break the factory recovery procedure.

When shipped from the factory, Dell's Win7 machines typically had a small "DellUtility" partition (~100 MB), a "Recovery" partition (typically 10-15 GB), and the rest of the disk devoted to the Windows partition.

Whether or not you can do a factory recovery ultimately depends on whether you still have the recovery partition and if that partition contains a factory recovery image. If you can post a Disk Management screenshot (instructions here), that may give us a clue.

Note that Microsoft's System Restore will do you no good; that's completely unrelated to "factory recovery".
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2018   #7
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 

Check in disk management if you have a hidden partition.
If you have it, you can mark it as active and then the computer's original system recovery will start when you restart your computer

EDIT.
I was to slow, dg1261 beat me
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2018   #8
cdcDFW

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dg1261 View Post
If you can post a Disk Management screenshot (instructions here), that may give us a clue.
Thank you everyone! Screen shot attached. Hoping for the best


Attached Thumbnails
Restore Factory Settings / F8 doesn't offer "repair computer" option-disk-management.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2018   #9
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot
 
 

The Disk Management screenshot shows you do not have a Recovery partition. Both Dell partitions are gone and the existence of a System Reserved Partition indicates your Win7 partition was a post-factory clean install.

Without a Recovery partition, doing a factory recovery is not an option.

You said you have a Win7 installation "CD" (which I'm guessing is probably a DVD), so you could do a clean install from that. The process would involve:
  • solving the problem of the lack of a DVD drive
  • extracting the product key from the existing installation before nuking it, and hope it's compatible with the installation DVD you have
  • collecting all the Dell-specific drivers (from the Dell website)
  • applying all the hundreds of Win updates to bring the clean install up to date

Those aren't insurmountable problems, but it will command a lot of your time. You'll have to decide if it's worth spending all that time on a machine you're getting rid of.

A much quicker, though less comprehensive, alternative would be to keep it as is and just delete your user account. Go to Control Panel->Users and create a new admin user. Log out of your acct and login to the new acct, then go back to Control Panel->Users from the new acct and delete your old acct. Tick the box to also delete the acct's files. Finally, check Windows Explorer and delete the c:\users\{oldacct} folder, if any part of it still exists.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2018   #10
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

If you have a COA key, you could download a win7 iso and use rufus or similar to extract it to bootable usb drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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