How to restore your computer to factory settings

I’ve been asked to create a video on how to restore your computer to factory settings.  This procedure is very different between various hardware manufacturers.  DELL, HP, and clones.  A clone computer, since it didn’t come from a factory, wouldn’t have factory settings.  You would need to format the hard drive and install Windows from scratch, then reinstall your drivers, programs, and your data.  Factory settings installs Windows and drivers all in a single click.  Almost.

Once restored to factory settings you need to reinstall all your programs, re-personalize everything and restore your data.  So how do we do this?  The initial steps vary widely but the procedure is very simply and similar.  It starts by pressing some key or combination of keys as soon as you turn the computer on.

DEL, F1, F2, F10, F11, F12

Repeatedly press one of those keys as the computer turns on and it will eventually start loading the system restore wizard.  or not.  If it doesn’t work, try the other keys as mentioned above until it works.  Note: In some computers F1 goes into the BIOS while others it takes you into the system restore wizard.  same with F2.  All the others will load the system restore or a boot menu from which you can choose the system restore wizard.

If none of these options work, you can try F8 which is used primarily to start your computer in safe mode, but the last option in the list may exist to choose a system restore.  If still, none of these options work, you either don’t have a restore partion at all, or it’s damaged.

If you get the system restore wizard to start, simply follow the prompts and accept all defaults unless you understand what they are and you want to change them.  Your computer will eventually be back to exactly how it was when you first purchased it.  I mean exactly, your data and all programs added since you purchased it are gone, so be sure to have your serial numbers written down and email configuration and configuration settings of any other program that has a special setup for which you don’t want to spend hours trying to figure out again.