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DELL Inspiron - Restore to factory default settings

March 2015

Dell Inspiron users may encounter the need to restore default settings. Restoring default settings is quite complicated without proper guidance. The paragraphs below will discuss the various shortcut keys. The process should only take 10 minutes maximum.


This article elaborates on restoring factory settings on a Dell Inspiron for both Windows Vista and Windows 7. Restoring default settings can be a inconvenient without comprehensive guidance through the process. With a variety of companies releasing a range of models, it is important to use the correct procedure for restoring. This article guides you on how factory default settings can be restored in Dell Inspiron laptops. The process is explained in relation to the different operating systems you may have on your system, namely Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.

For Windows XP

If your operating system is XP, press the CTRL and F11 keys simultaneously when you see the Dell logo after turning on the laptop, and follow the instructions on the screen.
  • Put the computer on.
  • When the Dell screen appears, press and hold the CTRL and F11 key simultaneously on the keyboard, then release them both at the same time. The Dell PC Restore by Symantec window appears.
  • Click the Restore button or press the key to highlight Restore and press enter.


A caution message appears, advising that all data will be lost.
  • Click the Confirm button, or press the key to highlight Confirm and press the key.


The Progress window appears. Once the process has begun, Dell PC the restore usually takes only 8 to 10 minutes to complete. When the restore is complete, the message 'The system recovery process was successful' appears.
  • Click the Finish button or press the key to highlight Finish and press enter.


The computer will restart.

For Vista or Win 7

If your operating system is Windows VISTA ou Win 7, press the F8 key when you see the Dell logo. It'll take you to the advanced boot menu options, including 'Repair your Computer'. Select that option and enter your password if needed, then you'll see a list of options like 'system restore' and 'command prompt'. The last option displays 'Dell PC restore', or something along those lines. Select this option and read the instructions on the screen. If in both cases, the Factory default doesn't help, then your laptop's factory image defaults partition has vanished (i.e., been corrupted / deleted). In this case you will have to reinstall the operating system with the DVD shipped along with the laptop. Follow the link below to install windows XP Pro on your own.
  • Start the computer.
  • As the computer starts, keep pressing the F8 key until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears on the screen.
  • Press the down arrow in order to select Repair Your Computer, then press Enter.
  • Specify the desired language, and then click Next.
  • Log in as a user with administrator credentials, and then click OK.
  • Click Dell Factory Image Restore.
  • In the Dell Factory Image Restore window, click Next.
  • Click to select the checkbox for Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition.
  • Click Next. The computer is restored to the default factory configuration.
  • When the operation is completed, click Finish to restart the computer.


In both cases, if the factory default does not work, then your laptop's factory image defaults partition has vanished (i.e. been corrupted / deleted). In this case you will have to reinstall the operating system with the DVD or CD shipped along with the laptop. Follow the below link to install windows XP Pro on your own.

Thanks to DELLBOY for this tip on the forum.
For unlimited offline reading, you can download this article for free in PDF format:
Dell-inspiron-restore-to-factory-default-settings.pdf

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Published by aakai1056. - Latest update by Ambucias
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