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View Full Version : How do I reset my Dell Inspiron 530 back to its factory settings?



Ross PK81
2009-Jun-14, 05:38 PM
There's something wrong with it and I can't fix it.

PraedSt
2009-Jun-14, 06:11 PM
Not sure what you mean. You mean clean of all programs/data? What's wrong with it, if I may ask?

Ross PK81
2009-Jun-14, 09:14 PM
Not sure what you mean. You mean clean of all programs/data? What's wrong with it, if I may ask?

Restoring it back to it's factory settings means making the computer go back to the exact state it was in when it left the factory, so yeah, it means everything will be lost. But, I have backed my files up onto some DVD's and CD's.

I think my computer may have a virus, I downloaded something to do with Adobe Flash the other day, and ever since then whenever I open up an Internet Explorer page it disappears. The only way I can get online is to go into Safe Mode (but then in Safe Mode I have no sound).

I've tried a lot of things but they haven't worked. I even sometimes get a window coming up telling me I've got spyware or a virus or something, and I click on 'delete' and it doesn't do anything. So I don't have much hope with doing a full virus scan, but I will try one tomorrow since it takes so long and it's late now.

PraedSt
2009-Jun-14, 09:30 PM
Right, I know what you have to do, but not how to do it. :)

You have to "reformat your hard drive". All of it- all the partitions. I have a guy come round my office and do all our PCs every 6 months; and he does my home PC too.

So find a service guy. Or maybe a mate who knows how to do it. It requires knowing DOS I think.

You'll need to keep your Windows discs and all driver discs handy. They're needed when the reformatting is done.

Also, be careful when you reload your backed up files. If they were backed up after your PC started behaving oddly, some of them could be infected as well.

Sorry if you know this already...

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-14, 09:31 PM
Not sure what you mean. You mean clean of all programs/data?Dell provide something they call "Dell PC Restore" or "Dell Factory Image Restore", which lives on a partition of your hard drive, and puts the operating system and drive back to their pristine state.
On my machine, I press Ctrl-F11 while the Dell logo is visible at start-up, and it gets me into the restore menu.

RossPK81, why don't you just read the manual? Even if you've managed to mislay it, you can download a copy from the Dell website. Here (http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/inspd530/) is the download page for your machine's manuals. (I just took a look, and page 100 tells you about the Ctrl-F11 combo and what to do next.)

Grant Hutchison

Moose
2009-Jun-14, 09:35 PM
Careful. Actually Dells come out of the factory with two partitions: one main one, and one with the factory drivers. So you don't reformat both of them.

Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK47sEJw3go&feature=related) step by step.

Dell (http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dsn/document?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&docid=3E48AE3870775D64E040A68F5B2877D4&journalid=6C4DA15316C55614E040AE0AB6E10ED3&Query=&SystemID=&ServiceTag=&contenttype=&os=&component=&lang=&doclang=&toggle=&dl=#restore1_task3)'s official procedure.

[Edit:] Heh. Grant beat me to it.

PraedSt
2009-Jun-14, 09:36 PM
Dell provide something they call "Dell PC Restore" or "Dell Factory Image Restore", which lives on a partition of your hard drive, and puts the operating system and drive back to their pristine state.
On my machine, I press Ctrl-F11 while the Dell logo is visible at start-up, and it gets me into the restore menu.Oh I see. That sounds like an auto-reformat. Quite nifty.
I wonder how they protect that partition? Viruses can be sneaky.

PraedSt
2009-Jun-14, 09:39 PM
RossPK81- don't listen to this.

I think I'd still wipe the whole lot. A PC is a PC is a PC. As long as you have your OS and drivers, it'll work just fine afterwords.

Don't trust that partition will never get corrupted. As I said, viruses are crafty. :)

Moose
2009-Jun-14, 10:04 PM
I wonder how they protect that partition? Viruses can be sneaky.

They don't. But it's like a mac virus. They exist, they function, but there are limited opportunities to propagate one. Virus writers tend to go for the softer, more widespread targets.

Alan G. Archer
2009-Jun-14, 11:07 PM
You may have been tricked into installing malware masquerading as an Adobe Flash Player update. It may have been a malicious executable with a name like “Adobe_Player11.exe” (~35 KB) or something similar.

The latest Adobe Flash Player should always be downloaded directly from Adobe's Web site:

http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/

Before installing an updated version of Adobe Flash Player, I like to flush all the old players away with Adobe's latest uninstaller and then restart the computer.

The latest Adobe Flash Player uninstallers can be found here:

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html

RAF_Blackace
2009-Jun-14, 11:17 PM
If you've never flattened a windows PC before and done a complete reinstall, now is the best time to learn.

Oh, and by the way, get used to it. Even XP becomes almost unusable in a few years if you use the PC for more than sending E Mails and browsing.

Thanks Bill.

PraedSt
2009-Jun-14, 11:27 PM
If you've never flattened a windows PC before and done a complete reinstall, now is the best time to learn.

Oh, and by the way, get used to it. Even XP becomes almost unusable in a few years if you use the PC for more than sending E Mails and browsing.

Thanks Bill.
I discovered the benefits about 5 years ago, and I was instantly hooked. That's why I do routinely it every 6 months. It's like the Fountain of Youth for a PC. :)

cjl
2009-Jun-15, 07:53 AM
I discovered the joys of doing a fresh install once and once only. I then install drivers, basic programs (office, a couple of other things that I know I'll use), and then I make an image with Norton Ghost. Then, I can restore it to full speed quicker and without having to mess with drivers or some of the program disks that I can never find :)

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-15, 08:11 AM
I discovered the joys of doing a fresh install once and once only. I then install drivers, basic programs (office, a couple of other things that I know I'll use), and then I make an image with Norton Ghost. Then, I can restore it to full speed quicker and without having to mess with drivers or some of the program disks that I can never find :)Nice idea.
I've never managed to get Norton Ghost to do much more than mess up my registry and make my system crash repeatedly. Others do seem to have a better experience.

Grant Hutchison

mugaliens
2009-Jun-15, 08:19 AM
Ross - follow the DELL manual for restoring your system FIRST.

If that doesn't work, consider letting the guys at the store do the reinstall. If that still doesn't work, and you've exhausted all other options, no other recourses, then by all means - that's the time to learn.

But not before.

Ross PK81
2009-Jun-15, 11:07 AM
Well I just tried doing a virus scan, and my computer crashed and reset itself.

I knew it wouldn't be that simple.

I also tried the F11+Ctrl thing and all that happens is the options screen for going into Safe Mode comes up.

Also when looking on that link for the manual I can't find page 100.

Looks like I'm screwed.

Moose
2009-Jun-15, 11:15 AM
Ross, you might want to bring your PC into the shop and have them test your RAM. A stick of ram going bad will cause your browser to crash randomly and spontaneous crash-reboots during virus scans (among other ram intensive tasks.)

Not that a rebuild won't help (_after you test the ram_, because windows install will usually crash during a rebuild as well if the problem really is your ram. Found that out the hard way a few months ago.)

PraedSt
2009-Jun-15, 11:29 AM
Looks like I'm screwed.You're not screwed. As Moose said, take it to a shop.

BetaDust
2009-Jun-15, 11:48 AM
Did your laptop come with a "rescue Disk" of some sorts?

My last Laptop (HP Pavilion) was delivered with a "emergency Rescue" Disk.

When used as a startup disk, it will automatically format the C Drive and Reinstall a
Image from a hidden partition (OS, and Software) onto the C drive.
When ready, I remove the CD and reboot. Good as new.

ETA: After a fresh OS install, make sure you get the OS compleatly updated!

-- Dennis

grant hutchison
2009-Jun-15, 12:02 PM
Also when looking on that link for the manual I can't find page 100.Here (http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/inspd530/en/OM/HTML/trouble.htm#wp1088641) is the relevant section in HTML. Scroll down a little to the section entitled Using Dell PC Restore and Dell Factory Image Restore.

Grant Hutchison

Ross PK81
2009-Jun-15, 12:33 PM
Well thank God for that, and thanks for the help guys! :)

Last night I had a little look on Dells site and saw a particular section on there (can't remember what it was called). I saved it to my Favorites and with not much hope I thought I could look into it more tomorrow.

Well, it explained how to restore my PC back to it's factory settings (I still didn't have much hope, but I gave it a try anyway). And it's worked! :)

As my computer started I had to press F8, and then select 'Repair your computer'. From there after specifying the language settings and logging in as the user who who has administrative credentials (in other words the person who owns the computer), I clicked Dell Factory Image Restore, and it was as simple as that, it only took about 5 to 10 mins, and now everythings okay and I'm back online. :)

First things first, I'm going to have to protect my computer from spyware and viruses.

BetaDust
2009-Jun-15, 12:59 PM
Well, it explained how to restore my PC back to it's factory settings (I still didn't have much hope, but I gave it a try anyway). And it's worked!

That's great. :)


First things first, I'm going to have to protect my computer from spyware and viruses.

And Don't forget to get all the securety updates for your OS!

-- Dennis

PraedSt
2009-Jun-15, 01:03 PM
Nice!

One last thing- careful about reloading your backed up files. :)

DonM435
2009-Jun-15, 01:05 PM
My Dells Inspiron quit working, and it seemed to be a disk drive failure. I found that I could get a compatible drive with 160 Gb rather cheaply (the old drive was a mere 20 Gb), so I just installed a fresh one and reloaded everything from the restore disks. I put the operating system and applications in a 20 Gb partition and saved the rest for storage -- that may help with future backups and restorations. After setup, I did an image backup (via Acronis) to an external drive so that I could restore more easily the next time.

Ross PK81
2009-Jun-15, 04:12 PM
Nice!

One last thing- careful about reloading your backed up files. :)

Yeah, I guess I could scan the discs with an anti virus program.

Anyway, I've now installed several free spyware programs and a free anti virus program, and I've done the correct procedures to protect my computer as much as I can. I've done all this from this guide which you can find here, http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=2000111&topic=27719937

I thought it'd be useful to provide a link to it in case anyone was interested. It seems like a great guide.

tdvance
2009-Jun-15, 09:16 PM
Ross, you might want to bring your PC into the shop and have them test your RAM. A stick of ram going bad will cause your browser to crash randomly and spontaneous crash-reboots during virus scans (among other ram intensive tasks.)

Not that a rebuild won't help (_after you test the ram_, because windows install will usually crash during a rebuild as well if the problem really is your ram. Found that out the hard way a few months ago.)

If it's ram, that can be tested at home on Dells (at least, the newer ones--don't know when it started). If you can get that screen that lets you boot into safe mode, you instead, select something like "boot into test partition", and you get a nice big list of tests you can run. The RAM test is a good first test to run--there are fast RAM tests that take seconds or minutes, and there are deeper RAM tests that take a day or so--but the fast tests almost always find the problem if there is one.

Moose
2009-Jun-15, 10:05 PM
tdvance, thanks for the info. I'll keep an eye out for it next time I'm diagnosing a Dell. I don't usually have very much to do with them. All my boxes are pure home-brew.

Alan G. Archer
2009-Jun-15, 10:13 PM
The GameFAQs guide is good, but being three years old it's slightly dated.

Three additional on-demand Windows anti-spyware freeware tools I recommend:

a-squared Free 4.5
Emsi Software GmbH
http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/free/

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
Malwarebytes Corporation
http://www.malwarebytes.org

SUPERAntiSpyware Free Edition
SUPERAntiSpyware.com
http://www.superantispyware.com

And another anti-spyware tool for XP, but not Vista (I didn't like how it behaved with Vista):

Prevx 3.0
Retento Ltd
http://www.prevx.com

I'm currently using avast! Home Edition 4.8 for my Windows and ClamTk to protect my Ubuntu from all those nasty Linux viruses floating about. ;)

I also use three on-line antivirus scanners to crosscheck avast!:

ESET Online Scanner
ESET. LLC.
http://www.eset.com/onlinescan

F-Secure Online Scanner
F-Secure Corporation
http://www.f-secure.com/en_US/security/security-lab/tools-and-services/online-scanner

Kaspersky Online Scanner
Kaspersky Lab
http://www.kaspersky.com/virusscanner

For multi-engine malware scanning of individual files, I use VirusTotal (http://www.virustotal.com) by Hispasec Sistemas. Since all malware scanners are prone to some degree to produce false positives, uploading suspect files to VirusTotal is one way to determine if they are truly dangerous. Of course, this isn't an entirely reliable method.

Ross PK81, I read your post on page 23. I didn't look through all the comments, but on page 22 there is an unwise bit of commentary from EggmanChao. Obtaining pirated commercial software from P2P sources is a splendid way to infect a computer. Even Macs have fallen victim to Trojan infections (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/01/pirated_iwork_software_infects.html) this way.