Factory Restoring

If your computer is overrun with malware or viruses, and you want to just factory restore it to get back to the default settings and start over, this page will provide you with all the information you’ll need. This is a short and simple guide to factory restoring your computer, something that companies charge anywhere from $80 – $200 to do for you, that you can do yourself, at home, usually for free and in a few clicks.

Factory restoring your computer will remove all files from your hard drive and bring it to an “out-of-the-box” factory default, like you had just bought it as a new computer.

Be aware that factory restoring any PC will remove all of your personal documents, pictures, music, videos, and programs.

You can back up your personal files onto a flash drive just by selecting the files and dragging and dropping them into your flash drive window with ease. (Companies charge anywhere from $30 – $100 for a data backup service!)


If you have Windows XP or Windows Vista, chances are you will have to have your recovery discs that came with the PC or be able to create them.


To create recovery discs for Windows Vista or Windows XP machines:

Click Start.

Open your “Accessories” folder.

Click “System Tools”.

Open “Backup”

Choose “Advanced Mode” at the top of the window.

Click “Automated Recovery Wizard”.

Use blank DVD-Rs to create your recovery discs as opposed to CD-Rs because they hold about 5x more space per disc. You will usually need anywhere from 2 – 5 DVD-Rs.

(If your PC doesn’t have the software or capabilities, you can contact the manufacturer of your computer for recovery discs)


To create recovery discs on Windows 7:

Click “Start”.

Type “Backup” in the search bar.

Click “Backup and Restore”.

Select “Create a system image” in the left-hand column.

Use DVD-Rs to create your recovery discs. It will usually require about 2 – 5 DVD-Rs.

(If your PC doesn’t have the software or capabilities, you can contact the manufacturer of your computer for recovery discs)


If you have Windows 8/8.1:

You don’t have to worry about recovery discs, because you will always have a recovery image on your hard drive. However, if you want them in case your hard drive crashes:

Press your “Start” button.

Type “Recovery” from the Start Menu.

It will automatically search and find a recovery program for you to use depending on your manufacturer. HP has an HP Recovery Manager that is very easy to use to restore and create discs. Other brands such as Acer, Dell, and Toshiba also have their own recovery programs to create these discs.

Use blank DVD-Rs to create your recovery discs. It will usually take 2 – 5 DVD-Rs.

Sometimes you can use flash drives as well to create your discs and hold it all on one drive.


To use your recovery discs:

First, you must put in “Disc 1 of __” into your disc drive.

Restart your computer.

If your computer does not automatically load the disc first, you will have to boot from the disc.

To do this, restart the computer again.

Each manufacturer has their own “Boot Priority” or “Boot Options” button that will usually come up by pressing one of the function keys (F1, F2, F8, etc).

The most common boot option function keys are:








You will then get the option to boot from your CD/DVD ROM.

It will then load Windows files from the disc and guide you to restoring your PC.


If you have Windows 7 and have a built-in recovery software or recovery partition (find by searching your PC for ‘recovery’):

Click “Start”.

Type “Recovery” in the search field.

Click your manufacturer recovery program.

Select the option to “Factory Restore” or “Factory Reset”, and not “Refresh” options, as those will leave software errors on your PC and can leave malicious programs as well.

Follow the step-by-step walkthrough given by the program.


To factory restore using Windows 8/8.1:

This one is very simple.

Click the “Power” button, either from the start menu or the settings charm.

When you see the options to restart and shut down your PC,

Hold the SHIFT key on your keyboard and click “Restart” at the same time.

This will reboot your PC into Windows Troubleshooting mode, where you can do all kinds of neat things. For the sake of this, we are going to use the “Troubleshoot” option.

Then we will select “Reset my PC”.

It will ask you if you are sure, and confirms that it will delete all of your data and re-install your operation system to factory defaults.

Click “Next” and “Reset” and then it will begin restoring, without discs or anything.

And begin setting your PC up like new!


Be mindful of the websites you visited or programs you installed when your PC got infected. Searching for free stuff on the internet is a dangerous game, and many people are there to take advantage of that.