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Restoring Windows 7 to factory settings


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#1
Sirius Black

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Hello, I've been on deployment for a few months and now that I'm home my desktop PC has several problems with programs that wont uninstall. "Fatal errors", "missing DLLs", "missing components", "separate network" that sort of thing. My family has been using the PC while I was away. We don't use separate user accounts either.
I want to start over with a clean slate but I DO NOT want to go through the hassle of having to purchase a new copy of Windows 7 or buy a recovery disk. I did make a recovery disk copy when the PC was new.
My PC uses the ASUS M4N68T-M series motherboard. It has 4 gigs of RAM. Nvidia 9600 graphics card. It uses the AMD Athlon II X4 640 Processor, 3000 Mhz, with 4 Cores.
The operating system is Windows 7 Home Edition 64 bit. The main HHD is about 1TB in size but under the "My Computer" tab its showing a separate drive, 3.75 Gigs in size, I suspect that this is where the system recovery data lives?
I do have 3 other internal drives hooked in but they are only for storage and contain no other operating systems.
I have moved all files I want to keep onto external drives for safe keeping.
I would like to wipe out all the installed programs and start clean.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you all for the time you volunteer to help everyone on here.
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#2
rshaffer61

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Is this a name brand system or custom build?
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#3
Sirius Black

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This PC was a custom built unit from Walmart.
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#4
rshaffer61

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Go to Start then to Run
Type in compmgmt.msc and click Enter
On left side click on Disk Management
On right side you will see you hard drive.
Now I need you to take a screenshot and attach it to your next reply. Do the following to take a screenshot while the above is open and showing on your desktop.

To do a screenshot please have click on your Print Screen on your keyboard. It is normally the key above your number pad between the F12 key and the Scroll Lock key
Now go to Start and then to All Programs
Scroll to Accessories and then click on Paint
In the Empty White Area click and hold the CTRL key and then click the V
Go to the File option at the top and click on Save as
Save as file type JPEG and save it to your Desktop
Make sure the window is open all the way so I can see everything on the top right window.


Attach it to your next reply
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#5
Sirius Black

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Here is the print screen you requested.

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#6
rshaffer61

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Is the system Asus , HP, Compaq, Emachines?
I'm not sure but there may be a recovery partition but it looks small for that.
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#7
Sirius Black

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I'm not sure. There is no company logo during the boot process.
It is built inside a Thermaltake Armor Jr tower.
The motherboard is and Asus with an AMD CPU.
I own a laptop from HP with software from HP for product updates and such but this machine doesnt have anything like that other than the Asus BIOS update feature.
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#8
wannabe1

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Hello Sirius Black...

Holy cow! Think you have enough storage on that rig?

rshaffer61 appears to be away for a bit, so I'll have a go at this using the information he so diligently requested.

Does the disk you made when the computer was new have a label? When you put it in the optical drive and look at the drive in "Computer", it should display a label as to what it is. I'm assuming (which is dangerous) that you created a system recovery disk.

If that's the case, you should be able to put that disk in the machine and boot to it to start the installation. You can, during the installation, choose where to install the OS...you would choose the C: drive (the 931 GB one), use the Advanced Options on the selection screen to format the drive, and install windows on the partition that results. It's really quite straight forward.

I also see you have two drives installed that show as unallocated...you can format those and they'll be usable, but I'd wait until you have Windows reinstalled and do it using Disk Management in Windows.

Thanks for your service! :thumbsup:

wannabe1
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#9
Sirius Black

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Hello, thanks for taking the time to help with this.
I have loaded the disk and all it says is "Repair Disc Windows 7 64bit" 164MB of data.
I will attempt to reboot from the disc.
Thanks
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#10
rshaffer61

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Sorry for the extended absence. Family time for a bit since it is Friday night.
If that disc is a full recovery disc it should do as Wannave1 says and you can format the C partition and install your OS fresh.
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#11
Sirius Black

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Ok, I've rebooted several times but the computer keeps booting normally.
It doesnt bring up a system recovery menu or any other options.
Ive looked at whats on the disk and there are 2 folders (boot and sources) and a file named bootmgr.
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#12
rshaffer61

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Ahhh have you checked the bios to make sure the cdrom is the first boot device?


To change Boot Sequence in your BIOS

Reboot the system and at the first post screen (where it is counting up memory) start tapping the DEL button
This will enter you into the Bios\Cmos area.
Find the Advanced area and click Enter
Look for Boot Sequence or Boot Options and highlight that click Enter
Now highlight the first drive and follow the directions on the bottom of the screen on how to modify it and change it to CDrom.
Change the second drive to the C or Main Drive
Once that is done then click F10 to Save and Exit
You will prompted to enter Y to verify Save and Exit. Click Y and the system will now reboot with the new settings.

Hopefully you have already put the XP cd in the drive before all this. If everything is setup correctly you will get a black screen with the following message in the upper left corner:

"Push Any Key To Boot To Cd". When you see this then push any key and the cd will take over. Then follow the prompts or if you need assistance we will help.
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#13
wannabe1

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Sounds like you have a repair disk rather than a recovery disk, however, it might get us to the recovery partition...if there is one. The way things are set up on your machine make it a bit difficult to tell just how it's configured, but drive G; (Pluto) is just about the right size to hold a Windows image.

Are you able to explore that drive? What does it contain?
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#14
Sirius Black

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Ive tried looking into the Drive G (Pluto) for any data but nothing is showing even with the "Show hidden files and folders" option selected.
I'm going to proceed with the BIOS boot sequence that rsshaffer61 suggested.
If this is actually a recovery disk instead of repair disk is the ability to reset the system to its factory setting lost?
Thank you.
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#15
wannabe1

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Actually, I rather suspect that Pluto is the recovery partition. Hopefully, if it is the recovery partition, the repair disk will give you access to it.
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