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How can I re-install Windows Vista to factory settings?


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#1
sweet21roxy

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I have been searching an unable to find anything that works. I have a Toshiba Satellite A355 with Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 (I think it is the 64bit version) The Windows product code on the bottom of the laptop was rubbed off but I was able to extract the code from the computer. I do not have an install CD and I do not think that one was even included in the initial purchase of the laptop. I found something about restarting it and booting from a partition (F8?) but one does not appear to exist. I also do not have access to the Control Panel; when I click on it, it says "application not found." That is part of the reason that I just want a fresh install to factory settings. Maybe there is a way to download and burn a install disk from the Microsoft website where I can use the code that I have? If I have to order a disk, it would be helpful to find out where I could get one. Any other suggestions? Thank you for your help.
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#2
DonnaB

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Hi sweet21roxy,

Welcome to Geeks to Go! :)

I can provide instructions for you to restore to factory condition, though let's see if we can avoid that first. It can be a tedious process.

Have you tried to access a System Restore Point to before this occurred? The procedure to do that is explained very well >>HERE<<

Make sure to select Choose a different restore point

Please note:

If you have recently cleansed an infection from your computer and the Restore Points were not flushed and a new one created this can cause the infection to return.

How did you go about obtaining you product key? To make sure that you have the correct key, you can install the free version of Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder. It will find all the product keys to any software that is installed that has a product key that you paid for.

Let me know if restoring to a time before this occurred helps at all and we'll proceed from there.

Donna :)

Edited by DonnaB, 09 April 2013 - 08:44 PM.

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#3
iammykyl

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Gday,
If needed at a later date, Please confirm this is your Computer.
> http://www.toshibadi...jsp?poid=438071
Specs and User Guide, > http://support.toshi...reeText=2145842
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#4
DonnaB

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Hi iammykyl,

Thank you for providing the links above! :)

@ sweet21roxy,

If the System Restore I suggested above doesn't help, some models do provide the opportunity to create a set of recovery disks. You'll find that information beginning on Page 61 of the manual for the Satellite A350 Series User's Guide. The initial instructions to create those disks begins on Page 62. I would check to see if that possibility is available to you before proceeding.

Also at the bottom of Page 61 you'll find contact information for how to obtain the Recovery media for your system under NOTE. There will more than likely be a small fee to purchase those disks.

Let us know if you chose to purchase the disks and the numbers provided are no longer in use. We can help you to find the correct contact information, if needed.

One very important question I overlooked to ask in my first post is; Do you have all your personal files backed up to a safe place such as an external HDD, CD, online storage, or even a USB flash drive? If the only solution is to restore to factory condition by any means, your personal data will be irretrievable!

Please keep us informed to your progress!

Donna :)
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#5
iammykyl

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Posted Image DonnaB>
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#6
sweet21roxy

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Thank you for your response! I had looked into using a system restore point but there weren't any that went back far enough. I really wanted the computer to have a completely clean slate. All of our files/pictures/music were put on an external hard-drive and there wasn't anything that I wanted to keep on the computer. The computer had been messed up for awhile and then sat in a corner for a year. Transfering all the files to an external hard drive takes awhile and it is difficult to figure out how to restore windows without the help of a computer code, cd, or access to the control panel. I would get frustrated and put it back in the corner!

I did find out how to extract the product code. I found a list of 14 programs that would do it. (http://pcsupport.abo...opkeyfinder.htm)
The one you mentioned was on that list but the one I used was Belarc Advisor. I just picked the first one and did a google search to see if it was some sort of scam that would steal my product code. Just to be sure, I manually shut off the internet when it did the scan.

I don't mind it being a tedious process, I know it is and have done it on a different computer. Well, I found out how to access the partition and finished installing allll the windows updates.

So for anyone that reads this later, this is what I followed...
"If your Toshiba has recovery partition this is how you access it...
- Hold down the 0 (zero) key and turn the laptop on. Keep holding down the zero key until the TOSHIBA logo appears, where you should start tapping the zero key repeatedly. Stop if the unit beeps or when the TOSHIBA logo disappears. The screen should flash ** HDD RECOVERY MODE ** for a split second, then load the Toshiba recovery program right from the hard drive."

It did have to restart a lot especially for all the updates but I am going to create a restore point once I am done with them before I install any extra software.
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#7
DonnaB

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Hi sweet21roxy,

Belarc Advisor is a great program as well! It's just as reliable as the Magical Jelly Bean keyfinder is. Good choice on your part!

Has all the updates installed yet? To check if SP1 has installed:

Please click on the StartPosted Image and Right click on Computer in the right pane of your Start Menu and choose Properties from the list. On the System page under Windows edition look for which SP is installed. Vista is at SP2.

If the SP's have not installed yet, please install them from the links below. It will save you a lot of heart ache and time:

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Five Language Standalone (KB936330)

If SP1 has installed and SP2 has not:

Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 - Five Language Standalone (KB948465)

Let us know if you have any issues updating. Installing the SP's first will eliminate many errors since Microsoft does not support Vista if it is not updated with SP2 and is much less time consuming. Once SP2 is installed the rest should download and install without any problems what so ever!

The update should create System Restore points as they install as well, though it is always a good idea to create on when all has finished installing successfully.

Please keep us informed to your progress.

Donna :)

Edited by DonnaB, 10 April 2013 - 05:30 PM.

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#8
sweet21roxy

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To get the service pack update, I ran the Windows Update program several times. I had to get it up to SP2 so that I could install internet Explorer9 since most websites weren't supporting this old version. I installed the Adobe flash player and Adobe PDF reader after I upgraded to Explorer9. I uninstalled some of the pre-installed fluff programs (like a netzero internet app and google toolbar). I did check before and I have SP2 now. I burned a restore disk so if I want to wipe the computer clean again I can at least start with all these updates. I may have to do another one later if there are considerable updates that are still needed. When I ran the product code software it showed that I also had a code for Microsoft Works 9.0 and that may need an update but I am not sure yet. Any other suggestions on things that I need to download/update?

Edited by sweet21roxy, 10 April 2013 - 06:05 PM.

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#9
DonnaB

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I burned a restore disk so if I want to wipe the computer clean again I can at least start with all these updates.


If you burned the recovery disk from the Recovery Manager the updates will not be included. It's just a copy of your Recovery Partition which will restore your computer back to factory condition without the updates.

I use a program called PC Decrapifier to remove all the useless bloatware that comes installed on my new computers.

I also have Update Checker installed. It will scan your computer checking for any software that needs updating.

Personally, I would uninstall Java completely! Older versions have vulnerabilities that malware can use to infect your system. To be completely honest, most home computer users do not need Java installed on their computer. In the past, Java was needed for websites to be properly displayed. However, that is generally not the case now. I uninstalled Java several years ago and have not had a need for it.

Same with Adobe Reader. Adobe Reader has been having issues lately. I've uninstalled it and am now using FoxIt Reader. Adobe has become very vulnerable over the last couple of years and really uses up resources more than FoxIt Reader. It's 'footprint' is considerably smaller than Adobe's and consequently uses less resources (RAM as well as hard drive space). It's been said that there are a few things Foxit cannot do compared to Adobe, but I haven't come across them yet.

If you choose to install Foxit Reader, please be advised that you may have to uncheck any pre-checked software. Always choose custom install if you are presented with that option any time you install any software or you'll end up with unwanted foistware such as toolbars, scanners, registry cleaners, etc.

If you'd like, you can download Foxit Reader from here.

The choice is yours.

Did you install an Anti Virus yet? I'm sure a trial version came preinstalled such as Norton or McAfee. If you decide to change your AV let us know what is instlled and we can help you remove it with the special removal tool to ensure all residual files are removed to prevent conflict when you install the one of your choice. I have Avast installed and love it, though I do recommend Microsoft Security Essentials for those who prefer something more simplistic.

Donna :)
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#10
DonnaB

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sweet21roxy,

I thought you might be interested in the following links:

Creating a Hard Drive Image using Acronis True Image

Macrium Reflect disk imaging and cloning software

Cloning, imaging and backing up the HDD is not my strong point, though I installed Macrium Reflect free today and created a backup of my HDD on my external HDD just to see if it was as simple as they say it is, and it was! You might want to look into this. It will create a back of your HDD as is with updates included.

Hopefully one of the other members who is more experienced with backups and this type of software will jump in and provide further information since this is new to me.

Donna :)
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#11
iammykyl

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Gday.

How have you progressed with creating an image for the OS drive?
If you need more assistance, I would be happy to help.
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