How do I restore my Inspiron 1420 (Vista Home Premium) back to the original factory condition?
If you still have the Restore Partition (usually on D: drive) intact, you can use the guide below. Otherwise, you can reinstall Vista by following the steps 1 to 4 given below and then select the required options to complete the installation.
Here is a step-by-step guide to restore your system to factory condition:
1. Insert the Windows Vista DVD into the DVD drive, and then restart the computer.
2. During the startup process, repeatedly press the F12 Function key.
3. Press the Down Arrow key to select *Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive, and then press Enter key.
4. When the Press any key to boot from CD or DVD screen appears, immediately press any key to start the computer from the Windows Vista DVD.
5. Accept the default options, and then continue to the language settings screen.
6. On the language settings screen, click the appropriate language in the Language to install list, click the appropriate time and currency format in the Time and currency format list, click the appropriate keyboard layout to use in the Keyboard or input method list, and then click Next.
7. On the lower-left corner of the Install now screen, click Repair your computer.
8. Under Operating System, click Windows Vista, even if it this entry is already selected, and then click Next.
9. Click Command Prompt from the System Recovery Options window.
10. Type the following lines, pressing Enter key after each line:
Path = D:/Windows;D:/Windows/System32
10. In the Dell Factory Image Restore window, click Next.
11. In the Confirm Data Deletion window, click to select Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition, and then click Next.
12. Click Finish to restart the system.
Last edited by sinstoic; 23rd November 2007 at 01:00 AM.
I think it's F8 that you want instead of F12. Keep pressing on it as soon as your computer starts to boot. The next choice was something else I figured out by process of elimination, then Repair, and somewhere along the way you get to "restore to factory defaults." That's if you haven't formatted the restore partition on your hard drive. At one point it looks like it's booting to Windows and you see that phony progress bar, but it doesn't actually boot to Windows.
I wrote out complete step-by-step instructions as I was reformatting my M1330 before returning it. Then I forgot where I saved them. If I remember, I'll post them.
Press the F8 key at startup
Choose "Repair Your Computer"
(see the phony progress bar)
Choose keyboard layout
Enter your user name and password (Admin is disabled if you've created a user)
Choose "Dell factory image restore"
Tick box to reformat and restore to factory condition.