How can i restore my computer to factory standards?
June 6, 2006 7:40 PM   Subscribe

In a nutshell. I have a PC running Windows XP, personal edition. I want to restore the computer to factory standards (when i got it out of the box). No CD's or Discs came withthe computer. IS there a way to do this through XP? Its a HP 523n Desktop, and I have had the computer almost 3 years.... (more)

The long of it is....At some point, I downloaded something bad which infested my computer with adware, spyware, and viruses. I went through Metafilter, reserached all the solutions; downloaded every single spyware and adware removal programs I could get my hands on, and cleaned my system as well as I can. I cleaned the registry. I went into safe mode, i did all sort of other suggestions as well......When running programs, they detect no viruses or spy/adware......

However, i still get uncontrollable pop ups....I use explorer, which I will switch over to Firefox when i get past this...

But, i cant live like this no more...If anyone has any ideas or solutions for me before i go ahead with the redotre, please let me know....

if not, if someone could guide me how to restore the system...I figured out how to restore it to an earlier date, but not all the way.

much thanks
posted by TwilightKid to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
HP's and I believe Compaq's used to ship with a restore partition on the hard drive. It should be a available via the boot up menu or bios IIRC.

If you have a system restore point you can work from there as well, although that won't really remove the nastier types of infestations, which it sounds like you have.
posted by iamabot at 8:06 PM on June 6, 2006

Looking through the magical interweb seems to indicate that the system you reference did ship with a restore CD, you might want to check around a bit for it if you have that option available.
posted by iamabot at 8:08 PM on June 6, 2006

Nothing's more satisfying than completely formatting your hard drive and starting from scratch again. You should have a Windows license sticker on your computer, so you can just use a friend's installation disk and then enter your license number at the appropriate point. You should also be able to download any other drivers for your computer from Compaq's website.

Make sure you've got all your installation software in order and that your data's safely moved over to another drive and then wipe that drive and put down a fresh install.
posted by fcain at 8:18 PM on June 6, 2006

This page gives you your options with instructions. It seems consumer systems don't come with restore disks.
posted by cillit bang at 8:20 PM on June 6, 2006

...but the first two options will work without them.
posted by cillit bang at 8:22 PM on June 6, 2006

Response by poster: thanks... def, no disk came with this computer.....

i always looked out for them with older computers, cause i agree. it feels good to sometimes wipe it clean and start fresh

i think i remember reading that the complete restore program was on the computer itself.
posted by TwilightKid at 8:30 PM on June 6, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah, its a pain in the neck, reinstalling alot of the programs, but it will be satisying and sweet this time around, not having pop ups...gonna be much more careful and take more precautions this time.
posted by TwilightKid at 9:14 PM on June 6, 2006

I've been pretty successful using this protocol, followed up with digging through hijack this logs (there are a lot of forums that you can post them to, to get help), but you never end up with anything near a fresh install.

If you have a restore partition, you should be able to see it in windows explorer, mine shows as "HP_RECOVERY."
posted by cosmonaught at 9:17 PM on June 6, 2006

HijackThis download and tutorial.
posted by cosmonaught at 9:19 PM on June 6, 2006

Keep in mind, too, that you'll need an OEM copy of Windows if you want to avoid paying for a new one - the code on your computer won't work with a retail boxed version.
posted by hoborg at 9:52 PM on June 6, 2006

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