.A Windows 7 factory reset is an act in which all the files on a Windows 7 computer are completely deleted, and the settings are restored back to their original. When a Windows 7 factory reset is carried out, the Windows 7 machine appears exactly as it was released from the factory.
It’s not a good idea to factory reset Windows 7 so frequently. Firstly, it is a long and painstaking process. It also wipes away some of the needed and important files on the Windows 7 system.
However, when the computer encounters some problems, a Windows 7 factory reset seems the only viable solution.
Here in this article, I’ll show you when, why and how to successfully perform a Windows 7 factory reset easily, without causing damage to the computer system, while still keeping existing files and folders.
Why do you need a Windows 7 factory reset?
Although, a factory reset on your computer deletes all the files and folders, but there are some times when a factory reset becomes absolutely necessary. Here are some circumstances when you’ll need to factory reset your Windows 7 computer.
• Giving away your computer
You might be giving out your computer, or maybe you decide to sell it, it’s obvious you won’t want to sell your personal information alongside with the computer. A factory reset then becomes useful on the Windows 7 computer to wipe your data and leave no usage traces.
• Undoing serious changes
Maybe you mistakenly deleted a file that’s playing a significant role in the performance of your Windows 7 computer. Or you changed some settings which is preventing you from installing programs. I’d strongly advice nonetheless, that a Windows 7 factory reset should be a last resort. You should not factory reset Windows 7 computer without trying all available fixes for the issue.
• Improving performance
When a computer has been used for a long period of time, it tends to slow down. This may be due to the high number of processes it has completed in its lifetime. Performing a Windows 7 factory reset will resolve issues related to this. As every setting will be reset, it freshens up the computer and keeps the computer in a superb state for optimum performance.
I’ve answered the “why” and “when” part of the question. The main question now is “how”. In the following section, I’ll show you how to factory reset a Windows 7 computer without any pro help.
However, as a factory reset deletes all your files, all your important files become inaccessible. There’s a way to make the files accessible even after a reset. This way is known as “backup”.
If you’ll like to learn how to perform a backup and access your files even after a Windows 7 factory reset, you’ll have to follow the below procedures.
How to back up a Windows 7 computer
In order to back up your Windows computer before a factory reset, you’ll need an external hard disk, and a software to ease the backup process. You can use Minitool ShadowMaker or Reimage Plus to create the backup.
You can find the accurate guide to back up your Windows 7 computer embedded with any software you purchase. Follow these guides for a successful backup.
Most backup tools allow you to select files and folders you wish to backup. This is a great chance to free up your hard disk memory by selecting only the most important files and folders. Also, you’ll want to back up the operating system if it was not pre-installed in the machine.
When your backup is complete, you can proceed to the next section, which shows you the exact steps required to carry out a Windows 7 factory reset.
How to carry out a Windows 7 factory reset
WARNING: If you’ve not backed up your Windows 7 computer, please go back and perform the backup. This factory reset is going to delete all your files and folders, and they’re NOT RECOVERABLE.
There are many strategies you can employ to reset a Windows 7 computer to factory settings. Although, Windows 7 lacks the easy options for system wiping available in later computers, there are still some workarounds. In this section, I’ll be showing the easiest and most popular of those workarounds.
1.Windows 7 Factory Reset through Windows Installation Disk
If you still have the disk with which you installed Windows 7, you can as well wipe your computer with it. This process is easy, as it involves reinstallation of Windows, with factory installation media and settings.
To factory reset Windows 7 using installation disk, follow these procedures.
2.Windows 7 Factory Reset through Recovery Option
Lost your installation disk? No problems as there is another working way to achieve the same goal, depending on your system capabilities.
Although Windows 7 doesn’t originally come with a feature that enables you to carry out a factory reset process, some laptop and desktop manufacturers built in this feature.
If you use a popular brand like HP, Dell, Toshiba, and the likes, the stakes are high that you’ve got a similar functionality on your PC.
Since this method differs based on your computer manufacturer, I won’t be able to provide a specific tutorial here, however, I’ll give a rough guide which will definitely help in sorting it out.
Firstly, you have to boot your computer to “Advanced Boot Options”. On DELL computers, you’ll have to continuously strike the F8 key after pressing the power button. On HP, it’s the “ESC”. Whichever key works for you, just ensure that you press it before the Windows logo appears on the screen.
With the arrow keys (mouse doesn’t work here), highlight “Repair your Computer” and strike “ENTER” to select.
Select the language settings and log in as an administrator to continue. Click OK and choose Dell Factory Image Restore to continue. Check any boxes that suggest supporting the Windows 7 factory reset and grant all accesses to continue.
The above procedures should factory reset a Dell computer without an installation disc. If you use another brand of computer, search for the tutorials online or browse through the Advanced Boot Options to find them yourself.
Windows 7 factory reset is a great way to reset your system and optimize its performance. There are many ways by which you can achieve this, and this article shows you the easiest ways.