How to Restore to the Factory Default With No Disc

by Robert Ceville

Restoring factory default settings on your computer can be done within a couple of hours, without any need for the recovery discs. First, you need to back up any data and information that you want to keep, such as documents, pictures, and downloaded email, since everything will be erased from your hard drive after restoring the factory settings on your computer. If you haven't restored factory settings on your machine before, do not worry. With proper instruction, you can have your computer back to its original state within a few hours at most.

Restart your computer and proceed to Step 2 before Windows begins to load after reboot. If you are restoring a Toshiba model, hold down the "0" (zero) key as you turn off the machine, then skip to step three.

Access your computer's "PC Recovery" feature by entering the correct button(s) for your machine. This button varies, depending on the make of your machine. HP and Dell users will hit the "F11" key, whereas Acer and Sony users will enter "F10." If you own a Samsung model, use "F4."

Select "Destructive Recovery," or "Restore Original Factory Image," from the list of options that appear on the next screen, then click "Continue." A destructive recovery will erase everything on your machine and reinstall the operating system.

Wait as the factory settings are restored on your computer. Windows will require you to make date, time, and language settings on the next set of screens to follow after your machine restarts. This process can take anywhere from a half-hour up to 2 hours to complete.


  • check Visit your computer manufacturer's website if your brand's Recovery buttons are not included. There you can find specific instructions on performing a factory restore from the recovery partition without the discs.
  • check Some Dell models, such as the Inspiron Mini 9 (910), do not support the factory restore without disc feature.


  • close Restoring your computer's factory settings will remove any previous configuration settings, as well as all of your files and documents.

About the Author

Based in Florida, Robert Ceville has been writing electronics-based articles since 2009. He has experience as a professional electronic instrument technician and writes primarily online, focusing on topics in electronics, sound design and herbal alternatives to modern medicine. He is pursuing an Associate of Science in information technology from Florida State College of Jacksonville.

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