How to Totally Re-Do Your Computer

By Bonnie Conrad

i Paul Tearle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

While most of the time you will be able to recover from computer errors with just a few steps, there are times when you will need to completely redo your computer and bring it back to the condition it was in when it first left the factory. If the operating system files become corrupt, restoring your computer to its factory default condition may be the only solution. The same may be true if your computer falls victim to a boot sector virus or other nasty infection. Therefore, it is important for every computer owner to know how to restore his computer.

Step 1

Find the restore CD that came with your computer. If you do not have the restore CD, contact the computer manufacturer to order a replacement. Also make sure you have the operating system CD that came with the computer. The operating system CD should have shipped as part of the restore CD package.

Step 2

Back up any user files you need to save, using either a thumb drive, an external hard drive or an external backup service. The restore process will wipe out all of your user files.

Step 3

Insert the restore CD in your computer's CD or DVD drive, then restart your computer. Your PC will boot from the restore CD and start the restore process.

Step 4

Log on to your computer after the restore process has been completed and immediately go to the Windows Update site. Download all applicable patches and updates to your operating system to make sure your computer is protected.