Factory Reset In Windows XP

twgamerbuilder

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Apr 17, 2015
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So I have this old PC I want to mess around with and it has a bunch of files on it and I want to factory reset it so its just the basic windows xp os and all data gone. Ive looked up how to do this and many of the tutorials have not helped me. I also do not have any recovery disks.
 

Math Geek

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just download a copy of win xp, burn it to disk and format the hdd during the install. use the xp key on the sticker on the computer to let you know what version to download and to activate it.

that's it, fresh install :)
 

USAFRet

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That would be the sticking point.
'Download' from where?
 

twgamerbuilder

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That didnt work :/
I should probably also mention the model of the pc, its a Dell XPS 400
 

Math Geek

Glorious
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was gonna leave that part for him to google :)

i had no issues finding and burning a number of win xp disks when i needed them. ;) only version hard to find is the dell media center editions which is what i am pretty sure is on the op's dell xps 400 pc.

i had to reinstall xp onto one of those and that's what it had on it. thank goodness the owner had the disks cause that is one version of xp i have never found "in the wild".

look at the windows sticker on the pc and see what version it pertains to. i am pretty sure it is the media center edition which you won't find on the web.
 


usually with dell its 2 keys usually ctrl + f11

and dell is pretty likely to have a recovery partition assuming its the original hard drive and no one has deleted the recovery

assuming it boots up ok if you look at the disk in disk management or a partition tool if it has a recovery partition you should be able to see it

 

Math Geek

Glorious
Herald
these pc's are older than the recovery partitions. they still came with restore disks included.

i have fixed a number of these machines and even own and use an xps 420 still. none of them had a restore partition. always had to use a good old disk to do a fresh install. it's the reason i have xp disks that are slipstreamed with all the available updates and such to make this an easier process.
 

ChaoticWolf

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Go on another computer, get a blank disc like a CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, or DVDRW and download an iso image of Windows 7/8, burn the iso image to the blank disc, put it into the windows xp computer that you want to wipe the hard drive on and boot from the disc. Once the windows 7/8 install screen has come up, click next, click install now, accept the terms, click on custom (advanced), a "Where do you want to install Windows?" screen should come up. when it does, choose the hard drive that xp is installed on, and hit format. If you think that it has been formatted, shut off the computer, turn it back on and boot from the hard drive and see if windows xp still remains. You will know that it doesn't if either nothing happens, or it'll say something like "Operating system not found"
You can proceed with installing windows xp. just make sure you have a product key for it, and a windows xp installation disc. if you dont have a windows xp installation disc, just download an iso image of windows xp and burn it to a blank disc and acquire a product key for it, or just get one legally.
 

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