Restoring PC to original factory settings

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by lyndeam, May 7, 2009.

  1. lyndeam macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    Since I've purchased my first MAC :eek: and have no intentions of using my PC again I would like to completely wipe it to give to my mother.
    Even though this is a mac forum I know there is some out there who have just as much knowledge on a PC :eek:
    It is a Toshiba Satellite M35X-S311 running Windows XP Home Edition. I don't have the boot CDs with me... they are out of town and i'm not planning on making a trip just to get the CDs, so I was hoping there was some sort of hidden recovery partition or something. I've tried booting to the BIOS but there is not an option to restore to original setting or anything like that - at least from what I saw. I read something about holding down 0 (zero) at startup but I don't think that option is compatible with my model - i tired this anyways but nothing happened.
    Anyone know how this can be done without the boot disk?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. followme macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2009
    All you need to do is to erase the contents of your hard disks.

    If you have only one, which is most likely, it's not too difficult and it's a straightforward process.

    Put in your original Windows installation disc, or the setup disks for the computer. You should get into a setup screen, choose Advanced or "Other options" or whatever it's called...

    Then, format your hard drive. It'll clear the contents, but there's one catch... someone with the right hardware/software could retrieve some contents (files are often not deleted by just "untagged" by the OS). If you want to help ensure that your data cannot be recovered, perhaps because you're an international spy or because you are involved in highly illegal activities that would put you in jail for years, you need to "zero out" your hard drive.

    You could reinstall Windows, then find a program online that permanently erases data from your driver. It's often called "zeroing out data" because the program often writes blank data over and over on the free space of the drive.

    A modern, large HDD, in order to be truly "zeroed out" effectively, will take around 20-100 hours or so. If you only zero it out once, it should finish in a few hours at most, but the data could still be recovered by professionals.

    P.S. You *NEED* the original installation discs if you want to reinstall with the factory settings.
  3. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    u could try uhh asking for a set of recovery disks from toshiba if u need them. thats the only thing i can think of.
  4. tdgrn macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2008
    Little Rock, AR
    Since it is a Toshiba, you have to use the disks that come with the computer to restore it. Only HP and Gateway computers have the recovery partition that you are giving a reference to. Sorry mate, have to have those disks...
  5. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2004
    Hudson Valley NY
    You could download Windows 7 and do a clean install. That would get it done for a year.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
  7. sn00pie macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    United States
    Contact Toshiba. They should send you recovery disks but you will have to pay for the shipping.

    It beats buying a new license for XP ($300+ last I saw) :eek:
  8. ajthomason macrumors 6502

    If you're only giving it to your mother, it's not really worth the hassle of getting the restore disks. Just create a new user account and delete the old one, then go through the hard drive to see if there are any obvious files lying around that are personal.
  9. lyndeam thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2009
    Ok so I had my husband make a trip to the other house to get my boot CDs. So I have them now and I set down to get everything going to then remember one of the reason why I ended up getting a new computer in the first place.... the CDRom drive doesn't work. awesome!
    Luckily I have an external CDRom drive. Plugged it in and selected to Restore Factory Settings. Everything appeared to moving along well... The computer said that it was going to reboot and to not remove the CD from the drive. It does this but then stopped at a command line. I left it alone thinking it was just doing its thing in the background but when I woke up this morning nothing had changed. So what I'm thinking is that when it rebooted it attempted to read from the regular CDRom drive instead of the external CDRom drive.... How can I force it to read from the external one instead? Or should I try booting the PC to the external drive? I dunno....
    Restoring is a must bc the computer is not in good working order in its current state. It shuts its self down randomly, it beeps loudly every now and then and is extremely slow.

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