How to Factory Restore a Windows XP Dell Without a Recovery Disc

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Perform a factory restore to your Dell computer to revert the operating system and program files to the original operating condition. The restore process resolves issues due to a critical operating failure, a hard drive crash or malware infection, and it can also be useful for wiping your computer clean before you sell it. Backup any personal files and programs you want to save before performing the restore process. To make the process easier, Dell includes a hard drive partition so you will not have to rely on additional recovery discs to perform the restore.

  • Disconnect any additional hardware devices, such as MP3 players, smartphones or printers from the computer.

  • Restart the computer. Press the "Ctrl" and "F11" button once the Dell logo appears on the screen. The "Dell PC Restore by Symantec" window will appear.

  • Press the "Tab" button to select the "Restore" option. Press "Enter." Click "Confirm" in the warning window to initiate the restore process. A progress bar will appear, detailing the steps in the restore process.

  • Click "Finish" in the completion window to restart the computer into the factory operating condition.

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