I seem to have an overwhelming number of viruses and/or spyware and other annoying things on my computer. Since, I don’t have much on my harddrive and have backed up everything I want to keep, I would like to restore/format my computer back to the way it was when it was first purchased.
I have a DELL dimension 2350 series computer. It did not come with a “quick restore” CD. It has various CDs for reinstalling drivers and also the Windows XP home CD. There is no simple process to format the harddrive and reinstall the factory features. The only option in the system tools is a restore tool which lets me restore the computer to where it was up to 3 months ago. I need a full format and restore. Why the hell are the DELL people so stupid that they can not provide its customers with a full restore CD? Every other computer company does. Can someone tell me how I would go about formatting and restoring to factory conditions without using any DOS or that old-timers crap?
If you stick the windows xp cd in there and reboot, it should give you an option to delete the partition and reformat it.
From there you’ll have your clean install, and windows may or may not have all the drivers you need already there. In my experience, most of the time I can get by with the native windows drivers. You may need to reinstall drivers if for example your sound card doesn’t work or if there are features you use that are missing.
Just to say that you can definitely use the XP disk that came with your Dell machine for this…I did exactly this last weekend and it worked fine.
I have an 8200 laptop with a 40GB HD broken down into C: D: and E: partitions and I wanted to reformat the C: partition where my windows install is and then reinstall windows. Booting from the XP disk that came with the machine gave me the option to reformat my C: partition and then reinstall windows.
Hope it goes well.
Oddly enough, most people bitch because all they get with a new PC is a restore CD, which is nothing more than a disk image, as opposed to a real-live Windows install disk.
Consider yourself blessed that you didn’t get stuck with the brainless “restore” disk.
As for re-installing your specific PC, head over to support.dell.com and search for something like 2350 reinstall. Like grey said, it’s pretty much booting with the XP CD, installing Windows, then popping in the Dell drivers CD and installing them.
XP has quite a complete set of drivers for most hardware, and Windows Update will automatically select the rest of them once your all patched and service packed up.
Don’t sweat it. Just format and install XP and let 'er rip. You’re actually fortunate it isn’t some recovery CD IMHO.