Reformatting a Dell laptop back to factory specifications requires entering the Recovery Mode menu or Advanced Boot options by using special commands during start up. Once the laptop is restored to factory state, the latest drivers and firmware updates can be installed from the Dell Support web-site.
Follow the steps below to reformat a Dell laptop back to factory state.
- Backup files
- Remove non essential peripherals
- Restore the laptop to factory
From the Control Panel, click "System Maintenance," click "Back Up and Restore Center" and then "Back Up Files." Select where the backup files will be stored, what files will be backed up and then start the backup.
Unplug and disconnect scanners, printers, PDAs, modem or network cables and any other external devices that are not needed to operate the laptop.
Restart the computer and hit the "F8" key continuously until the "Recovery Mode" or "Advanced Boot Options" section appears. Quick booting systems can bypass this screen, so it is important to keep hitting the F8 key during the entire boot sequence until the screen appears. Choose "Advanced Repair Options," click "Troubleshoot" or "Repair Your Computer" and select "Reset Your PC" or "Dell Factory Image Restore" to remove all files and send it back to factory state. Click "Advanced Options" and then "System Restore" to restore the system to an earlier date if the system is not going to be formatted. Not all laptops offer the same exact wording on the recovery and repair screen, but hitting the F8 key will bring up the menu.