The process for reimaging a laptop varies according to the manufacturer of the computer and the operating system used. Reimaging is the process of wiping a hard drive clean of all data, which may be necessary following a virus infection or other damage.
If possible, the user should back up data from the hard drive to an external resource before reimaging. It is also important to have the product key for the operating system software the computer uses. Though the process is slightly different from computer to computer, to reimage a Dell computer, the following steps should be taken:
Step 1: Go to the Advanced Boot Options menu
Turn off the computer and remove any external devices connected to it, but leave the power cord in. Turn the computer on and press F8 a few times to open the menu.
Step 2: Go to the System Recovery Options menu
Use the arrow keys to select "Repair Your Computer" and press enter. In the System Recovery Options menu, choose a keyboard layout.
Step 3: Log in
After clicking "Next," enter your log-in data, then select "Dell Factory Tools," if it appears, to get to the Dell Factory Image Restore menu.
Step 4: Reformat the hard drive
Click "Next," then, in the Confirm Data Deletion menu, select "Yes, Reformat the Hard Drive" option. This will reformat the hard drive and, when finished, the system will reboot.