Question about Dell Dimension C521 PC Desktop

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Factory restore - Dell Dimension C521 PC Desktop

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Brian Sullivan

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Dell Dimension computers have a built-in PC restore system that allows you to quickly restore the PC to its original factory settings.
The PC restore is located in a hidden partition of the PC's hard drive and contains a copy of the computer's original factory installed software.
There are two different ways to restore the Dimension's settings depending on which operating system your computer is running.

Windows XP

Disconnect all peripheral equipment that is attached to your computer such as printer, scanner, external hard drive and memory sticks.
Restart the computer.
After the Dell screen appears on the monitor, hold down the "Ctrl" key and press the "F11" key.
If the Windows XP screen appears before you can finish this step, wait for the computer to finish rebooting and restart the computer again.


Highlight "Restore" in the Dell PC Restore window by using the tab button.
Hit "Enter."


Highlight "Confirm" in the restore warning box by using the tab button.
Hit "Enter."
This will start the system restore process.
Do not attempt to turn off the computer during this process or vital system files may be damages and you will not be able to restart your computer.


Click "Finish" in the box that notifies you that the restoration has been successful.


Hit "Enter" to restart the computer.
The computer has been restored to the original factory settings.

Windows Vista

Disconnect all peripheral equipment that is attached to your computer such as printer, scanner, external hard drive and memory sticks.



Restart the computer.
After the Dell screen appears on the monitor, press the "F8" key.
If the Windows Vista screen appears before you can finish this step, wait for the computer to finish rebooting and restart the computer again.


Highlight "Repair Your Computer" by using the down arrow key in the Advanced Boot window.
Hit the "Enter" key.


Click "Next" after selecting a language. Log into the computer as an administrator.
"OK." Choose "Dell Factory Restore."
Click "Next."


Check "Yes" next to the reformat the hard drive and restore factory settings option.
Click "Next" to start the restoration process.
Do not attempt to turn off the computer during this process or vital system files may be damages and you will not be able to restart your computer.


Click "Finish" in the box that notifies you that the restoration has been successful.
The computer will automatically restart itself to its original factory settings.



Posted on Aug 18, 2013

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