Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Can I reset my computer to factory settings without Windows 7 disc?

Tags:
  • Windows 7
  • Computers
  • Factory Restore
Last response: in Windows 7
Share
July 27, 2014 12:54:28 PM

I want to reset my computer so I have full memory and pretty much make it brand new, but I don't have the windows 7 disc and I don't have a disc drive. How can I go about this or is there another alternative? I'm new to this, so please help.

More about : reset computer factory settings windows disc

a b $ Windows 7
July 27, 2014 1:03:07 PM

NO.
You would either need to reinstall Windows or have a previous backup IMAGE of your C-drive to restore.

Normally people only reinstall Windows to make it "new" if they have problems which could include it being really slow due to a virus you can't find or other issue.
m
0
l
July 27, 2014 1:25:52 PM

Doing a complete wipe and re-install is treating a symptom, not the core problem. The core problem is you have crappy, useless stuff running on your system and the second that you start re-installing things they will start showing up again immediately.

A far better answer is to start dealing with the things that are clogging up your system. The first port of call is Task Manager. Hit Ctrl Alt Del, and then click task manager, this will show you everything that is running on your system. Go to processes (the second tab) and then click on the memory header to arrange by memory use. This will tell you, in order, what things are eating your memory at this exact second. This will give you a good indication of what's happening under the hood. You'll likely see that the biggest memory users are things that you told the computer to do - Prime candidate is having too many browser tabs open, especially if they involve flash or other video playback. Close down as many tabs (and other applications that appear near the top) as you reasonably can. I'm not saying close it all, but my experience has always been that 'slow performance' is caused by people opening too much stuff they aren't actively working on.

Another thing to look at is your anti-virus software. Open it up and make sure it's not scanning. Because it eats a lot of resources to scan stuff, and if you have a low powered pc it can take a long time. If it is scanning, tell it to stop.

Next up, you can free up some (no where near as much as actual applications, but still some) by taking a trip to the system configuration window. To get there, open the start menu and type 'msconfig' (without the quotes) into the search, then hit enter. From there, head to the start up tab. There's going to be a biiiiiig list of stuff in there, and a lot of it you don't want to turn off. Don't turn off anything made by Microsoft, or that otherwise relates to hardware (graphics cards and SSDs being really important things not to turn off) but other things like Steam and Adobe's horrible updaters can safely be turned off. Clicking things off in here doesn't hurt them or anything, it just means that they won't automatically open when you start your machine, just when you open the program yourself. So this can clean out useless things.

Next, go to control panel and then 'Programs And Features', and uninstall anything that you don't need. Old applications add up a lot over time, and you should trash anything that isn't currently in frequent use. This will help to clean up your registry and as such help the machine run better. Also, it will free up hard drive space, which is more important than you think - All systems use HDD space as 'virtual memory' and if your drives are close to full then cleaning out unused files helps. That goes for user data too. Make sure you don't have a million cat gifs stashed away somewhere, and run disk-clean up to get rid of unused temp files too.

Finally, you can scan for malware. More paranoid people would say this is your first port of call, but I've only ever once seen a PC that had genuine Malware on (as opposed to just tracking cookies and such) but it's not something to be rules out. Go and find Spybot Search and Destroy and run it on your system. Let it fix/delete everything it tells you to.

Once this is all done, leave the machine on over night and run a defrag (assuming you are on a hard-drive, you aren't supposed to defrag solid state drives) which will again give you a little improvement.

With all of this done your system will be as good as it is going to get, exactly as if you had re-formatted and then installed all of your applications again. For older systems especially applications out-strip your machine, and there's a good chance that your machine is just showing it's age. That's just the way of the world sometimes.

Your biggest gains in performance are going to come from changing your behavior. I know it sounds stupid, but seriously - Close tabs you don't need. They all use memory. Close applications you don't need. Turn off widgets you don't need. All of these things will help. Putting less strain on your system will give you better performance in the things you genuinely are using right this second.

As for upgrades - You can almost certainly cheaply improve your systems performance by adding more RAM, or by installing an SSD to run Windows off of. These things sound complicated, but really they aren't. Adding more RAM is just putting a thing in a slot. Windows has a wizard for moving to a new hard drive.
m
0
l
Related resources
a c 624 $ Windows 7
July 27, 2014 1:37:37 PM

LostAlone said:


Finally, you can scan for malware. More paranoid people would say this is your first port of call, but I've only ever once seen a PC that had genuine Malware on (as opposed to just tracking cookies and such) but it's not something to be rules out. Go and find Spybot Search and Destroy and run it on your system. Let it fix/delete everything it tells you to.



You've not seen enough used PC's...lol
18 month old Sony VAIO. 160GB HDD, 100MB free on the drive.
Why? Completely virused up. Torrenting and installing pirated software. I gave him $50 for the carcass. A simple wipe and reinstall...it served as my main PC for 3-4 years.

2 year old Toshiba laptop. Same basic problem. Installing cracked (virused) software. Again...$50. It is sitting here next to me, happily running Win7 & Win 8.
m
0
l
July 27, 2014 1:52:46 PM

USAFRet said:
LostAlone said:


Finally, you can scan for malware. More paranoid people would say this is your first port of call, but I've only ever once seen a PC that had genuine Malware on (as opposed to just tracking cookies and such) but it's not something to be rules out. Go and find Spybot Search and Destroy and run it on your system. Let it fix/delete everything it tells you to.



You've not seen enough used PC's...lol
18 month old Sony VAIO. 160GB HDD, 100MB free on the drive.
Why? Completely virused up. Torrenting and installing pirated software. I gave him $50 for the carcass. A simple wipe and reinstall...it served as my main PC for 3-4 years.

2 year old Toshiba laptop. Same basic problem. Installing cracked (virused) software. Again...$50. It is sitting here next to me, happily running Win7 & Win 8.


It depends where you go and who you talk to. I've always been a guy that non computer people ask to come fix their PCs, and I've only ever once seen one with a genuine malware on it. I've seen dozens of people who scream that they do have a virus, when in fact they foolishly decided to install a horribly front end for terrible flash games or a million tool bars. People are real quick to blame russian hackers when in fact they caused the problem themselves. Similarly, I've worked on a lot of machines that were full of torrented stuff but not of viruses. Torrents with viruses on don't last long in my experience.

Also, it's incredibly uncool of you to just steal a guys laptop like that. Just because he didn't know better doesn't mean it's ok.
m
0
l
July 27, 2014 1:54:15 PM

LostAlone said:
Doing a complete wipe and re-install is treating a symptom, not the core problem. The core problem is you have crappy, useless stuff running on your system and the second that you start re-installing things they will start showing up again immediately.

A far better answer is to start dealing with the things that are clogging up your system. The first port of call is Task Manager. Hit Ctrl Alt Del, and then click task manager, this will show you everything that is running on your system. Go to processes (the second tab) and then click on the memory header to arrange by memory use. This will tell you, in order, what things are eating your memory at this exact second. This will give you a good indication of what's happening under the hood. You'll likely see that the biggest memory users are things that you told the computer to do - Prime candidate is having too many browser tabs open, especially if they involve flash or other video playback. Close down as many tabs (and other applications that appear near the top) as you reasonably can. I'm not saying close it all, but my experience has always been that 'slow performance' is caused by people opening too much stuff they aren't actively working on.

Another thing to look at is your anti-virus software. Open it up and make sure it's not scanning. Because it eats a lot of resources to scan stuff, and if you have a low powered pc it can take a long time. If it is scanning, tell it to stop.

Next up, you can free up some (no where near as much as actual applications, but still some) by taking a trip to the system configuration window. To get there, open the start menu and type 'msconfig' (without the quotes) into the search, then hit enter. From there, head to the start up tab. There's going to be a biiiiiig list of stuff in there, and a lot of it you don't want to turn off. Don't turn off anything made by Microsoft, or that otherwise relates to hardware (graphics cards and SSDs being really important things not to turn off) but other things like Steam and Adobe's horrible updaters can safely be turned off. Clicking things off in here doesn't hurt them or anything, it just means that they won't automatically open when you start your machine, just when you open the program yourself. So this can clean out useless things.

Next, go to control panel and then 'Programs And Features', and uninstall anything that you don't need. Old applications add up a lot over time, and you should trash anything that isn't currently in frequent use. This will help to clean up your registry and as such help the machine run better. Also, it will free up hard drive space, which is more important than you think - All systems use HDD space as 'virtual memory' and if your drives are close to full then cleaning out unused files helps. That goes for user data too. Make sure you don't have a million cat gifs stashed away somewhere, and run disk-clean up to get rid of unused temp files too.

Finally, you can scan for malware. More paranoid people would say this is your first port of call, but I've only ever once seen a PC that had genuine Malware on (as opposed to just tracking cookies and such) but it's not something to be rules out. Go and find Spybot Search and Destroy and run it on your system. Let it fix/delete everything it tells you to.

Once this is all done, leave the machine on over night and run a defrag (assuming you are on a hard-drive, you aren't supposed to defrag solid state drives) which will again give you a little improvement.

With all of this done your system will be as good as it is going to get, exactly as if you had re-formatted and then installed all of your applications again. For older systems especially applications out-strip your machine, and there's a good chance that your machine is just showing it's age. That's just the way of the world sometimes.

Your biggest gains in performance are going to come from changing your behavior. I know it sounds stupid, but seriously - Close tabs you don't need. They all use memory. Close applications you don't need. Turn off widgets you don't need. All of these things will help. Putting less strain on your system will give you better performance in the things you genuinely are using right this second.

As for upgrades - You can almost certainly cheaply improve your systems performance by adding more RAM, or by installing an SSD to run Windows off of. These things sound complicated, but really they aren't. Adding more RAM is just putting a thing in a slot. Windows has a wizard for moving to a new hard drive.


Thank you for the detailed description of what I need to do, it will help alot! Mainly what I need though is to free up space on my HDD and I don't know whats needed and whats not needed.
m
0
l
a c 624 $ Windows 7
July 27, 2014 1:55:53 PM

LostAlone said:


Also, it's incredibly uncool of you to just steal a guys laptop like that. Just because he didn't know better doesn't mean it's ok.


This was the third time around fixing that particular Sony. Semi family member, fixed it once (dude, don't do that), fixed it twice (dude, what did I tell you last time? Don't do that)....2 broken keys on the kbd, totally unusable due to the 3rd round of virus...."Here, I'll give you $50 for it."
m
0
l
a c 624 $ Windows 7
July 27, 2014 1:57:22 PM

LostAlone said:


It depends where you go and who you talk to. I've always been a guy that non computer people ask to come fix their PCs, and I've only ever once seen one with a genuine malware on it. I've seen dozens of people who scream that they do have a virus, when in fact they foolishly decided to install a horribly front end for terrible flash games or a million tool bars. People are real quick to blame russian hackers when in fact they caused the problem themselves. Similarly, I've worked on a lot of machines that were full of torrented stuff but not of viruses. Torrents with viruses on don't last long in my experience.


Oh yeah, it was completely his fault. Installing a cracked version of <whatever>. And something else, and then something else.
'Dude...don't do that.'
m
0
l
July 27, 2014 2:03:30 PM

Ryuketheimmortal said:

Thank you for the detailed description of what I need to do, it will help alot! Mainly what I need though is to free up space on my HDD and I don't know whats needed and whats not needed.


Well, going through the windows uninstaller (now called Programs and Features) won't let you uninstall anything that'll actually break the machine - Just things that you have actually installed. So open up the window and just run down the list. Anything that you don't know the name of you can probably uninstall safely. Things like games are going to be the ones that take up the most space, and (hopefully) you can at least remember what things you have played and no longer do.

Also, look to your user files - Open up your 'My Documents' or wherever you download things to just start looking at files and see what you need and what you don't. Arrange the folder by size, so you can see the biggest offenders, and basically delete everything that you can't see an immediate use for that is bigger than a megabyte or so. Practically nothing that you download you can't go and get back in two seconds if you wanted to, but all these old installers just sit there and gather dust on our hard drives.

Really only you can decide what you need and what you don't, but eer towards deleting things. Remember, this is the digital world. Anything you got from someone else and don't use just toss.

m
0
l
July 27, 2014 2:15:14 PM

USAFRet said:
LostAlone said:


It depends where you go and who you talk to. I've always been a guy that non computer people ask to come fix their PCs, and I've only ever once seen one with a genuine malware on it. I've seen dozens of people who scream that they do have a virus, when in fact they foolishly decided to install a horribly front end for terrible flash games or a million tool bars. People are real quick to blame russian hackers when in fact they caused the problem themselves. Similarly, I've worked on a lot of machines that were full of torrented stuff but not of viruses. Torrents with viruses on don't last long in my experience.


Oh yeah, it was completely his fault. Installing a cracked version of <whatever>. And something else, and then something else.
'Dude...don't do that.'


So that makes it ok to rip him off?

99% of computing problems are caused by the user - I mean computers by themselves can't actually do anything, just sit there and play screen savers at you. Obviously the problem was on some level caused by the user. So what that he used cracked software? That doesn't mean you're allowed to defraud him.
m
0
l
a c 624 $ Windows 7
July 27, 2014 2:34:49 PM

LostAlone said:
USAFRet said:
LostAlone said:


It depends where you go and who you talk to. I've always been a guy that non computer people ask to come fix their PCs, and I've only ever once seen one with a genuine malware on it. I've seen dozens of people who scream that they do have a virus, when in fact they foolishly decided to install a horribly front end for terrible flash games or a million tool bars. People are real quick to blame russian hackers when in fact they caused the problem themselves. Similarly, I've worked on a lot of machines that were full of torrented stuff but not of viruses. Torrents with viruses on don't last long in my experience.


Oh yeah, it was completely his fault. Installing a cracked version of <whatever>. And something else, and then something else.
'Dude...don't do that.'


So that makes it ok to rip him off?

99% of computing problems are caused by the user - I mean computers by themselves can't actually do anything, just sit there and play screen savers at you. Obviously the problem was on some level caused by the user. So what that he used cracked software? That doesn't mean you're allowed to defraud him.


Defraud? No.
1. The PC was a gift to him. He was out $0.
2. Against better advice, he installed cracked, previrused software. Which I fixed twice previously. I was not going to do it again.
3. $50 in exchange for goods requires an agreement on both sides. If he had thought that a bad deal, all he had to do was to say no. No problem.

He wasn't using it...it was unusable. Taking it somewhere else to 'fix it' would have cost more than it was worth, in pristine condition. Which it was not (broken off keys, etc).
And would have ended up in exactly the same condition within 6 months.

How much would YOU buy a badly abused laptop for?
m
0
l
July 27, 2014 7:38:02 PM

USAFRet said:
LostAlone said:
USAFRet said:
LostAlone said:


It depends where you go and who you talk to. I've always been a guy that non computer people ask to come fix their PCs, and I've only ever once seen one with a genuine malware on it. I've seen dozens of people who scream that they do have a virus, when in fact they foolishly decided to install a horribly front end for terrible flash games or a million tool bars. People are real quick to blame russian hackers when in fact they caused the problem themselves. Similarly, I've worked on a lot of machines that were full of torrented stuff but not of viruses. Torrents with viruses on don't last long in my experience.


Oh yeah, it was completely his fault. Installing a cracked version of <whatever>. And something else, and then something else.
'Dude...don't do that.'


So that makes it ok to rip him off?

99% of computing problems are caused by the user - I mean computers by themselves can't actually do anything, just sit there and play screen savers at you. Obviously the problem was on some level caused by the user. So what that he used cracked software? That doesn't mean you're allowed to defraud him.


Defraud? No.
1. The PC was a gift to him. He was out $0.
2. Against better advice, he installed cracked, previrused software. Which I fixed twice previously. I was not going to do it again.
3. $50 in exchange for goods requires an agreement on both sides. If he had thought that a bad deal, all he had to do was to say no. No problem.

He wasn't using it...it was unusable. Taking it somewhere else to 'fix it' would have cost more than it was worth, in pristine condition. Which it was not (broken off keys, etc).
And would have ended up in exactly the same condition within 6 months.

How much would YOU buy a badly abused laptop for?


How about you guys stop arguing. How is this helping me out? Stop acting like <edited> kids.
m
0
l
!