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mary, Consultant
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 2200
Experience:  MCA (Masters in Computer Application
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I have a Dell Dimension 8400 and need to restore windows to

Customer Question

I have a Dell Dimension 8400 and need to restore windows to its factory settings.

The system restore function only goes back a few months and is useless.

It came with no recovery CD and so I guess I need to access the recovery partition.

I understand this to be simple but I have tried the following all without success:
1. ctrl and F11 when booting up. All sorts of combinations of timing tried.
2. USing the i386 file, but it has no winnt files to use.
3. f12 when booting up then access the partition as administrator but it is locked and I have no password.

Can anyone help?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  mary replied 7 years ago.

please restart the computer and tap down the F8 key until the 'Windows Advanced Options' menu comes up, select 'Safe Mode' ...when the logon screen comes up, is there a Administrator account present?

logon to the Administrator account, go to Start > Run, and type in control userpasswords2 in the dialog box that comes up.
In the 'User Accounts' window that comes up, highlight your own user account and click the 'Reset Password' option at bottom, leave both of the password XXXXX blank when prompted and click 'Ok'.
Restart your system normally now and check if you can login to your account all right thereafter.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I've made the change but can't get anywhere still.


I also should have said that I've tried F10 when I boot up and try to access the system defaults there (not sure if they are the same as the factory settings) but I can't because of the admin password XXXXX I don't have.


Surely there is a simple key sequence when I boot up that will allow me to resest to factory settings?



Expert:  mary replied 7 years ago.

Please follow the steps belows to fix the issue.

Manually run Chkdsk at the command prompt
Insert the windows disk in the drive and reboot the computer, as you see the initial display keep tapping the F8 key for few times you will see a windows advance menu, use the up/down arrow key to select the safe mode with command prompt and then hit enter
At the command prompt, type chkdsk /r, and then press ENTER.

This might take 2 hrs to scan and correct the corrupted files once it completes you will see a c:> prompt all you need to type in is exit and hit enter it will restart windows.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I haven't got a windows disk. Dell didn't provide them at this time and have the recovery on a separate partition. At least that's what I understand.
Expert:  mary replied 7 years ago.

normally we dont get a disk these days as it comes with recover partition however you can get it shipped from dell if you call them up tell them youd dont want to loose data so you need the disk to run the windows repair.

call Dell: 1- 800 624 - 9896

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your help.

I've tried it but in the UK for some reason they won't send one.

Expert:  mary replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for using justanswer.