How can I restore Windows 7 to factory settings without re-install?
Question by Sebastian Short /

I need to re-install windows 7 64-bit on my mothers laptop which came pre-installed with it. I tried searching how to and found that it is possible with the serial code which is on the back, but this has worn off and is un-readable as is the laptops serial code which means I can’t contact HP support but I came here, as I’ve found it much more helpful. Basically, I’ll happily re-install it if anybody knows how I can do this (I don’t have the license key for windows 7 but it is currently installed on the laptop) or, I need to somehow restore it to as if it had just come out the box, no custom applications, completely clean (well it came with some HP dock and stuff but it’s fine if it has that or not) and I would be greatly appreciative to anybody that can assist me in finding a remedy to this situation.


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Answers (20)
  • Oron Joffe

    Sebastian, you didn’t explain WHY you need to reinstall the system, so I’ll assume that it’s not working properly at present (if it IS working, you could use one of the packages suggested by others to retrieve your product code).
    Basically, Bruce & Jan’s answer is the one to go for, but you the recovery partition may not be visible (and if the machine will not start, you won’t be able to see it anyway!), so what to do is to press F11 when you switch on the computer, and to choose to restore the PC. This will COMPLETELY erase your C: drive and replace its contents with a restored system just as the laptop came from the factory. If F11 does not work (it the normal “recover” key on most HP/Compaqs) then find the manual for your laptop online and find out what the recovery procedure is for your model.

    • Garris Rago

      Thankyou for your input sir, I’ve resolved the issue now.

  • Tanveer Ahmed

    If you have recovery partition on hard drive you can do recovery from partition.Restart computer.on startup you will see System Recovery (on my computer it is F11). keep tapping the key until it will bring to recovery window .Press Advanced.Click Reset to Factory Settings or something like this and follow screen instructions

  • ha14

    check if there is recovery partition, while booting press F8 key (check your model) you will get a menu and there should be factory recovery

    • Garris Rago

      Thankyou for your input sir, I’ve resolved the issue now.

  • Dhaval Patel

    completely reinstalling of win 7 means it will build up from scratch, all the drivers and programs which ever is currently installed will be gone. i think you need to recover the win 7 to its original state and for that yo have to made a recovery disk at the time of purchasing of the laptop.

    • Garris Rago

      Thankyou for your input sir, I’ve resolved the issue now.

  • Chinmay Sarupria

    You should try HP recovery manager which you can find in Start Menu.

  • Tze Yu Ch ng

    You can use this to find your product key:
    To reinstall, just get a windows 7 disc that’s the same edition as yours either from a friend or torrents and install as usual. Just enter your product key when prompted, that way your OS won’t come preloaded with all sorts of unnecessary junk that HP thinks you’ll need.

    • Garris Rago

      Thankyou sir, I used the methods in these articles to complete it! (Y)

  • susendeep dutta

    You can get to know the product key by using the tool ProduKey –

    It’ll display your Windows key.This tool is also useful if your laptop has other paid software installed like Microsoft Office.

    Now,if you want a clean OS,then,remove any software that you don’t want using PC decrapifier software.It’s useful for mass uninstallation and making sure it doesn’t hurt your system registry –

    Create a disk image of your OS and then use it to install Windows OS for your laptop.

    • Garris Rago

      Thankyou for your input sir, I’ve resolved the issue now.

  • Unknown …

    I think this is not possible now. As Windows deletes old Restore Points and replace them with new one. Because a Restore Point is the only solution for what you’re asking for OR a clean install again. Though Bruce Epper above may also be true.

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