How can I restore Windows 7 to factory settings without re-install?

Sebastian Short March 3, 2013
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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.


  1. Oron Joffe
    March 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    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
      March 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

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

  2. prashanth singh rathore
    March 3, 2013 at 11:25 am
  3. Tanveer Ahmed
    March 3, 2013 at 9:57 am

    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

  4. ha14
    March 3, 2013 at 9:29 am

    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
      March 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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

  5. Dhaval Patel
    March 3, 2013 at 8:58 am

    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
      March 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm

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

  6. Chinmay Sarupria
    March 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

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

  7. Tze Yu Ch ng
    March 3, 2013 at 7:49 am

    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.

  8. Manuel Guillermo López Buenfil
    March 3, 2013 at 5:36 am
    • Garris Rago
      March 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

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

  9. susendeep dutta
    March 3, 2013 at 4:56 am

    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
      March 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm

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

  10. Unknown ...
    March 3, 2013 at 4:10 am

    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.

  11. Jan Fritsch
    March 3, 2013 at 3:59 am

    The first thing to look for is a recovery option as Bruce already explained.

    The second option which somewhat "fakes" a new system would be to uninstall all software and applications, create and create a new user. Preferably you should use tools like Revo Uninstaller and CCleaner to further clean the system.

    Finally, if you do happen to have a Windows 7 64-Bit DVD or other installation media around you can always retrieve the License Key using third-party software.
    (make sure to download the x64 version)

    • Garris Rago
      March 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm

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

  12. Bruce Epper
    March 3, 2013 at 3:49 am

    If the computer has a recovery partition, you can use that to return it to OOB status. You can do the same thing if recovery CDs/DVDs were created during the initial setup as well. In either case, the product key will not matter as it is embedded in the image that would be restored to the C: drive.

    • Garris Rago
      March 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm

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

  13. Kedar Korgaonkar
    April 7, 2011 at 10:18 am

    great post.. got nice information

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