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Restore Dell Dimension 5100 to Factory Settings without CD

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My parents have a Dell Dimension 5100, with Windows XP Media Center Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 3.  It's working ok just very slow because it's clogged up with old software and junk.  They want to give it to my grandma to use, so I need to get it restored to factory settings, so it's like a new computer for her.  However, we can't find the CDs that came with it (other than a resource CD).

Is there a way to restore this without the CD?  I have the OEM code, XP Product Key, Service Tag, and Express Service Tag.

I need to do this ASAP.  Grandma's hard drive died yesterday and she's already called once today asking when this one would be ready LOL.

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RoHe
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RE: Restore Dell Dimension 5100 to Factory Settings without CD

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Assuming the hard drive has never been reformatted or replaced, you can reset the PC to the factory image by rebooting and quickly pressing the Ctrl and F11 keys and following the prompts.  EVERYTHING will be wiped out including all personal files so they must be backed up on external media first.

You will have to reinstall all MS updates for XP (hundreds of them), and all your software and personal files after the restore which could take days, depending on your internet connection speed.

Also keep in mind that XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and there are lots of unfixed security issues. So the PC could get infected very quickly if Grandma goes on the internet.

Maybe you should just buy her an inexpensive Inspiron with Windows 10 which will be much more secure and probably faster than the D5100.

Ron

Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee

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RE: Restore Dell Dimension 5100 to Factory Settings without CD

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I read somewhere that if the computer was bought prior to 2004 pressing F11 wouldn't work?  My parents don't remember when they bought it but it says it's got Media Edition version 2002 so I'm assuming it was prior to 2004.  So I haven't tried it.  I'll try your suggestion and let you know if it works.  Thanks!

Having the computer wiped is exactly what I want.  My parents haven't used that computer for years so the personal files on there are not an issue.  I'm well aware that I'll have to go through all the updates and dread it but it has to be done.  Grandma's refrigerator took out yesterday too and has to be replaced so we can't afford to get a new PC right now.  She had a really bad day yesterday: refrigerator quit, hard drive died, and a bunch of light bulbs blew.  I'm beginning to think she's got major electrical issues but no one will listen to me (they think I'm over-reacting).

As far as the internet, that's not an issue either.  Grandma only uses the computer to play a hearts game and a solitaire game and neither use the internet.  She has no interest in it.  I've tried for years to teach her but she can't (or won't) retain the info.  But I'll make sure to put some sort of antivirus on there just in case she ever does get on the internet.  Since it's just used for a couple of games and won't have any other info on it, it shouldn't make a hole lot of difference. 

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RE: Restore Dell Dimension 5100 to Factory Settings without CD

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It worked!  Thanks so much!! 

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RoHe
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RE: Restore Dell Dimension 5100 to Factory Settings without CD

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Glad it worked.

You still have to go online to get all the XP updates, so you will be at risk of getting malware because IE8 has lots of unpatched holes and was the last version of IE that worked with XP.

At minimum, make sure the firewall and at least some antiviral software are both running before you go on line. And only go directly to the MS update site. No surfing on your own.

Sounds -to me- like maybe Grandma had a power surge from the electric company. You should contact them right away. They may have insurance to cover repair or replacement if damage was caused by a power surge from them. But you have to notify them quickly and provide the date when it happened, etc. Been there, done that, and they paid to fix my frig and a thermostat that got fried.

Good luck, and hope Grandma is happy, again...!

Ron

Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee

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RE: Restore Dell Dimension 5100 to Factory Settings without CD

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The firewall and antivirus that came with the computer are up and running.  It has IE 6 but when I tried to run Windows Update but it wouldn't work.  I downloaded another browser (Superbird) and was able to find out that they don't have ANY updates for XP anymore (not just future but past updates either).  I also tried to download IE 8 but it's not compatible with this PC (neither was IE 7).

But since she won't be using the internet it's not really an issue, it was just frustrating trying to get everything setup.  Grandma's got it now and she's thrilled with it.  It won't do any good to try to get Grandma to do anything about it if there was a surge.  She won't contact them about it or let anyone else do it either because she won't want to "be a bother" and you can't convince her otherwise.  I'm actually surprised she didn't put up a fuss about us giving her my parents' old computer. 

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speedstep
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RE: Restore Dell Dimension 5100 to Factory Settings without CD

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Given the age of the unit I would buy a new drive and clone to the new drive and keep the old drive as a backup.


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speedstep
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RE: Restore Dell Dimension 5100 to Factory Settings without CD

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Windows MCE  wont do SP3.

IE8 can still be downloaded.

There will be tons of stuff to install

IE8 being one. DOTNET 1.1 is on the XP CD from dell.

I strongly recommend you download the files onto a flash drive because there is no telling how long these will stay.

You have a few more days and chrome will be gone forever also.  April 1ST is game over man GAME OVER!

https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/index.html?standalone=1

 


Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues
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I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating
Contact USA Technical Support






Get Support on Twitter @DellCaresPro