I'm at my wit's end trying to restore my old Dell laptop to factory settings.
About two years ago, my Latitude D520 had a horrible crash. It wouldn't start successfully. I had three options - start Windows normally, use the last known good configuration, or start with safe mode. The last two took me to a blue screen, and safe mode never loaded. Eventually, one of my friends fixed it. I suspect that it was reset to factory settings because all my files and programs were gone.
My laptop ran really fast afterwards, but now it's slowing down horribly. It starts at a good speed, but after an hour or so, it's extremely painfully slow. :/ I feel like it's time to restore factory settings again, and I researched how to do that. This is what I've found.
1) If you don't have a restore factory settings disc, press F8 or some other key to get to a black screen where you can select an option to reset to factory settings.
This option didn't work because I don't have that option to set to factory settings. Apparently, if you used the option once before, it never appears again.
2) If 1) doesn't work, you'll have to manually reset using the factory restore/recovery disc.
...I don't own that disc. This laptop wasn't bought at a store.
3) If you don't own a disc, you can request one online through Dell.
I tried that. They won't send me a disc because my warranty has expired.
Am I SOL? I feel like it should be so much easier than this to reset my laptop.
You're going to need to purchase a copy of Windows - very often you'll see Dell WIndows CDs for sale on EBay.
Technically, the selling of the Dell Windows CDs is against eBay's rules. I was sent an email about this and my listing removed when I tried selling one of my Dell Windows CDs.
So, if you see one, jump on it. The next day it may be removed.
Is this the same thing as the recovery disc or do I have to purchase a copy of Windows on top of the recovery disc? And does the copy of Windows have to be specifically Dell?
I've never seen a Dell system with a disc called "recovery". It's a "For reinstallation of Windows on a Dell system" Disc.
The disc has to be Dell-specific -- or you'll need a retail copy of Windows with an unused license key (the key on the system CANNOT be used other than with a Dell OEM CD).