At some point I have picked up a nasty root kit, and my computer basically hid a ton of my files and programs and all my antivirus stuff that I had in place. I've done several sweeps using numerous anti-virus and programs. I've gotten rid of a lot of junk, but I can't seem to get rid of the root kit. I am also unable to re-connect to my wireless network. I have been able to un-hide most of the files I needed and have safely moved them to a secure external hard drive for safe keeping. At this point I want to do a factory reset on this laptop.
When I try to do a PCrestore while logged into windows, it gets about 1/4 of the way through and just doesn't complete due to some unexplained error. I've tried the F8 trick that was shown in other forums, and I can't get past the admin screen because I have no earthly idea what the admin u/n and p/w are. I've tried every combination I can think of from 3 years ago when I got the laptop. I spoke to Geek Squad at Best Buy and they said if I had the system restore disk that would essentially erase the entire HD and reformat it back to factory settings, and no virus or other HD issues would prevent it from working. They also stated they could do it, for $129, which I really don't want to spend on a 3-4 year old laptop. I still had the box and a bag of discs that came with the laptop. I don't think any of them are a system restore disc. I have the following discs:
Dell Drivers and Utilities for reinstalling Dell Studio 1555 computer software
Dell Application For reinstalling Dell Webcam Central Software
Dell Application for reinstalling Cyberlink PowerDVD DX8.1 software for DVD playback
Operating System reinstallation DVD Windows Vista Home Premium 64BIT SP1
None of those appear to be the disk that will actually reformat the HD to factory settings. Is there a way to re-order that disk (that I apparently misplaced), or create one online that I can use on my laptop?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance!
If you live in the United States, Request Backup Disks USA if in another Country, Contact Dell Tech Support in your Country.
The easiest procedure is...
More involved method is How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft® Windows® on a Dell™ Computer just make sure to install the drivers in the correct order. How to Download and Install Drivers in the Correct Order
Original poster, If you have solved your problem, can you please mark the correct thread(s) with your solution. Thanks
Welcome to Dell Community!
#MicrosoftMVP - Windows Expert-Consumer April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2015
From your post you have:
"Operating System reinstallation DVD Windows Vista Home Premium 64BIT SP1"
That is the DVD you need and should look something like this, colours may vary.
Follow the instructions here with that DVD.
As you have had some nasty infections I would advise use of DBAN as illustrated in my wiki to completely remove any trace of the virus, trojan from your hard drive.
Thanks for the warm welcome.
Your first link to system restore disks appears to pertain to Data Safe local 2.0, which I don't believe my computer uses, and also Windows 7, my computer is currently running Vista. Requesting those particular restoration disks would probably not be useful to me? Would they even send them to me based on my current OS that came with the laptop?
I am unable to execute the second link titled "restoring your computer's software to the factory settings" because I do not have the admin username and password. Over the past 3 years I have forgotten both. I've tried every combination that I could think of and none have worked..
Looking at your third and fourth links, they require internet access. My laptop is completely fubar when it comes to connecting to the internet. Everything shows I am connected to the internet, but when I actually try to connect to anything via firefox/IE it gives me a "unable to establish a connection to the server at "whatever internet site i try to visit".
Thanks again for your help.
Follow the instructions in my wiki A Clean Install of Windows Vista.
Step 1 and Step 2 aren't necessary if you have already backed up all your data. Make sure you have your Microsoft Office Product Key (if you have Microsoft Office).
Step 3 you have the DVD so no need to pay any attention to the rest of this step.
Step 4 you will need Service Pack 2 (x64) and Internet Explorer 9 (x64). I also recommend getting Microsoft Security Essentials (64 bit) and Microsoft Security Essentials Latest .dat (64 bit)
Step 5 you can use your Drivers and Utilities Disc but I recommend instead downloading the latest versions from Dell Drivers and Downloads. As I mentioned DO NOT USE THE SERVICE TAG as Dell have severely messed this service up and you will likely miss half the drivers such as the chipset.
R260000 Dell System Software, R228043 Intel Chipset, R227769 Ricoh Card Reader, R264627 Intel Video, R227577 AMD Video,
R197201, CONEXANT_D400-USB-MODEM_DPP14_A00_SETUP_ZPE.exe, CONEXANT_D400-USB-MODEM_J5F69_A01_SETUP_ZPE.exe, R156757.exe
R200064 Broadcom Ethernet, (choice of 3 wireless cards R201539, R202465 and R252542 - pick the correct one), R199663 Bluetooth 370 (usually optional)
R242713 Touchpad, R261324 IDT Audio, R213242 Creative Labs Application, R264610 Dell Quickset.
There may be a few additional things under the Applications and Communications Category depending on your exact system configuration.
For Step 3 and 4 use another computer and copy the files over to a USB flash drive or external hard drive.
Step 6 is probably not necessary, if it is you need the SATA drivers for the install you can probably insert your Drivers and Utilities Disc.
Step 7 I will recommend carrying out the DBAN wipe, this will securely wipe your hard drive, it will take a long time but I will recommend doing so for your nasty infection. This system should be a Media Direct system so the notes for Media Direct won't apply to you.
Step 8 Is the actual install, just follow it through exactly.
Step 9 install the files from Step 4. This will ensure that Windows is somewhat up to date and that Microsoft Security Essentials is up to date upon first connection to the Internet.
Step 10 Install the system drivers again in the correct order of Step 5.
Step 11 Shouldn't be necessary with a Dell Reinstallation DVD but perform the checks anyway.
Step 12 Check for Errors in the Device Manager, hopefully you should have none and just to re-assess your computer.
Step 13 Install Malwarebytes' AntiMalware, Microsoft Office and other Applications
Step 14 Use your Disc "Dell Application For reinstalling Dell Webcam Central Software" and "Dell Application for reinstalling Cyberlink PowerDVD DX8.1 software for DVD playback". Also Dell Support Centre and Dell Dock.
I created the DBAN disk using ImgBurn. I inserted into my laptop, and used F12 to bring up the boot options screen. I selected boot from cd. It opened up the warning screen for DBAN. I entered in autonuke at the first screen command prompt. It opened up and reads:
Darik's Boot and Nuke 2.2.6 (beta) is starting.
Waiting for USB devices to register. . . . . . . . . . . .done.
There is a flashing cursor under the "P" in PCI (sysfs). It has been sitting like that for over an hour now with no change. I am going to let it "run" overnight but I have a feeling it's doing nothing. Any ideas? Thanks again for all your help. I have all the drivers and service pack 2 stuff awaiting upload via USB jump drives and the system and windows disks ready as well. Just awaiting the system wipe to go through.
DBAN does that if there is no card in the card reader. You need to disable the Card reader in the BIOs setup. F2 at the Dell screen, then disable onboard card reader (Enable it again after DBAN is done).