I currently have a Dell Studio 1558 running Windows 7.
I am trying to reformat the computer by starting in the Windows recovery partition holding down the f8 button while it starts up. Whenever I do that, the loading bar on the voot screen fills up and the computer gets stuck in this position. I have tried it multiple times, even letting it sit for an hour to see if it would work, but I haven't had any luck at all.
Is there any way I can reformat the computer through windows or is there a cd that I can boot from to reformat?
There should not be any need to hold the F8 key down. Just depressing it or maybe twice at POST (Power On Self Test) should access the recovery partition (PC Restore). However, if it was corrupted and not accessable, restoring via discs is the only other option.
You can download Windows 7 - the exact same version that came with the PC, e.g. Windows 7 64 bit Home - create an iso DVD (bootable DVD) and use the Dell provided Windows 7 product key to install (the product key sticker is usually in the battery compartment on laptops). If you don't have a DVD burning program that will burn an iso DVD you can download the free and popular Imgburn program HERE and it will burn iso DVD's.
You can download any needed drivers such as sound, mouse pad, etc fromt he Dell downloads using your service tag number at www.support.dell.com
Any supplied software can be downloaded from the My Dell Downloads Click Me
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In order to access the recovery partition you will need to tap F8 key few times at DELL logo, and once you access recovery partition you can restore your computer to factory settings.
Below is the link with steps for restoring your computer to factory setting
If you are not able to restore the computer using the above steps, we can try restoring the computer using Dell Data safe local backup within OS.
Please look for the program Dell Data Safe Local backup on your computer and once you open the program there would be an option to restore computer, please click on Restore option and then it will give you the option to restore your computer to factory setting, select: Restore your computer to factory setting” and then restart the computer and it will give you the wizard for PC restore and you should be able to restore the computer.
Please reply back for any further assistance.
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If you are unable to factory restore there may be something wrong with the factory partition or the hard drive. Power down your computer and press F12 when booting up, select diagnostics, run these and any extended tests.
As you are in the United States I would fill out this form here (scroll down to the form, ignore the top) to request a Dell Microsoft Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD. To perform a manual installation, my wiki A Clean Install of Windows 7 will take you through the reinstall process in more depth using either retail .isos/phone activation or a Dell Reinstallation DVD. If your product key is legible then you can use either but a Dell Reinstallation DVD is the preferred choice.