How To Restore Windows Vista to its Factory Settings

For most people, the move from the Windows XP operating system to the newer Windows Vista brought about a multitude of problems and issues. Microsoft really did not do a good job with Vista and they obviously got burned with millions of negative user reviews. Nevertheless, if you already transitioned to Vista, you will need to know a few cool tricks to solve the many problems and issues you will encounter. One such trick that you will surely use at least one time in your Vista life is the ability to restore it back to its factory or default settings without having to do a fresh reinstall.

  1. Turn on or reboot your computer. To effect the changes that you want where Windows Vista will revert back to its original factory settings, you will first need to power on or reboot your PC.
  2. Back up your data. Once your PC loads up and Windows Vista boots the way it always has, plug in a flash disk or a writable CD and back up your files. Start by transferring or burning all your important documents, music and video files, and any other useful data in there. Even programs, registries, and installers should be backed up as well. If you have a partition or a second hard drive, then you can move your files there instead of using a CD or flash disk. The reason for the backup procedure is to ensure that all your important files are safe in the case that something goes wrong as you restore the system to its original settings.
  3. Unplug all devices. As soon as you have successfully backed up all your important PC files, eject and unplug all the devices currently hooked up to your machine with the exception of your keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Make sure all those USB slots are clear and free.
  4. Go to the backup and restore center. Windows Vista, like Windows XP, is user-friendly or at least it should be. One of the problems with Vista is that even if the functionalities are the same as XP, some features and kinks were added that totally threw off and confused the user. Fortunately, the backup and restore center where you can restore Vista to an earlier state is pretty easy to find. Locate and click the “Start” menu on your desktop and navigate to the “Control Panel” link. Click on it to open the control panel. Once the new window is open, locate the icon labeled “Backup and Restore”. Double-click on it to open the application. On this new window, you will see two options. The first is “Backup”. Since you already backed up your files previously, you will not need this service anymore. The second option is the “Restore Files”. Don’t click that either. You should click the hidden third option below the second one, which is “System Restore”. A new window should appear that would prompt you on what to do next. There should be an option to restore Vista to its default setting or you can merely restore to a previous state specified by a date and time that the system used as a safe point.

If all else fails, since you have already backed up your important files, you can attempt a fresh install. However, this time, don’t get sucked in by Vista and install the old Windows XP or the new and much better Windows 7.


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