My computer won't let me factory reset.

Emachines Desktop / intel pentium proces...
July 8, 2014 at 11:13:07
Specs: x86, 2.00GB
I own multiple computers and i am able to restore and factory reset all of them except this one, it is a windows vista: home premium FYI, the reset option is missing from the control panel, and when i press F11 at the boot menu the factory reset option is white out.

It has been infected once before but every virus software says my computer is clean (when it is obviously not). please give detailed step by step to help me reset this computer before it permantly crashes.

See More: My computer wont let me factory reset.

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July 8, 2014 at 11:37:39
You say "obviously" it's not clean. What makes you think that system is infected? Since you the machine had a virus before, have you started using an Anti-virus program? More details would be good.

Restoring to Factory settings is a pretty drastic move to make in order to clean a virus.

message edited by beachyhbt

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July 8, 2014 at 11:46:48
mmm - Suggest first have a read of this recent post: and then that you follow the steps in responses # 1 and 4.

While not your current problem, there are useful utilities listed there...; which would be useful to apply

If there is "anything" nasty lurking... those utilities may help remove it/them...

Then see if there s still a need to reset to factory status; and if so that it will now allow?

Also presumably you have safeguarded (copied) all your personal "stuff" off the system in question; typically to DVD at least...? A factory reset will of course wipe all data in the process. However a true Repair installation (an overwrite of the current installation) will not delete data etc. But note that the Recovery Console approach will! Nonetheless wise still to safeguard data as above - first.

Numerous "how to do a true Vista Repair installation" guides here:

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July 8, 2014 at 12:01:19
The reasons for the computers previous crash are currently unknown to me.(the closest answer i got from the previous owner was she had too much junk on it) I have been using Microsoft security essentials and it says my com. is clean. then i used a downloadable malware scanner and it says i have 4 viruses, but i can't clean them due to lack of money (i have also used advanced system care 7)

The computer runs extremely slow with internet and overall performance in gaming and simple searches on the computer itself (start menu, control panel, ETC.) My biggest problem so far is why the reset function itself is missing. i would think that is because of a virus isn't it?
(also i don't want to reset JUST because of the virus, i want to start this computer from scratch and not have the previous owners files,possibly corrupt, on it)

message edited by Scott96

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Related Solutions

July 8, 2014 at 12:41:01
Just for info it is rarely necessary to spend money on programs to clear viruses. Almost without exception we use freebies on here - just a matter of choosing the right ones.

As for your issue, unless I've missed it we don't seem to have the computer make and model number. If there is something awry with the factory restore option then maybe the manufacturer can provide a disk or download.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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July 8, 2014 at 13:44:26
The utilities recommended here at CN (invariably freebie versions too...!) will invariably get rid of many a pest that the standard anti-virus programmes can't - because they require the OS to be active... The Kaspersky (and other similar items) run from an installation that is in RAM only. Thus the windows OS is not active as there is not boot up from/via the HD... So the pests can't hide... The HD is merely a resource for the Linux variant to address, access/use etc.;and of course to scan "fully"...

The links/utilities in the post I pointed you to will be worth to run- as described. Then see how things play out...

As best I know pests don't usually disable or mess up the recovery partition and options. That usually happens if the partition has been either deleted, reformatted, or the contents erased another way.

As Derek mentions the actually make and model would be useful; and it may be possible to secure a replacement disk set from the manufacturers. And also if you were to download and burn to a DVD an ISO for the version of Windows involved (Vista whichever) you could use that with your current Vista key to re-install the OS afresh. Equally if you have a copy already or a chum who has one you can use that with your key; and also burn a copy of the one your chum may have - for future use... It's perfectly legal.

If the Vista installation is an OEM then you eed an OEM disk (ISO etc.) to use with your OEM key. If it's a retail version then you need a retail version (ISO or disk) to use with your retail key. You can't mix 'n match OEM/Retail.

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July 8, 2014 at 22:28:28
Are you sure it has a restore partition? Maybe it never had one or it was deleted or the hard drive was replaced.

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July 9, 2014 at 06:52:28
A computer program that detects malware then afterwards demands money for removal is known as ransomware.

Ransomware in itself is rogue software and will cause more problems than it pretends to detect, cripple your system further, then ask again for more money to fix. All reputable antivirus programs do not operate in this fashion.

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July 9, 2014 at 08:50:19
My computer is a eMachines ET 1641-02w. Total physical memory is 1,791 mb. and the available is 632 mb. I couldn't find virtual memory in the command prompt. (if that is even relevant information) As Derek suggested I went to the manufacturers website and they had a eRecovery disk but again for $20 (which isn't that bad but i want to try something that doesn't cost anything as Trvlr suggested) oh also warranty has long since expired so thats not entirely an option either.

Unless i am too stupid to understand if you told me or not, how do i check to see if my vista is oem or retail? my product key (in the computer tab on start menu) has the letters oem in it so could that be what you mean? (i am only 17 with little computer experience so bear with me here)

Btk1w1 i suspected as much but thank you for clarifiying for me.

message edited by Scott96

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July 9, 2014 at 11:54:49
You say your key has OEM in it; then you have an OEM installation. (OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer).

In days past one received an actual windows installation disk with a new system; and again in earlier times it was a standard (retail) M$ disk - and "could" be used on "any system". Then M$ "encouraged" manufacturers to at least badge them i.e. put their name on them - e.g. Dell, Gateway etc. - and then also "fix" the disk installation routine so that it would only work with that brand of computer; which meant it likely would work with say any Dell or whatever brand name was on the disk; and quite often on most other systems too… Then a little later M$ insisted they be made to work only with that brand; and then that exact same model.

M$ was concerned that spare branded disks were aplenty on the discount scene/clearance houses/eBay etc. and M$ was losing money. So that last tweak to make a given disk work with the only the model it came with (and finally with that hard drive too)... meant that cheap (discounted/surplus) disks disappeared.

Branded disks became known as OEM supplied...

Then even those OEM disks stopped and a recovery disk (or two) would come with your new system. And then later the buyer was encouraged to make their own - asap...; as likely there wasn't one (a recovery disk set) shipped... But there was a recovery partition included on the hard drive. They key for the installation would include OEM as a part.

So from starting with a standard retail disk type installation M$ went to an OEM type; and then to a recovery only disk approach; and then finally no disks... (The OS installation files are all on the hard drive in the recovery partition).

I think the last recovery disks were with XP into its early years; and there weren’t any shipped with a Vista system (but I’m very open to correction here). However from midway in XP’s life cycle there was a recovery partition on the hard drive; and similarly for Vista. If that partition is deleted, reformatted, or in anyway interfered with - then invariably the recovery partition is lost. And of course if one has to replace the hard drive - then that recovery partition is definitely gone in most cases…; unless one manages to clone the original drive before dumping the original drive… However one had to re-activate the OS with M$. But if you replaced the motherboard - then you were up the creek… M$ (in the latter days of XP - and I suspect for Vista too) sometimes were kindly inclined to allow you re-activate with a new motherboard… There are tales of it happening. Otherwise you chased up the manufacturer and asked him to help… And if they had one, and sent you the required recovery disk set you could often/usaully re-install to a new HD; and on occasion even with a new motherboard (usually acquired from the manufacturer).

In your situation you have a couple of options… Borrow an OEM disk from anyone who has one; even if it’s badged (by other than eMachines...) it may well work and install on your eMachines computer. No harm to try. There were XP disks (and I think Vista too) around that were labeled simply M$ - with the letters OEM on them - but not “badged…” If you can find an eMachines badged OEM disk you’re likely home and dry… And with either version (if they work) - eMachine or another badge - you can also make a legal copy of the disk (I’d make two...); and keep them safe. You will use “your OEM key for the installation.

If no suitable OEM disk to hand… then download an ISO; burn it to a CD/DVD - I think Vista may need a DVD?

This recent post - see response #11 from riider - gives you a link to where you can download “all manner of disks” for all manner of M$ OS…

Very useful site to know about; and keep a record of…

Then check out the how to make a repair installation - an overwrite of the current one; as in my #2 above… Don’t go via Recovery Console…

And again if possible safeguard your personal files before going down any repair routines pathways…

As regards being “only 17”… We all have to start somewhere; and many of here were a lot older than that when we started with computers - I certainly was! Many around your age are streets ahead of some of us “oldies” in some areas; and if not now soon will be (well ahead of us) increasingly... When I did my NT Networks course(s), way back in’98, the principal tutor (a Novell expert!) remarked that he didn’t know it all; that no-one does; and that he and all his chums frequently went on-line to find solutions to problems various…; and that’s what we all do here at times. (He was in his fifties at the time; and had been around since the early days of it all.) You’re following a well trodden path; and long may you continue to do so; and increasingly you will find you are able to offer up ideas, suggestions; and yes -“solutions too…” And if you don’t understand something - no harm to ask… That’s how one learns - in time and shares knowledge too.

This is a link to the M$ KB all about virtual memory; viewing it and changing it etc...

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July 9, 2014 at 14:39:23
I'm sorry Scott96, I assumed from your posts that pests were detected then a demand was made for money.

A manufacturers disk is an entirely different story.

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July 15, 2014 at 10:53:19
Ok so i may not be getting this right. Trvlr i tried to download the Kaspersky and it downloaded 300MB of "something" i it looked normal to me at first but when i tried to burn it to a blank disk via winzip it said there was no files to transfer ( i was burning the program the same way you would with a flash drive) not only that but for some reason every time i try to format the disk into something i could burn the kaspersky program into, the drive refuses to acknowledge there is a disk at all.

is there a way around this and am i downloading the right kaspersky program or not? (assuming there is more than one, probably not but i figured i may as well ask) i also have a sneaking suspicion that winzip may be the problem as well. and while i am at it (so i don't have to start a new thread) i am thinking of building a computer of my own, and i need someone to tell me if these are good parts or if i am creating a frankenstein that won't work. or if there are better parts that can be swapped out.

CPU: intel core i5-4440s processor
Power: Corsair cmpsu-750tx (750 watts)
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
Ram: Team elite plus, 240-pin DDR3
Sound card: Auzen tech, Auzen x-fi Forte
Graphic card: Geforce GTX 780 ti
CD-Rom drive: Hp-24x Double layer dvd+Rw/cd+Rw
Still unsure what motherboard to get and if it comes with half of the components already integrated.

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July 15, 2014 at 11:12:14
When you downloaded the Kaspersky file was its name kav_rescue_10.iso (which is 388M)?
If so it is not just copied onto your disk but you need to use "burn an image" (or iso) feature. Most burner software will have this facility but if you get stuck this little freebie program will do it for you:

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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July 31, 2014 at 21:09:58
Ok so i finally got hold of an empty disk, and i tried the kaspersky rescue disk. It said my computer was totally clean so i guess it wasn't a malware problem after all. my computer still runs like a peice of junk though and I still can't figure out why the factory default option is null.

I would like to thank everyone for their help regardless, maybe in a few months i will be able to buy a recovery disk or find where to download one. I don't know. Again thanks to those who tried to help anyway.

message edited by Scott96

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