But if we don’t want to resort to a new installation or if we don’t have the Windows installation disk, in this guide we’ll show you how to return the computer as new to the original state with a manual procedure. This method is not faster than a complete installation but it allows you to safeguard your personal files, so you can immediately restart with a fast system and take them.
READ ALSO: Factory restore on PCs and laptops (Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc.)
How to restore Windows 10
To be able to restore a computer with Windows 10 to the original settings, we click on the bottom left of the Start menu, look for the app Settings so let us take the path Update and security -> Recovery and we click on the button It begins, present under the section Reset the PC.
The system will present a selection screen, where it will be possible to choose whether to restore and maintain the user’s files (with the voice Keep my files) or if you completely format the system, so as to have Windows 10 new and ready to use, as just purchased (with the item Remove all). After making the choice, the system will ask us for a further confirmation so it will start the recovery procedure, which could take a few hours (depending on the size of the disk and the presence or not of an SSD, faster than a mechanical disk).
If instead, the operating system does not start anymore (due to a virus, a driver or a sudden block), Windows 10 will automatically load the recovery console after two failed reboots (so let’s try to start Windows by pressing the power button or the reset button at least twice). In the window that appears, click Troubleshooting and we press on Reset the PC.
The rest of the procedure is identical to when seen inside the operating system, with the possibility of choosing whether or not to keep personal files.
If even this method does not work, we can perform a clean installation of Windows 10 using a USB stick prepared for the purpose, as shown in our guide How to install Windows 10 from USB. After inserting the key into a USB port and starting the PC with the right boot order, we wait for the installation interface to load, we select the Italian language, skip the step where the license is requested so we click on Custom: Install Windows only (advanced option).
The new screen will display all the partitions on the disk; all we have to do is select the partition where Windows is not working and click on Come on. The installer will warn us that, during the clean installation, the old personal files will be saved in the folder Windows.old so that they can be recovered after the restoration; confirm with OK and we await the end of the recovery so that we can return to using Windows 10 without any problem.
READ ALSO: Format a Windows 10 PC
How to restore Windows 7
To restore a non-functioning Windows 7 we have two methods: use the last configuration that is definitely working or restore the system from a CD or USB boot, as if we were to do a new system installation.
To use the last working configuration saved by Windows 7, turn on the computer and press F8 repeatedly until the advanced options of the system appear; if a boot screen appears, select the hard disk where the system is present by continuing to press F8 repeatedly until the required screen appears.
As soon as the screen is displayed on our monitor, we use the directional keys of the keyboard to select the item the Last configuration certainly working, so we click Enter to start restoring this mode.
If even so the system does not start or is restored, we will have to get ourselves the Windows 7 disk image, burn it on CD or on USB Pendrive, insert the media into the PC that is not working, start the computer, set the boot order and wait for the installer to finish loading.
As soon as the initial window appears, we select the Italian language, skip the license request, choose the right version of Windows 7 (since we decided to continue without a license) and, in the options screen, select the item Custom (expert users).
In the new window select The system will proceed to restore all the system files, without touching the personal files; after a few minutes we will have our Windows 7 restored and ready to use, as if it had just come out of the factory we will have to repeat the steps already seen for Windows 10, ie select the non-working Windows partition and click on Come on. Old personal files will be saved in the folder Windows.old so that they can be recovered without problems; confirm with OK and we await the end of the recovery so that we can return to using Windows 7.
READ ALSO: Format and install Windows from scratch, to have your PC clean and new
As we could see, restoring Windows 10 and Windows 7 requires only a few steps and it is an operation we can perform without losing our personal files, which will be saved in a dedicated folder. Following these steps, you can get the computer back as new.
In another guide, we showed you how to solve problems on the PC without formatting and losing data, in which most of the passages we have already illustrated are present.
If we fear that our data may be lost during a restore, we advise you to use dedicated backup programs, so that you can always have a copy of your important files without having to wait for the computer to make the tantrums; in this regard we can read our guide to Best Programs to make automatic and incremental free backups.
READ ALSO: Reset Windows by returning to the initial settings