Author Topic: need help resetting new Dell inspiron laptops (Read 3253 times)

Zamboni

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need help resetting new Dell inspiron laptops
« on: February 15, 2015, 11:42:45 AM »
Hi all,

I am not a computer person. My children were starting to need to borrow my work laptop nightly for homework (which middle school teachers are assigning electronically and expecting them to download from the web and submit electronically.) So, I bought them each their own laptop for Christmas. They have Dell Inspiron 7000 series.

During the set up it seemed like it was doing all sorts of unnecessary crap, for example setting up facial recognition and asking for personal information, etc. Clearly it is just trying to use the internet to datamine. I don't want all this extra crap on there, I want personal information like age and gender purged, I don't want to allow it to collect any information, and now they are having trouble even using basic things like google docs. My daughter's keyboard seems to no longer be working at all unless she uses the touch screen keyboard on a computer that is only 6 weeks old, and the settings tool isn't helping us. She is now wanting to borrow my work laptop for homework again.

I want to reset it to factory settings and then get it set up to just boot up and be able to run the internet so they can download their homework. I tried to follow the directions to do that on the Dell website, but of course those are obsolete and not functional at all. Nice! I'm starting to wish I had just spent the extra money for Macbooks.

Should I just take it to someone who knows what they are doing? Geeksquad? Other suggestions? Really, I am able to use all sorts of other electronics, and it shouldn't be this hard to figure out!

Please, mmm community, help me unfuck these laptops!

with kind regards,
Zamboni

xjowner

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Re: need help resetting new Dell inspiron laptops
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 02:51:28 PM »
Hi Zamboni,

I am an IT Manager and have been doing IT work for almost 15 years. I do some consulting on the side as well, for individuals and small businesses. If I were presented with this I would look to remove all the bloatware that comes installed with most new PC's these days. If you do a factory reset it will reconfigure the machine to the state it was in when you bought it. Normally this is done from an image that is stored on your hard drive. It will sometimes give you an option to preserve your data, but I always copy it off to a flash drive or external hard drive just to be sure. After you restore the machine, you will want to do a couple of things; install Windows updates (you will often have to repeat this process several times to get all updates) and create recovery media. The other thing is to make sure you have an antivirus program installed. After that you can remove any unnecessary software that was preinstalled. After a factory reset, if the keyboard issues are not resolved, I would contact Dell. Most systems come with a 1 year warranty and they should be able to assist.

If you are not comfortable with doing this work yourself, consult a local IT pro. You could get recommendations from friends or ask the IT guy that works for your company.

I would never recommend Geek Squad, they will just sell you more than you need and in my experience they are not very competent in fixing the most basic of problems. I have cleaned up their messes several times an I have been shocked with how much people have paid them.

Hope this helps.

xjowner

absurdity

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Re: need help resetting new Dell inspiron laptops
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 03:07:08 PM »
Picked up these instructions from Dell's site, note getting to the first screen mentioned can be tricky. Those computers come loaded with junk so you'll be back to the start again and need to clean it up as the other poster mentioned. Instructions were found here: http://dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN117599/EN

Restore the computer's software to original condition.

An external peripheral is a device that connects to a port on the front, side or back of the computer, like a printer or memory key.
Turn on the computer.
As the computer starts, press < F8 > on the keyboard until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears on the screen.
You must press before the Windows logo appears on the screen. If you press after the Windows logo appears on the screen, the Advanced Boot Options menu will not appear on the screen. If you do not see the Advanced Boot Options menu, restart the computer, and then repeat this step until you see the menu on the screen.
Press the < Down Arrow > on the keyboard to select Repair Your Computer on the Advanced Boot Options menu, and then press < Enter >.
Specify the language settings that you want, and then click Next.
Log in as a user who has administrative credentials, and then click OK.
Click Dell Factory Image Restore.
In the Dell Factory Image Restore window, click Next.
Click to select the Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition check box.
Click Next.
The computer is restored to the default factory configuration.
When the restore operation is completed, click Finish to restart the computer.
The software is now installed as it was when the computer was first received.

Zamboni

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Re: need help resetting new Dell inspiron laptops
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2015, 03:40:23 PM »
Thank you for the help, xyowner and absurdity! Rebooting a few times got the keyboard to start functioning again.

Quote
I would look to remove all the bloatware that comes installed with most new PC's these days.

Yes, there seems to be quite a bit of that. Really annoying! Do my children really need pre-installed shortcuts to amazon and ebay on their desktop? I started uninstalling obvious garbage one at a time. Tedious and time consuming, but hopefully I won't have to do it again. When I initially set it up I did custom install and managed to avoid stuff like Bing being the default browser, and I tried to avoid anything that would allow targeted advertising, but they took care of making sure the machines already had Adware before they shipped it from the factory. Seriously obnoxious to have things like Farmville advertised right when you log in.

Someone at work recommended reinstalling Windows 8.1 using the security version and settings from work. So I'll try that.

absurdity

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Zamboni

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Re: need help resetting new Dell inspiron laptops
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 06:54:51 AM »
Thanks for the link!

I have now gotten a clean copy of windows from work, and I am going to reinstall it myself, which is what that article recommends. Hopefully that will purge these laptops of the last of the gremlins!