Factory Restore a Windows 8 machine
My grandmother wanted to sell her Windows 8 laptop and asked me to help her. Being the kind grandson I am, I helped get it ready to sell on Ebay. As I was getting the laptop ready I thought this would make a great post! (A short aside: My grandmother has decided that Windows 8 “was a bit much” and is sticking with her Windows XP machine…scientific: no; funny: yes)
Anytime you would like to get rid of a device the best practice is to restore the device to its factory settings. Windows 8 makes this process fairly easy if you know where to look:
How to Reset Your PC: Open the Settings charm (swipe in from the right and tap Settings or press Windows Key + I), and then select Change PC settings. Tap or click the General category, scroll down, and tap or click the Get started button under Remove everything and re-install Windows.
Your next decision will be the type of cleanup operation – Thoroughly or Quickly. The Thorough disk cleanup operation removes all the files from selected disk(s), deletes all the installed applications, and makes data irrecoverable, whereas the quick cleanup option simply deletes your files and installed applications. If you have the time (6-8 hrs) Thoroughly is the best decision.
That is all you need to do and the computer will be completely restored to its original settings. If you are planning on selling the machine a few other tips are:
- Take pictures of the screen before you restore it – this show the screen is functional
- Take a picture of the Windows ID and System information – again this helps give confidence to the buyer
Here is the listing complete with pictures and a restored laptop ready for sale:
That’s one of the features I like about Windows 8… that has always been a mega-pain in the past and I am happy to see Microsoft empower its end users.
I would also advise that people consider every 12-18 months “refreshing” their machine by backing up all data and going back to the original and reinstalling. I do this with every Windows machine I use!