Ah, the pretty blue new-computer screen.
I’ve had my computer for a couple of years now and like any toddler, it started to develop some annoying tendencies despite my love and care.
To get more miles out of my computer, sometimes I decide to start over with a computer restore. What do I mean by that? I mean wiping all the data off my computer and restoring it to factory settings.
Here are some tips for doing your own computer restore.
Note: These tips are for PC users only. I have no idea if you’d even need to do this on a Mac. Leave me alone, Mac lovers!
List Your Software: Hit your Start menu and look at all the programs installed on your computer. Write down everything that didn’t come with your computer. Make sure you have the software to reinstall. Sometimes this involves digging in the closet for the CD. Oftentimes the product website will have the program available for download (Silhouette does!).
Device Drivers: Technically software, but make sure you have the CD’s or can download the drivers for your printers or any other devices.
Back.Up.Your.Photos: I wag my finger at you because you should be doing this already! Double check to make sure all of your photos on your backup are up to date.
Back up Other Files: Go through your files and decide what you don’t need and what you need to save. I deleted some, transferred some to my external hard drive, and uploaded others to Google Docs. Make sure stuff like your music and other important documents are safe!
Fonts: I download a lot of fonts. I made a copy of the Fonts folder on my computer and put it on my external hard drive (Start > Control Panel > Fonts).
Silhouette Files: I have a lot of designs in my Library that I traced and made myself. I made sure I saved them all to a file on the external hard drive.
On Restore Points: Windows saves restore points and you can also create restore points to take your computer back to a certain point of time. I’m a bigger fan of a clean state and going to back to factory settings.
Check Your Manual: Finally, your computer should have instructions (go find and dust them off or Google it) on how to perform a factory restore. Once you’ve considered all the above steps, check the instructions for your computer. Way back in the day computers would come with a restore CD. Oftentimes now, you press a button when the computer starts to get to a special menu (on mine it was F8).
Good luck! It’s nice to have a clean slate!