Restoring XP to its original state is dependent on how
XP was installed.
If XP came Pre-installed from a computer OEM
[Original Equipment Manufacturer] with the option to:
Purchased Retail or OEM with hardware:
- Restore from a recovery procedure you can select
from the boot up menu that will allow either a selective restore, or
a format and restore to shipped state.
Because some restore procedures completely wipe out the entire hard
drive and delete added partitions and the data on them. If you only
have the option to restore to shipped state, make sure you backup your
important data, contacts, photos, anything that cannot be restored from
other media locations to a location not on the current hard drive. Do
not backup to another partition created by third party software on the
original hard drive.
- You can restore by booting from the OEM restore
CD disk media included with the system. As in the above recovery procedure,
it can sometimes allow selective restore or format and restore to original
Same Warning applies from above.
- Some OEM's include along with restore media to
restore back to original shipped state; a BIOS locked XP CD capable
of loading the Recovery Console, or doing a Clean install or a Repair
This CD can also be used to slipstream Service Packs into original
XP CD. In some instances this may require activation by phone. If phone
call activation is required tell the activation center you upgraded
your computer to the service pack with a slipstreamed OEM XP CD supplied
by the vendor.
- The OEM vendor is only obligated to provide a means
of restoring to original shipped state. The OEM has the choice of how
to provide this restore procedure.
Consult your documentation shipped
with the computer, OEM specific Help files from Start> Help and Support
or the OEM web site.
Microsoft does not mandate any specific method; it is decided by
- Some OEM's give instructions on how to burn the
XP setup files to a CD. Look in the manual included with the computer
or in a special OEM Help and Support folder.
Note: Also look for the folders i386 or Options as they will contain
the files needed to create a bootable XP CD. You can find instructions
on creating a bootable CD from the files in i386 or options from this
If you purchased the retail or OEM version you will
have the option to restore by doing a
Michael Stevens MS-MVP 2001-2007