How to Reset a Dell 5100 Back to Factory Settings

Updated March 23, 2017

The Dell Inspiron 5100 was one of the best-selling Dell models of the early 2000s. A durable laptop model, the 5100 is still in use by a number of original or second-hand owners. Typically after a few years of use, a computer system can get a bit slow due to an excess or start-up programs, a fragmented or too-full hard drive, plus possible malware infections. One way to fix these issues is to simply start over by resetting the computer to factory settings.

Power up the PC. Or, if the PC is already turned on, shut it down and then power up the system.

Press during the first few seconds, while the initial Dell logo is on the screen, to enter the BIOS. Press the + keys. This will restore the system defaults.

Some Dell systems come with DSR (Dell System Restore) on a hidden hard disk partition. To use DSR, restart your computer. When the Dell Screen flashes, press and hold and then press . Release both keys simultaneously. After DSR starts, select "restore" and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you find that your Dell does not have DSR, look for a restore or system CD that should have come with your computer. Insert this CD into your drive and restart the computer. Press a button to boot from CD.

Follow the on-screen instructions to format your hard drive, reinstall Windows and reset your computer to factory specifications.


This procedure will delete or write over all content on your hard drive. Make sure and backup any data you do not want to lose before attempting to restore to factory settings.

Things You'll Need

  • Dell System Restore/Recovery CD
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About the Author

Jason Gordon is a professional writer and editor. In addition to online work, he has written for "Texas Highways," "AAA Southwest," "Glimpse," the "University of Washington Daily" and the "Dallas Morning News." Gordon's passions include animals, reading and finding the perfect pairings of pastry and espresso.