How to Restore Windows XP to Factory Settings Without a CD Disk

Updated April 17, 2017

Restoring your Windows XP installation to factory settings can help to troubleshoot problems such as missing or corrupted operating system files. Even if you do not have a CD on hand, you can still restore your Windows XP installation using the free XP files from Microsoft. This will help you to create boot disks for your Windows XP computer, allowing you to restore your computer at a moment's notice.

Navigate to the page linked below and click on the Windows XP version that you are currently using to download the disk creator.

Save the file to desktop.

Insert a floppy disk into the computer and double click on the downloaded file.

Follow the onscreen instructions to finish creating your restoration disks.

Insert disk one into your computer and restart the PC.

Press any key as the computer loads to boot from the disk.

Press "Enter" to move past the first screen and "F8" to accept the licensing agreement.

Highlight your installation of Windows XP from the onscreen menu and press "R" to begin the restoration.

Things You'll Need

  • Six floppy disks
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About the Author

TS Jordan is an Ohio licensed attorney living and practicing out of the Cleveland area. In addition to his Juris Doctorate, he holds a Bachelors' Degree in Information Systems. He has been writing professionally for less than a year.