Restoring a computer to factory settings returns a computer to its original condition. This can be helpful for PC users looking to fix major software problems with a computer system. Fortunately for owners of Dell Dimension 4400 PCs, a pre-installed utility in the computer's "Advanced Boot Options Menu" lets you restore the factory settings without a system restore disc.
Back up any valuable files such as photos, documents, music and other data to an external hard drive, as all data on the Dell's hard drive will be erased during the restoration process. Plug the external hard drive into one of the Dell's USB ports. A hard drive folder will appear on the computer's desktop. Drag any files you want to save directly onto the hard drive's icon. When you have finished transferring all of the files, right-click on the hard drive's icon and click "Eject" from the context menu.
Unplug all hardware devices, such as scanners, printers, MP3 players, networking cables and the external hard drive. Quit any programs that are running on the computer and turn the computer off.
Turn the computer on, and hold down the "F8" key on the keyboard until the "Advanced Boot Options Menu" appears on the screen. Do this as soon as the computer starts up, before the Windows logo appears on the screen. If the Windows logo appears, let the Windows operating system load as normal before shutting the computer down and turning it back on.
Press the down arrow on the keyboard to select the "Repair Your Computer" option from the "Advanced Boot Options Menu." Press "Enter." Configure the language settings and click on the "next" button at the bottom of the interface. In the window, enter in the login information for the computer's administrator account and click "OK." Click the "Dell Factory Image Restore" button.
Click the "Next" button on the Dell Factory Image Restore welcome screen. Select the check box for "Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition." Click the "Next" button to begin the process of restoring the Dell Dimension 4400 to factory settings. The restoration process can take up to several hours. Click on the "Finish" button to restart the computer with the original factory settings restored.