While it is always best to exhaust all other options before taking such a drastic step, sometimes the only course of action available is to restore your computer to its original factory condition. If you have a Compaq Presario F500 with a damaged operating system or extensive damage from a virus or other malware, you may have no choice but to run the restore process and bring the unit back to its original factory state.
Place the restore CD into your F500 and shut down the unit. Power the unit back up with the CD in the drive. The F500 automatically boots from the CD and starts the restore process.
Verify that you wish to restore the F500 to its original factory settings. The restoration process requires your verification, since it formats the hard drive and destroys the data. You will need to verify that you want the hard drive to be formatted.
Insert the operating system CD when prompted. Enter the license key for the operating system when prompted. This license key information can be found on a small tag located on the laptop itself, often on the bottom of the machine.
Reboot the F500 when the restoration process is complete. Copy any backup files to the F500, and then connect to the Internet and download any new updates from the Windows Update site. This process can take awhile, so it is best to install the updates when you have a large block of time available. You should, however, download them as soon as possible to protect your computer.
Back up your user files if you can still access the Compaq F500 laptop. Connect an external hard drive, thumb drive or other backup device to the unit and use it to back up your critical files. The process of restoring the F500 back to its original factory condition wipes the hard drive and destoys any data stored there.