How to Restore a Dell Laptop X300 With Windows Professional XP to the Factory Settings

Updated February 21, 2017

The Dell X300 laptop came powered with a Pentium M grade processor, a reasonable amount of RAM and hard drive space for business customers. The computer will not run graphic-intensive applications such as online gaming, but will perform well for business applications. Resetting the computer to factory conditions is a feature programmed into the Windows XP operating system.

Back up your personal data to a remote location if possible. Reinstalling the laptop's OS will permanently erase all data.

Reboot your computer.

Press the F10 key repeatedly as the system boots to bring up the restoration control panel.

Choose "Restore computer to factory settings" or "Reinstall windows XP operating system."

Follow the on-screen instructions to reset the computer's operating system. Windows XP Professional includes a tutorial on how to restore your computer to factory settings. The on-screen instructions will lead you through the entire process.

Connect the computer to the Internet and register your copy of Windows XP Professional with the Microsoft Corporation's website. The operating system will only function for a limited time unless the new operating system installation is registered and activated. The activation routine is automated, and once the computer is connected to the Microsoft website, it will step the user through the process. At this point, the user will need to input the OS registration codes. Registering the OS is necessary even if it was registered on this computer before, because all the existing registration information was erased when the OS was reinstalled.

Reinstall programs and updated drivers required to run the laptop from Internet resources. Most of the computer's updated drivers are available from the Dell Corporation website. Since windows XP is an older operating system, many updates to existing drivers, and updates to the operating system are available at the OEM manufacturers' websites.


Reinstalling a computer's operating system is a painstaking task. The process can take from 30 minutes to more than two hours. Give yourself plenty of time to address any unforeseen problems. In the mid 1990s, Dell began shipping their computers without OS reinstallation CD's. The system OS reinstallation files are held on a hidden partition on the machine's hard drive. When you begin the reinstall process, the system will automatically access these files.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP registration codes
  • Internet connection
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Since 2003, Timothy Burns' writing has appeared in magazines, management and leadership papers. He has contributed to nationally published books and he leads the Word Weavers of West Michigan writers' group. Burns wrote "Forged in the Fire" in 2004, and has published numerous articles online. As a trained conference speaker, Burns speaks nationally on the art, science and inspiration of freelance writing.