restore to factory defaults- what to save


Beta member
For reasons I won't explain here, I've been told by Gateway to do a system restore, back to Day One. fyi- computer is 9 months old; vista, 64 bit. What do I copy off to CD? Documents, photos, favorites; but what about MS word, which I bought two months after I bought the computer? (If I can copy it to CD, then I can give the CD to a friend, and I know that's not permitted) Should I just save everything in the C drive/program files? (there are two 'program files' folders- 'program files' & 'program files (x86)') thx


In Runtime
If your talking about system restore to Day One, thats a reformat of the hard drive and re-install of Windows. What you can do is backup what you need to either DVD's, or another hard drive and then re-install Windows. If you bought MS Word, it should be on another CD to install after the re-installation.

You dont copy off the CD, if its a restore CD you pop it in your CD/DVD drive, and reboot your computer. Make sure your bios is set to read from CD first NOT hard drive.

Do NOT copy MS Word and give it to your friend, thats a big no no.

Also, can you give us a little reason why you have to do system restore?


Beta member
The reason I've been told to do a system restore is, when I log in, I get a windows defender application error- can't disinstall it, can't install it. My only option is restore. After a chat w/them, they told me-
The computer was not shipped w/a OS/restore CD.
I was under the impression I would not have to reinstall windows. The computer was shipped w/windows installed......?
What are my 'bios'?
I bought MS word online; no installation CD.


Fully Optimized
You cannot do a "system restore" without a restore CD from the manufacturer. Usually, a "system restore" involves formatting the hard drive and reinstalling the OS and all applications that came preinstalled from the manufacturer. I hate these. It is much better to get an actual full install disk for the OS you want to install. That way you don't get a bunch of crap software/trial versions slowing down your system. As far as MS word goes, if you bought it online, then you should have had to download an installer file( or files), save those to CD or whatever. Saving the Program Files folder is useless as you will need the installation CD/DVD to reinstall the programs. (Yes, I know that sometimes you can copy the Files/Folders over for certain programs and run a "crack" to set them up in the registry, but I'm pretty sure that's illegal). If you cannot get a system restore CD from the manufacturer, then I would suggest trying out a Linux distribution (Ubuntu is good and easy to install). Most Linux distros come with OpenOffice, an office suite that is fully compatible with MS Word (among others).

Oh, I just read that Gateway support link you posted. Apparently there is a special partition on you hard drive that contains the system restore files. Sorry, I forgot to read that part. So, you won't need a system restore CD unless there is a physical problem with your hard drive and the F10 thing won't work. I still say install from a Full Install CD/DVD for your OS of choice.
Good luck...