Wipe Out a Dell Inspiron Computer

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Computer manufacturers store recovery files on a partition of your hard drive. Format and reinstall the operating system on a Inspiron using Dell DataSafe Local or Dell Factory Image Restore; the software you use depends on the age of the laptop. Models released after 2009 use DataSafe Local, or DSL. Formatting the hard drive can resolve system errors, eliminate malware and improve computer performance. Back up all business-critical files to an external storage device and then boot to the recovery partition to wipe the drive.

DataSafe Local

Step 1: Connect the power adapter to the Inspiron and remove all peripheral devices from the PC.

Step 2: Click "Start | All Programs | Dell DataSafe | Dell DataSafe Local Backup" and then click "Restore Your Entire System to a Previous Date or to the Factory State."

Step 3: Select "Factory Image" from the list of backups. Click "Next." Click "Restart" to reboot the Inspiron to the recovery partition.

Step 4: Click the "Restore Without Preserving New or Changes Files" radio button. Click "Next."

Step 5: Click "Yes, Continue," then "Next" to wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows. Click "Restart."

Dell Factory Image Restore

Step 1: Plug the power adapter into the power jack and then disconnect all peripheral devices from the Inspiron.

Step 2: Restart or turn on the Dell Inspiron and then press "F8" on the Dell logo screen to load Advanced Boot Options.

Step 3: Press the arrow keys to select "Repair Your Computer" and then press "Enter" to load the recovery partition.

Step 4: Follow the on-screen prompts to select your language and keyboard settings, and enter your administrative credentials.

Step 5: Click "Dell Factory Image Restore," then click "Next." Click "Yes, Reformat Hard Drive and Restore System Software to Factory Condition," then "Next" to wipe the hard drive and restore the OS.

Step 6: Click "Finish" to restart the computer.


  • You can also boot to Dell DataSafe Local from outside of Windows; press "F8" on the boot screen and then select "Repair Your Computer." Follow the on-screen prompts to restore the PC