How to Use Restore from the USB Tools & Recovery Drive (2018 or Later)Written on January 11, 2018 by Nick Krader Popular
If you need to restore your system's Windows installation to the state it was originally when you received it, we have a guide for you!
For Windows 10 systems that were ordered in 2017 or earlier, use this guide: How to Use Restore from the USB Tools & Recovery Drive
For Windows 7 systems with recovery DVDs, use this guide: How to Restore Using Windows 7 System Image Recovery
Starting in mid December of 2017, we changed the way that Windows installation is handled here at Puget Systems. Our new procedures are faster and result in a more industry-standard out-of-box experience, as well as more secure and standardized backup and restore methods. Because of that, the process for resetting systems has changed. This guide walks you through how to reset your system to factory settings. Please note that this will delete everything and reset the system to the way it was when we shipped it to you, with drivers and courtesy software included. Make sure you back up any data you care about first!
There are two different versions of this guide: one for if systems which are able to boot into Windows, and another for systems which are no longer able to boot into Windows - but where the primary drive itself is still functional. If your system has a failed primary drive, neither of these two methods will work. In that case, you will need to replace the drive and then perform a fresh installation of Windows.
From Inside Windows
Use these steps when you have access to your Windows desktop environment, after you have backed up any data you care about to a different physical drive (not just a secondary partition on the same drive!):
Press the windows key or click the start menu and type “reset” and select “Reset this PC”.
This will quickly reboot the system and bring you to the following screen where you want to select “Troubleshoot”.
You will now specify which disk you want to restore to. Be careful here as data will be wiped from the selected disk. If you are unsure what to select, please contact our support department before proceeding.
To continue, click "Restore" and then "Yes".
Press "OK". This step may take some time to complete, so please be patient.
The system will boot back into the Advanced Startup screen.
Just click "Continue" and your system will start normally, having been restored to the factory settings that it originally shipped with.
Unable to Access Windows
If you are not able to access your Windows desktop environment, but the drive itself is okay and the restore data is still intact, the steps below will allow you to return the OS and software to factory conditions. This will wipe out all data on the drive, so make sure that you have backed up any data you care about to a different physical drive (not just a secondary partition on the same drive!):
With the system turned off, plug the Puget Systems Tools USB drive into one of the USB ports on the computer.
Boot system while repeatedly pressing "F8" key. This will interrupt the normal boot process and take you to the motherboard's boot device menu.
Once you get to the boot device menu, use the up and down arrow keys to select UEFI: KingstonDataTraveler
Press the "Enter" key to boot from to the Puget Tools drive, which will provide access to the Windows restore process.
You will now specify which disk you want to restore to. Be careful here as data will be wiped from the selected disk. If you are unsure what to select, please contact our support department before proceeding. To continue, click "Restore" and then "Yes".
Accept the EULA
When it is done you will see this prompt:
Click "OK" and the system will reboot.
When Your SSD / HDD Dies
If the drive with Windows installed on it (the "primary drive") has physically failed, or the part of the drive where the restore image is kept has been corrupted, the only option is to reinstall your Windows operating system. In the case of a failed drive, it will also need to be replaced before this can be done. We strongly recommend contacting our support department before proceeding with something like this, to ensure that it is actually necessary and get help with a replacing the drive (if appropriate).
Here is a guide for installing Windows: LINK TO THE GUIDE FOR INSTALLING WINDOWS