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Cost of Restoring Computers

My computer takes ten minutes to boot up. It must have a virus or something. It needs to be completely restored. System Restore closes about one quarter of the way through. How much will it cost to restore the computer?Celeste Stewart

The Cost of Restoring a Computer to Factory Condition

Here at, we don't offer hands-on technical support or actual repairs, so I can't give you an estimate. As far as cost in general, it's hard to say. Your local computer shop may charge by the hour or have fixed prices for specific services. In addition to paying for a computer technician to perform the repair, you may need to pay for a recovery disc if your computer does not currently have one. If data recovery is needed in order to retrieve data on your computer, that will add to the cost as well.

Do-It-Yourself Computer Restoration

If you have the original CDs that came with your system, restoring your computer to its factory original condition is fairly simple. Really, it's a matter of inserting the CD and following the prompts. Of course, since it restores the PC to its original condition, it's going to wipe away all of your data and any software or devices you have installed since you first purchased the computer. Since your computer does function, albeit slowly, you have a huge advantage in that you can copy your data files to a USB drive, CD-ROM disc, or some other backup media. After restoring your computer, you can then copy your data back onto the system.

Reinstalling Software and Hardware

You will also need to reinstall all software and hardware devices that didn't come with the system from the factory. Hopefully, you have the original installation discs for these items. If you purchased and downloaded software online, before you restore the computer, write down the product numbers, license numbers, or serial numbers related to the purchase. This information is usually found in the About tab of the software. You may need to contact the vendor to re-download the software. If the software is older, the program may no longer be available, so be aware of that possibility.

Whether you restore the PC yourself or have a computer repair shop do it, you'll still face these data and software reinstallation issues, so do as much as you can before the restoration to make the reinstallation process as smooth as possible.

Alternatives to Computer Restoration

Because of the hassle factor, consider other options before resorting to a full restoration. Again, go ahead and backup your data as anything could happen and you'll want to ensure that your data is safe. Since you suspect a virus, removing the virus could very well solve your problem once and for all without the hassles of a factory reset. Consider investing in a comprehensive antivirus/antispyware solution and thoroughly cleaning your computer. Several good free programs exist as well as excellent commercial products. We recommend:

Another option to consider is launching System Restore while in Safe Mode from a command prompt. This may or may not work. However, since Safe Mode launches the bare minimum of processes, this may be enough to eliminate the interference that's disrupting System Restore right now.

Hopefully, a virus cleaner or system restore from Safe Mode will do the trick. If not, check with your local computer repair shop or a service like the Best Buy Geek Squad for a quote on recovering your system.

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