There are multiple ways to restore Windows XP to its factory settings, including using the System Restore feature, using backup recovery discs to recover the system and reinstalling Windows XP from scratch. Each method works equally well in terms of restoring the computer's operating system to its original condition.
Windows XP has a built-in feature called System Restore, which restores the operating system to its factory conditions by rolling it back to a previous state. Users may need to re-enable this feature if it has been disabled and may need to use other methods of restoring Windows XP if this method proves overly difficult.
An alternate solution is to use the recovery discs that come bundled with Windows XP. Alternately, the computer may have a recovery partition on its hard drive. Users can press the F10 key as their system boots up to either access the recovery partition or the recovery disc to initiate system recovery. It is important to note that this method erases any data on the hard drive.
The final option is to reinstall the operating system completely using the recovery disc. This is a lengthier alternative to the system recovery option and can only be used if the user has access to the recovery discs. The recovery partition is not able to initiate a full re-installation.