I have inherited a toshiba laptop with windows vista from a friend who passed away. I don't have any recovery CD's, etc., and am not very tech savvy. I would like to reset to factory settings and have tried the pressing zero process. it goes through the loading but then just goes blank. ?? any help is appreciated.
You can check with the manufacturer's website and see if they have a downloadable version or call them and ask what it would take to get the needed software/files. Then you would just need to put them on a good sized USB drive and use that to do the reset.
You can also try accessing the "Backup and Restore" in "Control Panel" to create the needed cd/usb files backup.
If what 'webworkings' suggests doesn't work. Here's what i would do (although i'm not sure why you want it back to factory settings):
Download and install something like 'advanced system care' (free version ). In the toolbox of that software you will find IOBit Uninstaller .... use it to uninstall all unwanted software ... after it does the 'standard' uninstall, it will ask you if you want to remove all traces of that program ... click yes and it will remove all the registry settings and hidden bits that that software has installed.
thinking of the user's data ... just go into all the folders past the user name (for instance ... my documents, pictures, videos etc.) ... select all and delete.
I'm not suggesting that doing this is as good as a 'fresh install' but ... maybe it's close enough to get you where you want to be with the laptop and it wouldn't take too long to do?