Dell Restore Partition

September 5, 2008 at 14:31:40
Specs: Vista Home Premium, Intel Dual Core 3Gb

I have a dell xps-210. It came with a vista restore DVD and also has a 10Gb restore partition. In the partition is a folder called "image" which contains a 3gb file called factory.wim. I assume that I somehow have the ability to use this partition to restore my PC to factory conditions. The question is how? When I boot I get the option to press F11 or F12 (I think). One takes me to the BIOS and the other brings up a memory test utility. I've read on the web that pressing CTRL F11 will invoke the recovery console but this doesnt do anything for me. Can someone tell me how I can use this 10Gb partition to restore my PC to factory defaults?



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September 5, 2008 at 16:07:12
.wim is a microsoft file format. It might be the exact vista image for your system.

See the documents that came with the computer.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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September 7, 2008 at 13:47:04
I've read the manual and looked on dell support. It seems there are two ways to access the recovery partition. on is to press F8 whilst booting. The other is to press CTRL + F11. Neither work for me. I'm thinking it may be down to me setting up a dual boot with Ubuntu - the grub boot loader may have screwed something up.

I'll keep looking for an answer

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September 7, 2008 at 15:42:34
Linux?? First we heard of that.

Did you copy over the restore partiton with linux?

A F key at boot should be before grub.

Time to consider a restore from booting from DVD.

Select a good virutal machine to play with linux.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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September 8, 2008 at 05:07:50
I decided I'd like to try ubuntu a few months ago. I used vista to make a 5gb partition on which to install it. I booted from the ubuntu CD, chose my new partition as the install location and the rest was automated.

I've been googling around and it seems that any change to partitions changes the master boot record and hence screws up the dell boot loader making the use of system recovery impossible.

Luckily I have the full vista restore DVD but I would have liked the ability to use the restore function which I understand is much faster.

Unless I can find a way to fix this, I'm left with a useless 10gb recovery partition

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September 9, 2008 at 05:40:41
1 Turn on the computer.
During the boot process, a blue bar with appears at the top of the screen.
2 Immediately upon seeing the blue bar, press <Ctrl><F11>.
If you do not press <Ctrl><F11> in time, let the computer finish restarting, and then
restart the computer again.

Hope this helps

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September 9, 2008 at 10:19:46
Thanks Bryco,

Unfortunately the "blue bar" never appears now that I've set up my dual boot. I suspect that it was the dell mbr that caused this blue bar to appear. Seeing as the MBR has been overwritten by the grub boot loader it looks like I'm out of luck

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September 21, 2008 at 17:30:28
You can use the Windows Vista DVD supplied with your computer to boot into the Dell recovery and restore. As long as you have not deleted or damaged the recovery partition this should allow you to use the factory drive image to restore your PC back to factory state and repair your MBR at the same time.

Restart your computer with the Vista DVD in the drive

Press F12 during reboot and in the menu choose boot from CD/DVD ROM Drive

When the Vista DVD loads, accept the default options on each screen untill you get to the language screen, set your language then your time and currency keyboard layout, then coninue.

On the Install Now screen click Repair Your Computer.

Click NO if Windows tells you it found problems with your startup options and asks you to apply repairs.

In the System Recovery window click Windows Vista then click next to choose a recovery option.

Choose Command Prompt.
In the CMD windows type the following lines press enter after each line.

path d:\windows;d:\windows\system32
CD Tools

In the Dell Factory Restore window click next.
Click yes to reformat hardrive and restore system to factory condition.

If that failed to work I believe the only other option is to reinstall OS and drivers from the DVD's supplied by Dell.

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September 25, 2008 at 05:34:05
just press the key'f8' at bootup. you will be move to a window which guiden you further for the recovery of the system.

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