Dell Media Direct should be in the Factory Recovery image, so why not boot it from its partition to run? You say that it asks you to wipe the HD, so what is wrong with that? You need to have your data all backed up anyway. Dell Windows 7 PC Restore
Then you have your Recovery Disks to use as back up in case Recovery fails from its partition, which is the best way to use those disks.
If Media Direct is available on Dell Downloads then you can try installing it separately from a Clean Reinstall.