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Windows 7: Restoring Using Dell Factory Partition - can I move to SSD?

3 Weeks Ago   #1
Nevarthur

64
 
 
Restoring Using Dell Factory Partition - can I move to SSD?

Hi,

I have a question that I would be very grateful to have assistance on.

I have a 5 year old Dell XPS i7 PC that recently became unable to perform Windows Updates and so I intend to use the factory partition to go back to a new install. I also enjoy all the decrapping and adding programs but I find myself a little short of expertise from time to time. I have an expert who can bale me out when things get too difficult but I would like to have a go at stuff first because it's a nice feeling if you can successfully complete a task of some complexity!

My question is whether the factory partition will try and reinstall to the original 1.5 Tb drive that is still in the PC, or whether I would be able to point it to the SSD that was installed a year ago, and that had been running Windows fine.

Is there an option like that? Or is it more involved, and would require an expert to deal with this?

Many thanks for any help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
3 Weeks Ago   #2
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
Review post two here for updating issues
Windows Update will not update and I've tried multiple fixes

For clean installing again review post two here
windows update

If you want the factory reserved stuff you'd need to fix the updating issue and create and restore a system image to the new ssd which is pretty easy to do with macrium reflect free
Imaging with free Macrium

Create Backup Image with Macrium Reflect by Britec - YouTube
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #3
Nevarthur

64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
Review post two here for updating issues
Windows Update will not update and I've tried multiple fixes

For clean installing again review post two here
windows update

If you want the factory reserved stuff you'd need to fix the updating issue and create and restore a system image to the new ssd which is pretty easy to do with macrium reflect free
Imaging with free Macrium

Create Backup Image with Macrium Reflect by Britec - YouTube
Many thanks for your quick response.

I have to admit that all the things you pointed me at seem a little daunting to me at my skill level. I will however read them a couple of times and see what sticks!

Your final point didn't seem to really address that which I required help on, but I may have misunderstood?

Hopefully there will be some more responses and I can put together a plan to follow but in the meantime I'm grateful to you.

Nev
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

3 Weeks Ago   #4
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

In the past, Dell used to provide a modified Win 7 installation DVD disk. With this disk you were able to install Win 7 in any disk on the Dell computer.
Now they provide a partition with a image of Win 7 installation.
This image doesn't install Windows. It will format the disk and restore the whole disk image, and this operation requires the target disk to be at least the size of the original disk (1.5T) and this isn't the case as your SSD is smaller than 1.5T.

Where is the Factory recover partition, on the HDD or at the SSD?

You can try this:
- From BIOS or from running Windows, make a Factory Recover USB flash disk.
- Detach ALL other HDD leaving only the SSD disk.
- Boot from the Factory Recover USB flash disk.
- See if you can install on the SSD. (I think you wont)

If you have the COA licese key, I suggest you to install with a regular installation disk and then install all drivers and Dell applications downloaded from Dell site.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #5
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

My educated guess about the final point was:
-- a suggestion to make full image backups of OS partition and data partition onto usb external media before attempting what you posted in the thread opening.
-- and, perhaps, with every major success point, make full images again onto your usb external media.
For example, I have two usb 1TB ext HDs for each computer, and each ext HD contains at least one if not two OS images. During any major Windows changing attempts, I make backups before and after such major attempts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #6
Nevarthur

64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
In the past, Dell used to provide a modified Win 7 installation DVD disk. With this disk you were able to install Win 7 in any disk on the Dell computer.
Now they provide a partition with a image of Win 7 installation.
This image doesn't install Windows. It will format the disk and restore the whole disk image, and this operation requires the target disk to be at least the size of the original disk (1.5T) and this isn't the case as your SSD is smaller than 1.5T.

Where is the Factory recover partition, on the HDD or at the SSD?

You can try this:
- From BIOS or from running Windows, make a Factory Recover USB flash disk.
- Detach ALL other HDD leaving only the SSD disk.
- Boot from the Factory Recover USB flash disk.
- See if you can install on the SSD. (I think you wont)

If you have the COA licese key, I suggest you to install with a regular installation disk and then install all drivers and Dell applications downloaded from Dell site.
Hi,
Thanks for your reply.
I see what you're saying about the size of the drive having to be the same or bigger than the original. I think some sort of cloning operation is what my local expert did for me last time, to get Windows onto the SSD. I hadn't thought about that, is that likely to be a little tricky for someone as clueless as I?

I cannot see where the hidden partition is stored, it doesn't seem to show up. I suppose that's why they call it hidden ;-)

I think the idea of a clean install of Windows and then get the drivers needed may be the way to go, but perhaps for my expert, not me. Not sure I can reliably track down the necessary drivers, and install them without incident!

Thank you.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
My educated guess about the final point was:
-- a suggestion to make full image backups of OS partition and data partition onto usb external media before attempting what you posted in the thread opening.
-- and, perhaps, with every major success point, make full images again onto your usb external media.
For example, I have two usb 1TB ext HDs for each computer, and each ext HD contains at least one if not two OS images. During any major Windows changing attempts, I make backups before and after such major attempts.
I think I follow what you said, more or less, but I would need a lot more instruction than that, so again, might be better to just pay my guy to do something along those lines.

Many thanks to you both though.

Nev
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #7
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

"...might be better to just pay my guy to do something along those lines..." I recommend letting that paid person walk you through the making of restorable backups; that way, you become the backup/restore person in the future.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #8
Nevarthur

64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
"...might be better to just pay my guy to do something along those lines..." I recommend letting that paid person walk you through the making of restorable backups; that way, you become the backup/restore person in the future.

I actually have in front of me here:
CD-R labelled Backup Copy of Windows from Dell
Dell Recovery One
Dell Recovery Two
Recovery Disk 1 (after partitioning)
Recovery Disk 2 (after partitioning)
Repair Disk Windows 7 64 bit
I did make a system image just after the last time I restored from the recovery partition.
The problem is, Windows was moved to the SSD, which was added after the image was made. So I presume funny things are going to happen.

See, I do try! I just like to prevaricate before normally charging in and ballsing it up!

I can well understand the experts' frustration with someone like me, which is why I try to be unfailingly polite, it's all I've got ;-)

I know how hard won the knowledge you all have was, and I mean no disrespect when I want to make use of it.

I am currently sitting in front of the PC, debating whether I'm ready.

All data I can think of, like documents, videos, photos, music is saved to Dropbox and 2 other external hard drives.

Emails and address books are backed up.

Codes and executables for programs I wish to reinstall are available.

Just not quite sure where to go from here, and usually can't quite follow the advice I've been given, cos I'm a little short of the experience to be comfortable with giving it a go, but there's a bit of me that wants to learn. It's just that's the thick bit!

Just can't quite bring myself to wipe everything just yet.....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #9
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Nevarthur -- you're an aok dude -- just keep on learning to make restorable backups and just keep on experimenting! Learning from my experiences and from the experiences of others -- helped me just as it will continue to help you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
3 Weeks Ago   #10
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Nevarthur View Post

Just can't quite bring myself to wipe everything just yet.....
Have you backed up your browser bookmarks?

The SSD factor per se isn't really an issue as regards Windows installation, imaging, cloning, backup, etc. SSDs aren't a complicating factor any more than HDDs. They have a few nuances that can be examined and dealt with after installation.

If you are toying with a clean install, have you gone to your motherboard manufacturer's web site and downloaded drivers--in particular the Ethernet (NIC) driver? It's critical to getting online and should be supplied by any Windows clean install.

I say should. Don't assume that.

But that shouldn't be a factor if you are doing some type of "restore" rather than a new install.

I say should. Don't assume that.

If you have backed up what should be backed up, then I'd think that the first item on your list "CD-R labelled backup copy of Windows from Dell" would give you a clean Windows install--assuming it will boot the PC and was a valid burn.

On the other hand, the "recovery" disks would presumably include any other "non-Windows" goodies Dell may have included.

It may be that the "CD-R labelled...." in fact includes more than Windows?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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