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Windows 7: Recovery Partition

30 Dec 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Recovery Partition

Hello. Can anyone help me please? I have a Dell XPS L501X Laptop, which has 3 partitions called: OS, Recovery and an unlabaled one, but under status it says its a OEM Partition. I decided to install windows again on the OS partition where the operating system was. i formated it and installed windows. I left the Recovery and OEM partitions as they were. I now regret reinstalling windows again and would like to go back to the way my laptop was when i first received it. Ive had a look around the internet on forums, and come across options to restore via command prompt. i entered command prompt from boot up, and typed c:\dell\image\factory.wim
A message pops up saying: to open this file, windows needs to know what program you want to use to open it. I clicked browse but theres only Notepad there. To be honest, i haven't got a clue what im doing. Can anyone please help me restore my computer back to how it was when i received it using the recovery partition?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP


Run factory recovery by pressing the keys given at boot: Restoring Your Computer´s Software to the Factory Settings | Dell

Did you make the Recovery disks when you first set up your computer, or were they supplied by Dell?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Hi Greg, thanks for your response. I did follow the instructions in that link you provided. I pressed F8 at bootup, selected repair your computer, selected keyboard method, logged on as a administrator. The system recovery options came up specifying my operating system - Windows 7 on (D:) OS
These options are available:
Startup Repair
System Restore
System Image Recovery
Windows Memory Diagnostic
Command Prompt

There is no option for Dell Factory Image Restore. I dont know if reinstalling windows changed the Master Boot Record, I didn't touch the Recovery Partition. The only disk i received from Dell only has Drivers and Programs on it. Unfortunately, i didn't make a backup disk. There must be a way of getting at it through command prompt or some other method?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Dec 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


Try pressing Control + F11 to run Recovery on some Dells.

There is a way to mount the .wim to run it. I haven't done this yet but the guy who would know is SIW2.

It may be on bootCD for Paragon Backup and Recovery 10 free edition. Si would know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

I tryed pressing Control + F11, nothing happened. Do you think that Paragon Backup and Recovery 10 program would help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2010   #6
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I think you need to keep tapping F8 only after power-on. Here is the procedure I had on file:

· Save all your important files.

· Unplug all the devices and drivers from your CPU (except the keyboard and the mouse), including your printer, camera and memory stick.

· Shut off the computer and then turn it on, or simply restart it.

· As soon as you see the Dell logo at the start keep on hitting the F8 key repeatedly. Do not stop until you see the screen that says "Repair your computer." There will be other options too but chose this option and hit Enter.

· Next you will see a prompt window giving you options to select the keyboard layout select from the drop-down menu "US" and click "OK."

· On the next screen you will be asked to select the user ID and the password of your Windows account. Select your user account, but make sure your user account has administrative functions. Type in your password. If you don't have a password, leave it blank and click "OK."

· Now you will come to a window with multiple options. Choose the one at the bottom that reads, "Dell Factory Image Restore." By clicking "Dell Factory Image Restore" , it will generate an operation that will take about 45 minutes to complete.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2010   #7
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Here's the info I have on Dell.

information   Information

Here are the recovery instructions from Dell.

1. Reboot, and press Ctrl + F11 at the Dell logo.
2. The Dell™ PC Restore by Symantec screen will come up.
3. Select "Restore" or use the Tab key to highlight it and press Enter.
4. if you wish to continue, click "Confirm", or use the Tab key to highlight it and press Enter.
5. When the utility is finished, click "Finish", or use the Tab key to highlight it and press Enter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2010   #8

Windows 7 32-bit

Reboot your computer. When you see the Dell logo screen, press the two-key combination of "Ctrl" and "F11." There is a file called diskmgmt.msc that runs the recovery, but sense you formatted the drive it will not be there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I don't know where you guys get F11 from. Here is the official Dell website and it clearly specifies F8.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Dec 2010   #10

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

A Disk management screenshot would be useful.

Many recovery partitions allow you to boot them (when they include the boot files).
You can mark the partition active and boot.
A very low risk approach is to use the Hirens 12.0 Boot CD.
At the end of it's menu options is the option to boot directly into a partition.
Disk 1 is the mounted Hirens
Disk 2 is generally your HDD.
Select your recovery partition & boot.
If it doesn't boot no harm will be done and you will know that setting it active won't work either.

I have an Acer & I boot directly into the recovery partition using the Hirens CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Recovery Partition

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