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Windows 7: Dell XPS 15 L502X - factory restore without recovery partition

21 Mar 2017   #1

Windows 7
Dell XPS 15 L502X - factory restore without recovery partition

I have Dell XPS 15 L502X (service tag: GMBKSQ1, Express service code 36178219369) which came with Windows 7 originally. I've replaced the hdd because he was damaged. in the new hdd there isn't recovery partition that let me restore the laptop to factory settings.
Also I didn't get the windows 7 on disc.

I've called to Dell support and they said that there is no option to buy a disk of windows 7 and the only option is to buy a new HDD from them.

I really want bring back this recovery partition and not just to do fresh install of windows 7.

maybe someone can help me? what is my options?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2017   #2

Windows 7 HP 64

Recovery partition has a disk image of your C: drive. When you launch Factory Recover it doesn't install Windows, it formats the fist partition and restore the image on it. As the image was on the damaged disk, there is no way to have it back, unless you find another XPS 15 L502X to clone the disk.
You will have to install Win 7 from a installation disk, download and install the drivers and then create an image of the disk.
- Use the down loader ( to download the Win 7 iso from MS, choose win 7 - select your Win 7 OEM brand.
- Burn a DVD or install it on a USB flash drive (Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way)
- Download and install the drivers - Support for XPS 15 L502X | Dell US
- For the updates - MS releases SP2 for Windows 7
- Make a disk image - Macrium Reflect Free | Macrium Software
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2017   #3

Windows 7

Ok so I found the original HDD with the recovery partition (used as external hdd).

There is an option to copy the partition from 1 hdd to another?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

21 Mar 2017   #4

Windows 7 HP 64

A OEM disk doesn't has only a C: partition and a recovery partition. It has also the System partition where you have the boot loaders and the "program" to make the recovery possible. The Recovery partition without the System partition is useless.
You mentioned that the original disk was failing. If it is, it's useless.
Run a check disk chkdsk X: /f (X= drive letter of the original disk) If it finds bad blocks or bad clusters, you cant trust it.

This is what I would do if the original disk is OK.
- Back up all your data on another disk.
- Install the original disk on the laptop and do a Factory Recover.
-Use Macrium reflect ( Macrium Reflect Free | Macrium Software) to clone the original disk on the new disk. To do so you'll need a external USB HDD case or put the two disks on a desktop. Make the System and the Recovery partition the same size and adjust the C: partition to match the new disk size.
- Install the new disk on the laptop and install the updates MS releases SP2 for Windows 7
- Restore your data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2017   #5

Windows 7

I thought that copy only the recovery partition will be enough but I understand that I will need to clone the entire drive.
thank you for you advise !

btw what's the difference between install the drivers via windows update against download and install drivers manually from dell website?

thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Mar 2017   #6

Windows 7 HP 64

Drivers are software that make the bridge between the hardware and the OS.
The hardware manufacture builds their drivers to work with their hardware.
MS can also build drivers to work with their OS.
I've have seen updated drivers by Win update that didn't work.

If you do a Factory Recover, all drivers will be installed as original. Then let Win update suggest a new driver.
If you do a fresh install using a Win7 installation disk on a laptop as yours I would install drivers first from Dell, then let Win update suggest a new driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dell XPS 15 L502X - factory restore without recovery partition

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