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Windows 7: Recovery disk from recovery partition?

01 Apr 2017   #1
rosawoodsii

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit
 
 
Recovery disk from recovery partition?

I recently restored the operating system for my sister's Dell Latitude, It had become very, very slow, and so I would have expected that it would be a lot faster. Not so. It crawls, and I can't figure out why. What I'd like to do is a clean install, but I don't want to reformat the C drive because I'll afraid that will make the recovery partition (which doesn't have a drive letter) unavailable.

Is there any way to make recovery disks from the recovery partition?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Apr 2017   #2
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot
 
 

Yes, there should originally have been a link in the Start Menu to the Dell tool to burn Recovery discs. However, in some configurations you were only allowed to burn one set of discs, so if that had been done previously the link may have removed itself.

Regardless, if the Recovery partition is still intact you should be able to launch it from the F8 menu at boot time and do a full factory restore. That will reformat the C: partition and restore everything to the way it was when the computer was originally shipped. (Aside: if you do that, you'll get a new chance to burn Recovery discs because it's been returned to its "as new" state.)

You said you "recently restored the operating system"... how did you do that? If you used Dell's factory restore feature, then it would have reformatted C: and restored the contents to its "as shipped" state. The computer should then operate as fast as it originally did. Reformatting the C: partition manually and reinstalling via a DVD disc won't do anything different.

If you've done a factory restore and it's *not* working as fast as it used to, then I don't think Windows is the problem. Perhaps your hard drive is starting to fail and slowing down Windows' read/write attempts?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2017   #3
rosawoodsii

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I did a system restore, which I thought would bring it back to the previous good point. Instead, it completely reset to factory defaults. I wasn't sure whether that would format the disc or not. So is that factory reset the same thing as a full reinstall with formatting the disc?

It was working fine after that, then I took it to my sister's house and it was slow again, nothing else running, connecting to a hot spot. It took 3 or 4 minutes to bring up a browser, over 5 minutes to shut down. I brought it back to my house, and it did the same thing. Then I let it sit for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I hauled it out again and everything seems to be working okay again, but maybe you're right about the problem being the hard drive.

I'll look for a recovery disc option. I don't know if she ever made discs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Apr 2017   #4
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rosawoodsii View Post
I did a system restore, which I thought would bring it back to the previous good point. Instead, it completely reset to factory defaults.
Microsoft's System Restore and Dell's recovery to factory settings (aka, factory restore) are two different things. If it reverted the computer to the way it was when it came from the factory, then you did a Dell restore.


Quote:
I wasn't sure whether that would format the disc or not. So is that factory reset the same thing as a full reinstall with formatting the disc?
Yes, the Dell factory recovery is the same thing as reformatting and reinstalling from a Dell reinstallation disc.

You can tell whether that's what you've done by the time it took and the result. A factory restore should take about 10-20 minutes. The result would be you'd have only factory-installed programs (any user-installed programs and user data would be gone) and Windows Update would be way outdated. (The Windows Update status would revert to the date the computer was shipped.)


Quote:
It was working fine after that, then I took it to my sister's house and it was slow again, nothing else running, connecting to a hot spot. It took 3 or 4 minutes to bring up a browser, over 5 minutes to shut down. I brought it back to my house, and it did the same thing.
And I gather you've ruled out slow internet? Was it slow bringing up random programs, or only the internet browser?

Another possibility to consider is that if you did do a factory restore, Windows Update would be so outdated it could have been tying up the computer for quite some time as it would have been working to bring itself back up to date.


Quote:
...but maybe you're right about the problem being the hard drive.
Find out the brand of hard drive and download a test/diagnostic utility from the manufacturer's website. It wouldn't be unusual for the hard drive to be on its way out.


Quote:
I'll look for a recovery disc option. I don't know if she ever made discs.
Most Win7-era Dells often shipped with "Dell DataSafe Local Backup", and the option to create recovery discs would have been in there.

If the computer isn't too old, there might also be an outside chance you could download a recovery image from Dell. It's worth a try, but to be honest, 90% of the time I've tried that site it came up empty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #5
rosawoodsii

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

No link to anything connected to Dell. The computer seems to be running okay now, so she took it back. If it bogs down again, I'll do the factory recovery.
Thank you for your detailed response and instructions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #6
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

The only reason a computer slows down is because people download and install garbage on it, if used properly and the hardware is kept in A1 condition it will run fine for a very long time

The best thing you can do is install Windows on a solid state drive for her.

SSD 850 PRO 2.5" SATA III 512GB Memory & Storage - MZ-7KE512BW | Samsung US
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Seldom does Windows 7 slow down Windows 7.
It's normally programs that have been added or removed that slows Windows 7 down.
Slowness can also be cause by all kinds of different types of infection. Their are just to many to list.

I agree with AddRAM. If it was my system I would do a Clean Install of Windows 7 on a SSD. Although my brand of SSD would be different.
I prefer Intel SSD's. A SSD would be the biggest bang for the buck one can do to any system that is using a hard drive.

If you look at AddRAM's and my (My System Specs) you will see we both use SSD's.
We do that because they are reliable and very quick. Another good point for a laptop is SSD's run a lot cooler. Which matters a lot in a laptop.

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2017   #8
rosawoodsii

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I did a system restore, which pretty much wiped out anything my sister had on the computer. It worked fine at my house, but was slow as molasses at hers--and she has a fast hotspot. Brought it back to my place, still slow. Left it for a couple of weeks and now it seems to be good again. I don't know the explanation, but if it bogs down again, I'll do a clean install. BTW, the only programs downloaded were Chrome and Firefox, and since I downloaded them, there were no extras with the downloads.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2017   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Does everything work slow or just things done online?

Do you monitor your temperature on the laptop?

Jack
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Apr 2017   #10
rosawoodsii

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

When it's slow, everything is slow. I haven't been monitoring the temperature. How would I do that? BTW, everything seems to be okay at the moment, but if things go south again, it's nice to know what to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Recovery disk from recovery partition?




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