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  1. 'fie' on me, allege-dly
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Lightbulb Dell System Restore without CD


    Had a customer drop in a DELL laptop with all disks that came with it, and said "I want that like new".

    A factory restore, no problem says I, where's the recovery CD, turns out there wasn't one.

    After trying to install XP SP2, with the SP1 key (big mistake), it overwrote the MBR (master Boot Record), and then when I found out about the hidden partition which contains a system recovery, i couldn't access it.

    Luckily a man by the name of Dan Goodell had come across this problem before and provides a fix via this >link<

    Inspiron 5160 DELL DSRFIX CTRL-F11 control key f11 hidden recovery partition DSR DELL SYSTEM RECOVERY

    Comments on this post

    • brendan115 agrees : Dell also has great support on their webpage
    --Ax
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    Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.
    -- Jamie Zawinski
    Detavil - the devil is in the detail, allegedly, and I use the term advisedly, allegedly ... oh, no, wait I did ...
    BIT COINS ANYONE
  2. #2
  3. 'fie' on me, allege-dly
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    brendan115 agrees: Dell also has great support on their webpage
    I had an online conversation with a DELL TS rep, and he told me no such partition existed plus their SEO can't be up to much
    06/23/2006 11:47:32AM Me:: "Does hidden partition on hdd contain XP Home install?"
    06/23/2006 11:47:42AM Agent (Dell TS Rep.:): "Thank you for contacting Dell Hardware Chat support for the UK and Republic of Ireland. I am XXXXX. Give me a couple of minutes while I pull up the system records."
    06/23/2006 11:47:49AM Me:: "hello"
    06/23/2006 11:48:22AM Agent (Dell TS Rep.:): "Hello Mr. TX."
    06/23/2006 11:48:44AM Agent (Dell TS Rep.:): "May I have your complete name and telephone number as on the records, please?"
    06/23/2006 11:49:33AM Me:: "What I'm trying to do is a full reinstall of the system (Factory defaults) as a USB to Serial convertor is acting up for the customer Mr Xxxxx Xxxxxxx, phone number NNNN"
    06/23/2006 11:50:11AM Agent (Dell TS Rep.:): "Ok."
    06/23/2006 11:50:39AM Agent (Dell TS Rep.:): "There are no hidden partitions on the hard drive which contains Windows XP."
    06/23/2006 11:50:54AM Agent (Dell TS Rep.:): "You would have to install it from the Windows CD."
    06/23/2006 11:51:22AM Me:: "what version of xp was provided with the system (Home sp?)"
    06/23/2006 11:51:51AM Agent (Dell TS Rep.:): "WINDOWS XP HOME SP1 was provided with the system."
    06/23/2006 11:51:51AM Me:: "disc not provided, at least not as well marked as expected"
    06/23/2006 11:52:37AM Agent (Dell TS Rep.:): "The CD's were shipped along with the system."
    Names changed to protect identities ...

    Comments on this post

    • aitken325i agrees
    Last edited by Axweildr; June 27th, 2006 at 03:28 PM.
    --Ax
    without exception, there is no rule ...
    Handmade Irish Jewellery
    Targeted Advertising Cookie Optout (TACO) extension for Firefox
    The great thing about Object Oriented code is that it can make small, simple problems look like large, complex ones


    09 F9 11 02
    9D 74 E3 5B
    D8 41 56 C5
    63 56 88 C0
    Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.
    -- Jamie Zawinski
    Detavil - the devil is in the detail, allegedly, and I use the term advisedly, allegedly ... oh, no, wait I did ...
    BIT COINS ANYONE
  4. #3
  5. Providing fuel for space ships
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    One of the guys at work recently took delivery of a Dell machine and had problems with it and tried to re-install Windows using the recover disks - turns out there wasn't one included. Seemingly now they ship the machine with a CD-R and you can burn the restore disk yourself through the Start menu ?? Haven't seen a new Dell machine but if that's what they are doing now, I can see many people having problems with that by not reading instructions and burning disk straight away !

    Anyway Ax, did you manage to get this sorted out ??
    The No Ma'am commandments:

    1.) It is O.K. to call hooters 'knockers' and sometimes snack trays
    2.) It is wrong to be French
    3.) It is O.K. to put all bad people in a giant meat grinder
    4.) Lawyers, see rule 3
    5.) It is O.K. to drive a gas guzzler if it helps you get babes
    6.) Everyone should car pool but me
    7.) Bring back the word 'stewardesses'
    8.) Synchronized swimming is not a sport
    9.) Mud wrestling is a sport
  6. #4
  7. 'fie' on me, allege-dly
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Yeah the DSRFix took a bit of hunting, but that restored the CTRL-F11 on boot, and inside 10 mins, presto, XP HOME SP1 ... and a functioning USB-to-Serial Convertor, which the guy needs to program Fire Alarm panels ... hey who said you don't need serial ports on a new laptop
    --Ax
    without exception, there is no rule ...
    Handmade Irish Jewellery
    Targeted Advertising Cookie Optout (TACO) extension for Firefox
    The great thing about Object Oriented code is that it can make small, simple problems look like large, complex ones


    09 F9 11 02
    9D 74 E3 5B
    D8 41 56 C5
    63 56 88 C0
    Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.
    -- Jamie Zawinski
    Detavil - the devil is in the detail, allegedly, and I use the term advisedly, allegedly ... oh, no, wait I did ...
    BIT COINS ANYONE
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  9. Providing fuel for space ships
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    A serial port, what's that !?
    The No Ma'am commandments:

    1.) It is O.K. to call hooters 'knockers' and sometimes snack trays
    2.) It is wrong to be French
    3.) It is O.K. to put all bad people in a giant meat grinder
    4.) Lawyers, see rule 3
    5.) It is O.K. to drive a gas guzzler if it helps you get babes
    6.) Everyone should car pool but me
    7.) Bring back the word 'stewardesses'
    8.) Synchronized swimming is not a sport
    9.) Mud wrestling is a sport
  10. #6
  11. They call me geek here........
    Devshed Frequenter (2500 - 2999 posts)

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    Dell do have the disk stored on the hard disk, but burning it can be apain in the ***, in my experience.
    Did this help? If so, please add to my Reputation by clicking the at the top of this post

    My Folding: -




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  13. sleeping guru
    Devshed Regular (2000 - 2499 posts)

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    Originally Posted by Profftnt
    Dell do have the disk stored on the hard disk, but burning it can be apain in the ***, in my experience.
    The Ctrl-F11 thing i was well impressed with, too my laptop 13mins to get back to normal, when the dell technician told me that it would take that long i have to say i wasn't convinced lol !!!

    Anyway, as an aside but kinda related. We just ordered a dell at a place where i do some consultancy and we ordered the recovery disks as well. An extra 5 i think but it meant we have them and didn't have to create them! Makes life easier !!!

    Just a thought
  14. #8
  15. 'fie' on me, allege-dly
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    I ALWAYS order media, but this one (laptop) I didn't order and the MBR was corrupted from a previous install ...
    --Ax
    without exception, there is no rule ...
    Handmade Irish Jewellery
    Targeted Advertising Cookie Optout (TACO) extension for Firefox
    The great thing about Object Oriented code is that it can make small, simple problems look like large, complex ones


    09 F9 11 02
    9D 74 E3 5B
    D8 41 56 C5
    63 56 88 C0
    Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.
    -- Jamie Zawinski
    Detavil - the devil is in the detail, allegedly, and I use the term advisedly, allegedly ... oh, no, wait I did ...
    BIT COINS ANYONE
  16. #9
  17. Back after 2 years!
    Devshed Intermediate (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    When I purchased a Dell machine at work, it came with Windows XP Pro pre-installed with no recovery CD or CD-R or anything. They just said that you had to use the built-in recovery console. I told them that I paid for a copy of Windows XP at the time of purchase and I would like the proper media. After a day or two of complaining, they eventually sent me an actual Windows XP disc (not a Dell branded one).

    Bitch enough and they cave. HP/Compaq on the other hand does NOT. My fiancee has an older Compaq (after the merger) and the recovery CD brings up a red screen that says "Please contact HP/Compaq for a new disc" and they refuse to send a new one or replace the malfuctioning one. Luckily, since the case had the Windows XP sticker with the license code, a local computer shop reinstalled Windows for free using that code.

    Dell support, while it does suck, is better than most other companies.
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  19. Providing fuel for space ships
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Did Compaq give a reason why not to send a new one even if you returned the faulty one first ?
    The No Ma'am commandments:

    1.) It is O.K. to call hooters 'knockers' and sometimes snack trays
    2.) It is wrong to be French
    3.) It is O.K. to put all bad people in a giant meat grinder
    4.) Lawyers, see rule 3
    5.) It is O.K. to drive a gas guzzler if it helps you get babes
    6.) Everyone should car pool but me
    7.) Bring back the word 'stewardesses'
    8.) Synchronized swimming is not a sport
    9.) Mud wrestling is a sport
  20. #11
  21. 'fie' on me, allege-dly
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Compaq were on the losing end of a class action suit for this >>clicky<<, it's amzing the amount of stuff you pick up on, when researching something like this
    --Ax
    without exception, there is no rule ...
    Handmade Irish Jewellery
    Targeted Advertising Cookie Optout (TACO) extension for Firefox
    The great thing about Object Oriented code is that it can make small, simple problems look like large, complex ones


    09 F9 11 02
    9D 74 E3 5B
    D8 41 56 C5
    63 56 88 C0
    Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.
    -- Jamie Zawinski
    Detavil - the devil is in the detail, allegedly, and I use the term advisedly, allegedly ... oh, no, wait I did ...
    BIT COINS ANYONE
  22. #12
  23. Back after 2 years!
    Devshed Intermediate (1500 - 1999 posts)

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    Originally Posted by aitken325i
    Did Compaq give a reason why not to send a new one even if you returned the faulty one first ?
    Yep, the warranty was over. In fact, it's almost the same problem that was described in that link in the post after yours (except in that guy's post, his recovery CD was for the wrong machine). The disc was always faulty from the start, we just didn't need to use it in the first year that she had the PC. Warranty was up so no replacement could be provided.
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    thanks
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  27. Providing fuel for space ships
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Originally Posted by GuNeS
    thanks
    Welcome to Dev Shed, GuNeS.
    The No Ma'am commandments:

    1.) It is O.K. to call hooters 'knockers' and sometimes snack trays
    2.) It is wrong to be French
    3.) It is O.K. to put all bad people in a giant meat grinder
    4.) Lawyers, see rule 3
    5.) It is O.K. to drive a gas guzzler if it helps you get babes
    6.) Everyone should car pool but me
    7.) Bring back the word 'stewardesses'
    8.) Synchronized swimming is not a sport
    9.) Mud wrestling is a sport
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  29. duffy duck
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    The system restore thingie with newer dell machines is a common "gotcha" and I've linked to a common questions re dell machines in my contribution to the common windows questions.

    Most of these pre-installed pcs use the hidden partion, I dunno why the rep was saying they don't. It may be that the rep was a customer service person rather than an IT/technical support person.
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