I am trying to restore my Dell Inspiron 1525 to factory settings.
I have followed the steps during boot to press the F8 button and have gotten to the Repair Your Computer section. I have logged on as a user that has Administrative permissions (checked through Control Panel). Once I get to the main Repair Your Computer screen, there is no Dell Factory Image Restore option.
Since I bought the Dell, I did upgrade from XP to 7, but I would think that shouldn't matter since I am attempting to restore to the recovery image stored on the hard disk drive.
F8 would not be the factory restore for XP. It would be Control F11.
However the MBR is probably different and therefore you would have to try and repair the Ghost partition with a boot CD or Floppy and DSRFIX.
The Dell-specific Ctrl+F11 process is supposed to completely automate the restoration process, returning the hard disk to the state it was in when Dell shipped the computer. However, overwriting the MBR by using a boot manager, using the commands "fixmbr" or "fdisk /mbr", installing from a Windows installation CD, and assorted other tasks a user might do will inadvertantly break Ctrl+F11, rendering the system unable to boot the DSR partition. Furthermore, changing the partitioning by adding, deleting, or resizing partitions will cause DSRcheck to fail, so even if Ctrl+F11 works, the restore process will abort without attempting to restore the Ghost image.
You may be able to recover the factory restore but you will need a new drive to do it.
You would use PTEDIT and DSRFIX to repair the drive.
Basically it works like this. You get Ghost and clone the drive. Then you format the Large NTFS partition to be blank using an XP CD. Then you use a WIN9X dos boot floppy or DSRFIX ISO bootable CD to run DSRFIX to repair the MBR.
Then you press CTRL F11 and run the Factory Restore. This will lose all your data. Thats why you clone it before you do this. That way you can use a Drive Wire to recover your data files from the "other" drive.
If you deleted the hidden partition when you upgraded there wont be any Ghost Recovery file and so DSRFIX wont work.
So, in other words, I'm out of luck with a factory restore?
Yep, when you made the decision to upgrade to Windows 7.