Dell Vostra 3550 Recovery Partition


my friend had a problem with his sound on the laptop

so i reinstalled win 7 for him

but now he wants it to be factory restored

so now i can't access the recovery partition (which is still there and is visible when start up regularly) when i boot the laptop

can anyone help me on how to get to the recovery section??? (i tried ctrl + f11 and it doesn't work)

thanks in advance

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4 Replies

Re: Dell Vostra 3550 Recovery Partition

If you used a DVD to reinstall Windows 7 or a USB stick he has lost the ability.

Refer him to my wiki below if he wants to reinstall, it will take him through it step by step.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads

#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
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Re: Dell Vostra 3550 Recovery Partition

Hi Fireboy987,

Welcome to the Community. If the recovery partition is not damaged while reinstalling the OS, then you can do a Factory Restore using the Windows Disc. Use the below link for help. If this fails, then I am afraid the recovery partiton is damaged, and as suggested by Natakuc4 you will need to manually reinstall the OS.

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>


Hope this helps.

Thank you


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Re: Dell Vostra 3550 Recovery Partition

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Re: Dell Vostra 3550 Recovery Partition

If you used the disks, you cant just use the recovery partition.

You will have to do the following process to be able to use the recovery partition.

Firstly get a copy of Hiren's boot CD and write it to disk.

Then boot your PC into Hiren's boot CD and load the Mini XP image.

On the desktop will be a Hiren's shortcut.

Open it, then from the program selection screen choose the program "GImageX"

Its listed under the category "Backup Tools"

Once the program is loaded make sure you do the following:

1) Select the Apply Tab at the top.

2) under source, click browse. click on the recovery drive (either says recovery or its blank) and navigate to your recovery file. the file extension is .wim

3) \select your destination as your main drive. (note: C:/ is not your main drive in the mini xp program. please look  for your drive with your main setup files and select that drive)

4) Hit the apply button.

After this is done, it should successfully restore your recovery partition file to your computer.

5) when its finished restoring, restart your PC and press (ctrl + F11) or (F8) Depending on your systems recovery key

6) Select the restore option for your PC.

7) You should then see the option at the bottom to recover from your systems recovery partition. select it and do the full system restore.

Your PC should be back to factory default after its done with the software you originally had on your PC (no additional software other than that which came with the PC)

Its quite a process and you don't need to do the additional recovery after step 4, but then all your old files and viruses will still exist. so from step 5 is additional steps to make it factory default. but you can continue from step 5 at any time if you did the first 4 steps. I would recommend you do all 7 steps at once to ensure everything is fine with the PC. Thereafter, you can just work from step 5 if you ever need to recover again.

You can get hiren's boot cd from here: www.hirensbootcd.org/.../Hirens.BootCD.15.1.zip