Inspiron

Last reply by 02-22-2022 Unsolved
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Inspiron 1501 - No recovery essentials for Vista

On my Windows Vista home basic PC i'm trying to reset the thing, but then it broke last year so i had to reinstall it, and now the "Repair you computer" does no longer come up in advanced options.

Does anyone have a working one, and how do i get it? And no, dont suggest me to upgrade to a newer OS or use EasyRE. EasyRE costs money and my PC came with home basic.

 

Comments for help though will be appreciated, and may help me one step further in my Dell Journey!

Replies (25)
314

Sorry for not responding in a little long. Incase you didnt know (i cant remember if i sent another post saying this) i did finally get Vista activated. Im now probably not gonna switch to a linux distro unless I need to. 

 

Although it doesnt solve the problem, as I still cant get the options back.

210


@gravitycoil828 wrote:

I won't need those apps anymore, as now I have activated with a different phone.. Also I forgot what I was doing at this point.


Glad to hear you were able to re-activate your clean reinstall of Vista using the slui.exe 4 phone activation method.

Was you original question about the missing "Repair Your Computer" option in your F8 advanced boot menu ever answered? As I noted <here> on 08-Dec-2021, Brink's How to Boot to the Advanced Boot Options in Vista​ tutorial states that the "Repair Your Computer" option "will only be available if you have a OEM computer with a recovery partition on your hard drive. Otherwise, you will need to use the System Recovery Options from your retail Vista installation disk". You never told us why you want to use that "Repair Your Computer" option to reset your computer back to factory condition now that you've already performed a clean reinstall of your Vista OS, but if you aren't seeing that "Repair Your Computer" option in your F8 advanced boot menu now that you've re-activated your Vista installation then my best guess is that it either wasn't there in the first place or that it was removed when you reinstalled Vista.

You mentioned <here> on 08-Dec-2021 you had a "small Update client for Windows Update" so I'm assuming that Control Panel | System and Maintenance | System shows that you have Service Pack 2 installed and that you found a utility that patched your Vista SP2 OS to the end of extended support on 11-Apr-2017. If you aren't sure if you're patched to 11-Apr-2017 open your IE9 browser and go to Help | About Internet Explorer - if you have the 11-Apr-2017 patch for IE9 you should have Update Versions 9.0.60 / KB4014661 (Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 9: April 11, 2017) or higher as shown in the image below. There are a few out-of-band emergency updates for Vista SP2 that were posted on the Microsoft Update Catalog after 11-Apr-2017 but were never delivered via Windows Update, so if you can't upgrade to a newer OS and don't want to switch to a Linux distro then see my 20-Feb-2021 post in the VistaForums thread 80072EFE on Fresh Install of Windows Vista about the five updates (KB4018271 / KB4018466 / KB4021903 / KB4024402 / KB4019204) released in May/June 2017 to patch the NSA-leaked Shadow Broker exploits as well as the KB4499180 update released in May 2019 that patches the BlueKeep remote desktop vulnerability CVE-2019-0708.

Vista System Information Service Pack.png

IE9 Version KB4014661 April 2017.png
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Malwarebytes Premium v3.5.1.2522-1.0.365
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550@1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, 256 GB Western Digital SATA HDD, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v21H1 build 19043.1415 * Firefox v95.0.2 * Microsoft Defender v.4.18.2111.5-1.1.18800.4 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.5.0.152-1.0.1538 * Dell SupportAssist v3.10.4.18 * Dell SupportAssist Remediation v5.5.0.16046 * Dell Update for Windows 10 Universal v4.4.0
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

408

Actually activation does work by phone.

228

Im not upgrading.

I have to say this to everyone.

228

I won't need those apps anymore, as now I have activated with a different phone.. Also I forgot what I was doing at this point.

437

@lmacriRight, the activation servers should still be up, which is about the only thing Vista related that Microsoft still supports. Should the activation servers be taken offline, a suitable OEM recovery disc or user created set of recovery discs will be required for use as activation isn't required, unlike retail versions. (Note: The last time I re-activated my copy of Office 2007 Ultimate -also EOL- was October of 2020, and I had no issues with it activating).

7 Plutonium
434

Windows Vista has reached end of life and Microsoft have removed all the download options for it. It is no longer receiving security patches and is unsafe to use online. This model is about 15 years old and won't run new builds of Windows very well, if at all. Recently Zorin OS 16 Lite has been released which has been designed for computers up to 15 years old (that have a Legacy BIOS). This is a Linux Distribution that is Free to Use and has a Windows Like Desktop Environment. More details here:

https://blog.zorin.com/2021/12/08/zorin-os-16-lite-is-here/ 

The download is available here (ensure you download Lite and Free as Core will be too intensive for this old model):

https://zorin.com/os/download/

Zorin OS 16 Lite will be a good OS to replace Windows Vista on this model when it comes to basic tasks such as Word Processing, Multimedia Playback and Web Browsing.

From your replies above. It looks like you have installed Windows Vista but haven't activated it...

Windows Vista was activated on Dell Systems using Dell OEM Activation. Dell branded Reinstallation Media included OEM Activation and this should be automatically applied offline on  a clean install. With OEM Activation, the system had a System License Code of 2.0 (embedded in its BIOS) and the Installation Media used a Generic Dell OEM System Locked Preinstallation Key. Offline Production activation would occur if the system had a SLIC and be rejected otherwise.

A 25 Digit Product Key was included on a COA at the bottom of the laptops but this was very prone to fading. This unique key on the COA was not intended for standard Product Activation, although it could be used for phone activation using an automated phone line.

Microsoft Retail Installation Media did not include the OEM SLP key and hence did not support OEM Activation.

If you have Product Activation issues, assuming you reinstalled Windows Vista, what type of installation media did you use?

I used to have a guide detailing installation of Windows Vista with the Retail Downloads without a Product Key and then Manually Applying the Dell OEM SLP Activation. Its been a long time since I looked at that guide however and it wasn't updated since the time Microsoft removed the download links.

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

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads


#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
4 Tellurium
459


@gravitycoil828 wrote:

... And no, dont suggest me to upgrade to a newer OS or use EasyRE. EasyRE costs money and my PC came with home basic....

...Problem is, i dont have a phone number, so i might need some private call app i can call with....


Hi gravitycoil828:

As far as I know Brink's instructions in the VistaForums tutorial How to Activate Vista Normally and by Phone Activation​ still works (at least according to users posting in various Vista forums who have reinstalled Vista SP2 in recent months - I believe they used the automated slui.exe 4 phone activation method in Option # 2 of that tutorial), but if nothing I've suggested so far has worked and you can't find any way to make a telephone call while connected to the internet, here's one other option you might consider.

I know of several Vista SP2 users who completely abandoned Windows and installed a free Linux OS (known as a distro) on their old Vista hardware. If you aren't sure if you want to install Linux on your hard drive you can create a bootable Linux Live CD or USB to take Linux for a test drive. The 05-Jun-2021 MakeUseOf.com article Isn’t It Time to Switch to Linux? 12 Reasons to Abandon Windows discusses why users with older hardware and unsupported operating systems might want to use Linux, and Wikipedia has an article <here> of the various Linux distros that offer live CDs / USBs, including the popular Linux Mint.

See Stephen Vaughan-Nicols' 06-Nov-2020 tutorial How to Switch an Old Windows Laptop to Linux on TheVerge.com for more information. The first part of that tutorial describes how to use free tools like LinuxLive USB Creator or Yummi for Windows to create a bootable USB so you can test Linux Mint (with the default Cinnamon interface) before installing on your hard drive.  The second part describes how to install Linux Mint on your hard drive that will allow you to dual boot into either your original OS (in your case, Vista SP2) or Linux, assuming you have enough free disk space and want to retain your Vista SP2 OS for now.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Malwarebytes Premium v3.5.1.2522-1.0.365
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550@1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, 256 GB Western Digital SATA HDD, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
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64-bit Win 10 Pro v21H1 build 19043.1348 * Firefox v95.0.0 * Microsoft Defender v.4.18.2110.6 * Malwarebytes Premium v4.4.11.149-1.0.1513 * Dell SupportAssist v3.10.4.18 * Dell SupportAssist Remediation v5.5.0.16041 * Dell Update for Windows 10 Universal v4.4.0
Dell Inspiron 15 5584, Intel i5-8265U CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB Toshiba KBG40ZNS256G NVMe SSD, Intel UHD Graphics 620

8 Xenon
463

Windows Vista went end of life in 2017.  Neither manual nor automatic activation will work - the OS is dead and buried as far as Microsoft is concerned.

 

3 Zinc
292

As mentioned earlier on, Vista is no longer supported by Microsoft, and you will not be protected by new security exploits. Plus many newer programs (or newer versions of existing programs) will not run on Vista. Unless you're using the computer for offline use and/or older programs such as games, I highly recommend that you upgrade to something newer. At this point, I wouldn't recommend a machine with Windows 10 unless you're certain it can be officially upgraded to Windows 11. Otherwise, you'll be in the same boat again when Microsoft ends Windows 10 support in 2025.

For recovery discs, you can try but I doubt that they will do this anymore, but back in 2008, I was able to obtain a set of recovery discs via Dell's online chat support for free for a Dimension 4600 that I picked up cheap at a thrift store. I tried a second time for another system (Optiplex 170L I believe) some few years later and was denied because the system was out of warranty, even though the Dimension 4600 was well past it's warranty at the time of the request, so I guess it all depends on which support agent you chat with. Dell did have a request recovery discs page at some point, but I can't remember all the details. I think you had to pay something like $20 dollars for the set.

I'm not sure with Windows Vista, but with the Windows XP Dell recovery discs, they were essentially a modified OEM version that installed the same way as a retail copy, with all the packaged software being on separate discs. As long as a Dell system was detected during installation, Windows would automatically activate...even on models that were made prior to XP. If the Vista recovery discs work the same way as well, you can give it a try if you come across one for next to nothing. Make sure it's the same edition as the one originally shipped with the system, or else activation may fail.

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