What should my expectations be after successfully using the Dell-provided "Download Operating System Recovery Image" for Windows 10 Pro x64 on a Precision 5510 laptop?
I successfully downloaded and wrote the "Windows 10 Pro - 64-Bit" image to a USB drive, and successfully used the "Recover from a drive" option as described. But the resulting Windows 10 Pro x64 installation looked little different than if I had simply taken retail Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64 1511 (November 2015) installation media and performed a clean installation.
Meaning it didn't appear to restore "a Dell-customized Windows installation", nor "specifically prepared for the Precision 5510." Device Manager still had about a dozen drivers missing that Windows wouldn't pick up from locally installed drivers or Windows Update, etc. I was expecting the "Download Operating System Recovery Image" to approximately match the shipping factory image for the Precision 5510. At least for drivers and hardware, if not also installed support software.
Since it's still based on the November 2015 release of Windows 10, the image clearly isn't "the latest". Note the .ISO the Dell Support site provided for me to download was "2DF4FA00_W10x64ROW_pro(DL)_v3.iso", which based on the dates inside the ISO, was prepared in March 2016.
Just wondering if this is a clue of me still not doing something correctly with the Operating System Recovery Image process, or that this is indeed the best outcome that can be expected using that media. (In which case, I'll probably prefer to use the January 2017 Microsoft media instead.) But I would think I'd prefer a Dell-configured image, intended specifically for the Precision 5510.
Note I did encounter the issue of "Unable to reset your PC. The system drive cannot be found." Which based on other posts, had been attributed to the Dell Operating System Recovery Image not having automatically loaded the Intel storage drivers to support the internal M.2 drive.
But the "2DF4FA00_W10x64ROW_pro(DL)_v3.iso" appeared to already solve that problem, and already provided those drivers. Forcing them to manually load didn't change the error. In my case it seemed like, literally, the "recovery process" expected "there must already be a system drive" on the installed hard drives.
Indeed, I had DISKPARTed and CLEANed the M.2 and the 2.5 drive, expecting to start clean and restore back to a Dell-provided Windows 10 installation. But the "Recover from a drive" process failed with "The system drive cannot be found", until I put a basic Windows 10 installation back onto the M.2 drive using retail Microsoft Windows 10 media.
As though the "Operating System Recovery Image" process is unable to deal with uninitialized & unpartitioned drives, which if true, seems unusual for "recovery." Brand new hard drives aren't going to be initialized or have partitions, either.
One item in my description needs to be corrected:
Indeed, when I successfully use the Dell "Operating System Recovery Image" and haven't granted any network access to the machine, the Windows 10 Pro 1511 installation the recovery image provides doesn't have the drivers for the Precision 5510 devices. (~12 items without drivers in Device Manager.)
But I also said once connected to the network and using Windows Update, it wasn't finding the drivers either. That appears to be incorrect, and was actually a symptom of the NVIDIA driver package taking a _long_ time to come down from Windows Update. Given enough time, the Device Manager will show 100% device coverage, for either the Dell "Operating System Recovery Image" Windows 10 Pro 1511 installation, or for a normal retail Windows 10 Pro 1607 installation without using the recovery image.
So the question remains, what is the expected outcome from using the Dell "Operating System Recovery Image"? I don't see anything in the results of successfully using that image which are Dell-specific, nor Precision 5510-specific. But the Dell "Operating System Recovery Image" is 6GB+, as compared to the 4GB Microsoft Windows 10 installation ISO. So it seems like "there is something more in there", but I'm just not seeing it or not using it correctly.