I have a Dell PC running Windows 7. When I first got the PC I made "System Recovery Discs". Now I am trying to use Sytem Recovery. I inserted the disc, hit F12 when the Dell logo appeared. Go to Dell DataSafe to restore the system to Factory condition. It asked what files I wanted to include in an Emergency Files and Folders backup. All were checked so I proceeded. It went through various processes until it said I didn't have enough space on the hard drive to make the backup. It said to connect a USB Drive. I connected a 2 TB Western Digital Passport with way more than enough free space to save the whole C: drive and more. It does not recognize the WD Passport. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Make sure the external drive is formatted. Windows will not recognize an unformatted drive. You can skip the step to make an emergency disk backup. You can skip datasafe too. I never could get it to work right. Dell data recovery has improved now, but too late for you. Use the windows method of returning to factory settings. Check your manual for exact directions to access recovery options for your model, which you don't mention. If the computer still boots OK, look up Recovery in Windows Help.
Be aware that returning to factory settings might not work if you have changed the recovery partition in any way or if you have reformatted the boot drive. If the recovery files can't be used, you will have to reinstall windows and everything else from disk. Copy all your personal files to that external drive instead of using backup. Backup is not useful when changing OS or moving to another computer. Copies always work.
If you are keeping the computer, post why you need to use recovery and maybe someone can help you avoid all the hassle.