Once I decided to restores Windows Vista Home Premiun (Exception Processsing Message recurrente error) as it come from dell factory using the tool utility in "recovery" disk partition, PCRestore.exe, a error message of Access to \tools\dp.sc was denied" appeared. Anybody could help to recover my Dimension E520 as factory stage using this aplication, to avoid to re-=istall windows and all drivers?
When my machine was running XP I tried to do the Dell restore from the secret partition. It failed miserable at every attempt, various errors were cited, different each time. I ran numerous disk checks all came back fine, although I did notice that the huge partition they allocated for this only actually had just under 400 meg of data on it, the rest was empty. I could not gain access by any method to that partition either, so when I installed Vista I just got rid of that partition. I just manually back up my stuff I wish to keep. It is very handy that the Dell Vista upgrade can do the clean install thing too, that is how I initially installed it, completely obliterated the old XP install.
You cannot do it within Windows, you need to boot to WinRE (pressing F8) and running the PC Restore from there. The link provided is to do it with the DVD, but you don't need to do it from there, if the partition boots fine. Check this
On the step 5, make sure you change the ADMINISTRATOR account, by yours. Then follow the instructions.