Fixing Windows Vista MBR without Affecting Dell's Settings

Hi guys, just need some help:

What I have:

  • Dell Studio 1555 Laptop, bought direct from Dell
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 32bit (came installed on the laptop but no discs were provided!)

I recently installed Linux Ubuntu 12.04 so that it would dual boot with Windows. Ubuntu replaced the default windows bootloader with Grub (or Grub2?). Anyway, Ubuntu has been corrupting my files, so I'd like to remove it.

My questions:

  • Will formatting the computer through Dell's recovery mode/pressing F8 fix this problem? (I've formatted using this before)
  • I've read that using the Vista disc that came with the computer fixes the problem. Where can I download this disk as an image and burn it?
  • If I do get the Vista disk, will using it to replace the MBR make me lose Dell's diagnostic/recovery/formatting features?

All of these questions really come down to this:

How do I replace the GRUB bootloader with the one I had before, without affecting any of Dell's recovery features, and without needing to reinstall Windows?

Thanks in advance!

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3 Replies

Re: Fixing Windows Vista MBR without Affecting Dell's Settings

Hi ff0273ac72ca710c,

Restoring the computer through Dell’s recovery option should fix the issue, if the recovery partition on the hard drive is intact. Please backup all your data before attempting to perform a Dell Factory Image Restore.

Please use the following steps to perform a Dell Factory Image Restore:

1. Restart the system and start tapping F8 for the 'Advanced Boot Menu' to appear.
2. Select “Repair your Computer”.
3. Select the “Language” and the keyboard layout and click “Next”.
4. Login to System Recovery Options as a local user using a “Username” and “Password”. Click OK.
5. On the “System Recovery Options” page, click on “Dell Factory Image Restore”.
6. Please follow the onscreen instructions to perform a Factory Image Restore.

You need to reinstall a fresh copy of Windows Vista from the installation disk if Dell Factory Image Restore fails. Windows Vista image file is not available for download.

Please reply to this message if you need further assistance

Thanks and Regards,
Rajath N
Dell Social Media and Community Professional
Order Status : http://dell.to/1fgKSTr
Download Drivers : http://dell.to/1hcxG98

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Re: Fixing Windows Vista MBR without Affecting Dell's Settings

Hi Rajath, thanks for answering my question. If I use the Dell Factory Image Restore, will it affect my Windows Vista? (Will I have to reinstall my Windows stuff, or will it leave Windows alone?)

Thankyou for your help.

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6 Indium

Re: Fixing Windows Vista MBR without Affecting Dell's Settings

The Dell factory restore partition is quite limited. It generally fails to work if partitions are changed or if another OS is installed. I am not sure if installing ubuntu will cause it to seize working also.

I recommend backing up all data from your Windows partition onto an external hard drive because even if it does work it may wipe all your data.

I recommend carrying out a manual installation in your case, please see my wiki A Clean Install of Windows Vista.

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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