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New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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Brand new 8930, the disk got real weird and stopped booting. Boot-looped for most of a day, the Windows factory re-install failed, too. Contacted Dell support and they told me to download the OS Recovery tool. 

I downloaded the tool, and had it image my 64gb USB key. After enabling the SupportAssist option and the legacy USB boot menu (and a few other things that aren't at all covered in any of the Dell documentation), it boots from the USB. Yay. Small victories, amirite?

When SupportAssist boots, it gives me 3 options: Diagnosis (no hardware issues), Backup, and Cloud Restore. Choosing the Cloud Restore option runs me through connecting the network, and all kinds of dialogues about losing my data (there was no data on it, since it was fresh), I get to the restore step, choose the gifting/recycling option, and the app goes belly-up saying "We are unable to locate any disks that could be utilized in a cloud restore"-or something close to that.

Exiting this dialogue dumps me out to the main menu with "backup" pre-selected. This stuff is useless.

I spent over an hour on the phone with support. I traded emails with support for over another hour. Support doesn't seem to be able to explain much to me.

Questions:

1- The Recovery page (when browsed with my Linux laptop) gives me some available Windows ISO files, and links to the OS Recovery installer. The same page (when browsed with a windows laptop) gives me just a link to the recovery installer and I can't download the Windows ISOs. This is important because I can't download the ISOs and moving the files between the computers is a real PITA.

2- Why are the Dell docs so inaccurate? Most of the docs I've run across for this process are basically half-written and there are huge voids where there should be steps (OS recovery page says to "download the recovery image", but then presents 4 iso files, speaks in the singular "Download the recovery image. The file could take several hours to download depending on your internet connection speed."), so do I need all 4 ISOs? Just one? Which one?

3- Step 3 on the OS Recovery page is to make the bootable disk, but then it says nothing about the ISOs. Where do they go? The Dell Recovery app formatted my USB key with 2 partitions (made the mistake of saying "partitions" to the engineer on the phone...he had no idea what I was talking about), so it mounts as 😧 and E: on my computer. 😧 is only 2gb large, and E: is labeled 'media'...but no idea what it is for.

I could keep rambling, but it's more of the same complaints. Doc after doc to reinstall my OS and none of them clear enough or complete enough for a technical person to understand-even with help on the phone. The emails that came in afterwards were a rehashing of the same stuff I heard on the phone: Put in the USB, boot PC, press F12, restore OS. 

I'm happy that they are consistent, but it doesn't change the fact that none of their advice is working.

Can anyone help bring some sanity to this?

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3 Silver

Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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Just a note:

 

MCT Works to completion (unconfirmed, but it's almost finished installing which it has never done before), but I had to remove the Optane cache in order for it to happen.

I noticed that the optane disk kept increasing in partitions whenever I failed to successfully install windows. So I removed it and tried one last time. That seems to have (oddly) done it.

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Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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It seems to me that you can't do a cloud restore if you have never backed up anything to the cloud. I suggest you use Microsoft's Media Creation Tool and install a fresh version of Windows.https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15088/windows-10-create-installation-media

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Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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I didn't pay Microsoft for support. I paid Dell. Dell needs to make this right. If the OS recovery tool only does a restore from the cloud, and if that requires that I do something at some point in the past, then they need to say so. Every e thus far has told me to use that tool, and nobody has implied rhar there is a nee to have done a thing like backing up to the cloud, first.
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Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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Welcome to the Dell Community  @samroza 

After running the OS Recovery tool and putting in your "Service Tag"

What options do you have at that point???

Best regards,

U2

HP EliteBook 8770w i7-3630QM 32GB
HP ZBook 17 G2 i5-4310M 16GB
HP ZBook 17 G4 Xeon E3-1505M v6 32GB
HP Color LaserJet M553dn 40ppm
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Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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The OS recovery tool installs on a non-Dell laptop, and when run, it downloads 6 files, 661mb, and then formats and configures the USB disk. The formatted disk will boot my XPS, but it appears to not have a working restore function to it. It says it does, but then immediately errors out with the "could not find cloud disk" error. It doesn't appear to use the network, or even think. it just gives me the error/dialogue box, and then dumps me back to the main screen.

I am assuming that the ISO files are required to set up windows, in spite of the fact that the instructions are so incomplete. So I was able to download them overnight. I'm moving them from my Linux machine to the USB drive via a ridiculously circuitous route due to all kinds of annoyances, but when that's done, we'll see what the app does when I boot up the XPS.

Being unable to download the ISOs to my windows machine is a huge fail, Dell. 2 working computers. Only difference between them is the OS. One without windows is presented 4 ISOs, but the one with windows is presented a dialogue to install OS recovery. This has hamstrung me and led to hours of delays while dealing with slow download speeds from dell.com (probably an FTP service), and then having to use my NAS.

I'm really quite disappointed with my purchase.

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Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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@samroza 

Not sure if this will help???

Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery User’s Guide:

Perform cloud system image restore:

https://www.dell.com/support/manuals/us/en/04/dell-supportassist-pcs-tablets/sosrug/perform-cloud-sy...

Good luck,

U2

HP EliteBook 8770w i7-3630QM 32GB
HP ZBook 17 G2 i5-4310M 16GB
HP ZBook 17 G4 Xeon E3-1505M v6 32GB
HP Color LaserJet M553dn 40ppm
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Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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Thanks!

That confirms the other docs I've seen on the topic. The only issue is that it doesn't work the way the doc says.

I'm waiting for the ISOs to download to the key. Maybe that's the...key to all of this working. :heh:

 

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Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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Sorry @samroza 

I wish I had more to offer.

I will say this it sound like it is a real pain in the you know where.

Best regards,

U2

HP EliteBook 8770w i7-3630QM 32GB
HP ZBook 17 G2 i5-4310M 16GB
HP ZBook 17 G4 Xeon E3-1505M v6 32GB
HP Color LaserJet M553dn 40ppm
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Re: New XPS 8930-Trying to Reinstall OS, OS Restore not working

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Assuming that my wireless network was not to the app's liking, I scrounged for a long ethernet cable and jiggered it all to work. That was also a failure.

Putting the ISOs on the USB was a failure.

I guess I'll ask them to send a technician, because this is just stupid.

As an Linux Industry guy, this chaps my **bleep** pretty bad...no matter whether on windows or Linux or Mac, I can use a GUI-based program to download CentOS, or Fedora, or Suse, or supply my own ROM and create a bootable key and have a fully-operating Linux machine in under 10 minutes.

Here I am, 24 hours later, dealing with Dell so my kids can get their Windows games and apps that just aren't available on Fedora. 

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