XPS Desktops

Last reply by 06-22-2022 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Studio XPS 8000, OS Recovery

I am trying to help my mother with her computer. She doesn't know where the stuff is that came with her computer so I thought I might come to Dell's website and see what I could find out about restoring her computer to it's original factory condition. I was able to find a hidden recovery partition on her computer that is about 14GB with about 5.35GB of information. I was able to identify the hidden partition from the Windows Disk Manager and when I gave it a drive letter it was visible in Window Explorer and I was able to determine there are boot manager files and a Factory.wim file that is about 5GB. One of the directories in the recovery partition appears to be empty but has 4 hidden files that are 315MB. 

With this finding I assume Dell did not provide a recovery DVD so I began to look for instructions on how to boot the recovery software before Windows starts up. The only thing I was able to find is software on Dell's website and the internet is software provided by Dell that involves Backup and Recovery or OS factory image reset software that has to be installed in Windows and it involves either using a image that was created with the installed software to be used at a later time or software that will allow for a factory image to be downloaded from Dell's website once a service tag number is provided and the format of the image is ISO.

I already have a Factory.wim file so I don't need to download a factory image file from the Dell website and I want to use the information in the recovery partition to restore the computer with not an image I created. Restoring from the recovery partition does not seem to be an option with the software I was able to find that Dell provides that will run on Windows 7, Any help would be appreciated.


Replies (6)
10 Diamond


Dell Studio XPS 8000-2361JBK windows 7 machine from 2009

13 Years old and End of support End of Life from both Dell and Microsoft.

You need a windows 10 DVD and a new hard drive to start.

Seagate 2TB HDD  B07H2RR55Q

There are no windows 10 or 11 drivers for this model but the Vista and WIN7 drivers work just fine.

Neither Dell or Microsoft or end users are going to assist in factory recovery.

If you have your WIN7 COA key you can use that to activate WIN10 HOME or PRO after you get Base WIN10 installed AHCI SATA OPERATION.

windows 10 DVD  N82E16832350238

You install F12 booting the disk with the "I don't have a key option then choose HOME or PRO depending on what the COA says.

If your system has VISTA COA or the 7 COA is damaged so that its not readable you will have to buy a WIN10 License.

WIN10 DVD with COA and Key  B0B255R7P1

You can attempt to recover data from the old drive but given its age its not likely that an end user will get any data via a dock.


Drive savers offers recovery for a price but does not charge if they cant recover any data.







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8 Platinum

Due to it's age, it's not really worth fixing I would not put more than $100 into it because it's only worth $50. But if you must, this should cover it:


If it has the original spinning-platter HDD, it's likely failing by now (due to age) and led to the crash (or whatever) in the first place. I suggest replacing it with a 2.5-inch SATA SSD. A 512gb one should be fine. It's useful and easy to move to a new machine later (and use as a backup or data drive later).


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10 Diamond

You might want to explain why you need to do a reinstall...

if PC isn't booting, is there an error message? If it boots, have you run a thorough malware scan? (Malwarebytes is a good free tool for this.)

Given the age of this PC, it could be something as simple as a dead motherboard battery (~$2)...


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7 Plutonium

Windows 7 has reached end of life and is no longer supported by Microsoft or Dell. It is ill-advised to keep running Windows 7 especially for services such as online banking as it no longer receives security updates.

Windows 10 is a free upgrade to Windows 7 however newer builds of Windows 10 will likely run poorly on the XPS 8000 which is 13 years old now and has a Legacy BIOS. You could perhaps install a SSD into the system and install Ubuntu 22.04 LTS to get some more life out of it. However more realistically it is time to look for some newer hardware.

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4 Ruthenium

These methods will only work on a dell machine shipped with windows 7

Reboot to F8 menu >  Repair Your Computer > Now after entering admin password you can see an option similar to Dell Factory Tools or Dell data restore. 



I would suggest get this machine on windows 10 instead, would be a much better experience for her



2 Bronze
2 Bronze

the xps 8000 is an old model so without having an updated windows software, the likelihood of restarting without the original paperwork is difficult but I have included the link for restoring with a legacy system 

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