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Help Me Choose: System Backup and Restore

Dell offers a variety of products to help with the recovery of your operating system in the event of a serious failure. When ordering your new system, you have a choice between traditional recovery media (CD or DVD) or nothing.

Each Dell system* comes with recovery tools that can help you recover Windows from a serious error, and create recovery media using an external storage device.
You can perform repairs to the files that Windows uses to start itself, perform a restore operation using System Restore, and restore your entire computer and system files using backups that you have made previously.

Help Me Choose: System Backup and Restore

*The below mentioned choices are available based on the type of Dell PC that is purchased.

Choose If you … Features
Operating System Recovery Media Need a pre-burned disk with operating system recovery image Installs the Windows installation files if error occurs
DVD Software Recovery Media Need a pre-burned disk with DVD software recovery data Installs the CyberLink PowerDVD and/or Roxio® software installation files if error occurs
Resource DVD Need a pre-burned disk with drivers for your system Allows re-installation of software to accompany the hardware on the system

How do I get back to these states? What do I use? Notes
Dell Factory Image including operating system and all drivers and applications installed when your system was built in the Dell factory Factory Image Restore to restore the system back to the original factory image. Does not include any applications or data you may have added since your system was received from Dell.
Original Windows operating system image (does not install your Dell system drivers)
  1. Operating System Recovery Media Creator
  2. Create Recovery Drive utility in Windows
Installs only the Windows operating system. Does not include Dell system drivers or applications preinstalled on the system when you received it from Dell or any applications or data you may have added.
Most recent backup state for operating system partition Microsoft File History, System Restore and System Image Backup Follow instructions within the Microsoft Windows utilities, as steps and process can differ between Operating Systems.
Most recent state of entire computer including all hard disk partitions Windows System Image Backup from a removable device where files are stored. Follow instructions within the Microsoft Windows utilities, as steps and process can differ between Operating Systems.
An earlier point in time when my system was working well
  1. Microsoft File History
  2. Microsoft System Restore
  1. File History can be configured to backup on a schedule, incrementally or continuously. This allows for seamless restoration if a file or entire directory goes bad or missing
  2. Microsoft restore points can be used to get back to a point in time. 

In addition to the in-box Microsoft backup and recovery utilities, Dell pre-installs easy-to-use utilities that help you create recovery media, restore the system to the original software configuration and manage file and system backups. These solutions do the following:

1. Create a bootable recovery drive that includes the Windows Recovery Environment (also called "WinRE") and can include your Dell Factory Image (user’s choice). Your Dell Factory Image includes your operating system (OS), and any drivers and applications installed when your system was built in the Dell factory

How does this benefit me? The Windows Recovery Environment allows you to fix problems that are preventing Windows from starting. It also allows you to restore Windows to an earlier point in time, access a command prompt, and among other things, launch the Dell Factory Image Recovery utility and restore your system to your original image - all without having to be in Windows.

Note: It is strongly recommended that you include your Dell Factory Image on your recovery disk.

2. Create a one-time legal backup copy of your Microsoft Windows OS on a DVD or external storage device. The copy will also include your Dell factory-installed drivers.

How does this benefit me? This allows you to create a one-time backup copy of your original Microsoft Windows operating system to recover or reinstall your operating system in case of failure.

What do you want to back up? What do I use? Notes
Personal files, for example, pictures, music and documents from any hard drive partition
  1. Windows File History utility
  2. Windows Backup and Restore utility
Built-in Windows utilities
Operating system partition only including all programs and data stored there
  1. Windows System Image Backup utility
  2. Windows Backup and Restore utility
Built-in Windows utilities
Entire computer including all hard disk partitions Windows System Image Backup utility (to external storage device) Windows Complete PC Backup is not available in all OS versions

Note: Dell Backup and Recovery is no longer offered on Dell systems.

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1Purchase any XPS, Alienware or Inspiron PC (excluding Inspiron 15) or monitor between 25th July 2023 and 27th September 2023 and Dell Technologies (Headquarters: One Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas 78682, USA) will donate $4 for each eligible product within your purchase order to the US Fund for UNICEF (125 Maiden Lane, NY, NY, 10038, USA) up to a maximum donation as shown below. Offer applies to purchases on []. Dell supports UNICEF and, based on global sales of eligible products participating in this offer, will make a total minimum donation of $1,000,000.00 and up to a maximum donation of $2,500,000.00 to support UNICEF’s efforts to connect schools to the internet through Giga, as part of this campaign. For more information, visit []. UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product, or service. Images used are commercially licensed. Children featured are not beneficiaries of UNICEF. Offer not combinable with any other offers or discounts. Subject to availability. Max 5 units per customer during promotional period. Not valid for resellers and/or online auctions. Terms and Conditions of Sale and Service apply, see []. Dell Services do not affect consumers’ statutory rights. Dell is not responsible for typographical, pricing or other errors. Dell reserves the right to cancel orders arising from any errors or stock availability.

2From 9 August 2023 through 27 September 2023, selected products purchased with basic support or premium support include 1 year of Accidental Damage Protection insurance at no additional cost (does not apply to Outlet purchases). Offer not combinable with any other offers or discounts. Accidental Damage bundle is limited to persons over 18 years old. Max 5 units per customer during promotional period. Not valid for resellers and/or online auctions. Terms and Conditions of Sale and Service apply, see Dell Services do not affect consumers’ statutory rights.

3XBOX Game Pass Important Details: Offer applies on select gaming PCs only. Credit card required. Unless you cancel, you will be charged the then current regular membership rate when the promotional period ends. Terms, exclusions, and streaming limits apply. Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta): select devices and regions. After term, active membership required to play games and online multiplayer. Game catalog varies over time, region, and by device. DLC sold separately; if a game is removed from catalog or your membership ends, you will need to purchase the game separately to use your DLC. If you’re already an Xbox Live Gold and/or Game Pass for Console/PC member, any days remaining in your membership(s) will be converted to Ultimate using a conversion ratio. Future code redemptions also subject to conversion ratio. All conversions to Ultimate are final. Details and system requirements at Join Xbox Game Pass: Discover Your Next Favorite Game | Xbox . Offer valid in all Xbox Game Pass markets excluding Russia. Digital Direct: Your digital content will be delivered directly to your device during set-up; no codes required.

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Pricing: The pricing available on this site is Dell’s pricing for online purchases only. No discounts apply to Dell’s online pricing other than the savings listed on this site. Any promotional savings listed on this site are referenced off of a previous online price for the same product or service. If you have contractual terms with Dell that refer to list pricing, please contact your Dell sales representative to obtain information about Dell’s list pricing.

Prices and specifications are correct at date of publication but subject to availability or change without notice. Photos for illustrative purposes only - actual items may differ from photo. Dell cannot be responsible for errors in typography or photography. Offers limited to 5 systems per customer per promotional period. For purchases above 5 units our Small Business Technology Advisors are here to help. Click to Chat. Prices and offers listed online are only valid for online purchases through Dell's web store.

Overwatch 2 Invasion ultimate bundle included: Until 09/09/2023, get the GeForce Overwatch 2 Invasion Ultimate Bundle with the purchase of a qualifying GeForce RTX 4090, 4080, 4070 Ti, 4070, 4060 Ti, 4060 desktop or GPU, or a laptop with a GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, RTX 4080 Laptop GPU, RTX 4070 Laptop GPU, or RTX 4060 Laptop GPU. more details

Disclaimer details for Advanced Exchange: Onsite or Advanced Exchange after remote diagnosis (a) Onsite after remote diagnosis is determined by online/phone technician of cause of issue, may involve customer access to inside of system and multiple extended sessions. If issue is covered by Limited Hardware Warranty and not resolved remotely, technician and/or part will be dispatched usually within 1 or 2 business days following completion of remote diagnosis. Onsite service is provided by Dell Marketing L.P., Availability varies. Other conditions apply. (b) Advanced Exchange replaces hardware after remote diagnosis. Customer must return original hardware to Dell according to the rules specified. Advanced Exchange subject to country availability. (c) For complete details about onsite or Advanced Exchange, please see contracts.

Hard drive retention: Hard drive retention is not available on models with a soldered hard drive, including XPS 9315 2in1, Chromebooks or Venue tablets, except the Venue 11 Pro

Delivery Conditions: Products marked as Free Next Business Day Delivery, or similar, ship on the same day if ordered before 6pm Monday - Friday and will be delivered the next business day (excluding bank holidays and weekends) for customers located in UK mainland (excluding Scottish Highlands, Offshore Islands, Northern Ireland, and all overseas territories). See Next Business Day Delivery for full terms.
All other products ship on the following next business day (excluding bank holidays and weekends). Delivery method will be the fastest available and generally within 3-5 days, depending on customer location.

Applies to orders pre-paid in full or payment approved. Dell is not liable for any losses, costs, damages, charges or expenses caused by any delay. Software or accessories may be shipped separately and arrive later, or may delay the order.

IDC Whitepaper: “Optimizing Performance with Frequent Server Replacements for Enterprises” commissioned by Dell Technologies and Intel, March 2021. Results are based on interviews with 18 IT practitioners and decision makers at midsize and large enterprises and a web survey of 707 IT practitioners and decision makers at midsize and larger enterprises using Dell Technologies server solutions across 7 industries. See full whitepaper:

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