How to create and use the Dell Recovery & Restore USB drive

How to create and use the Dell Recovery & Restore USB drive


These instructions show you how to create the Dell Recovery & Restore USB drive and then how to use the drive to restore the operating system on a nonworking PC or tablet.


Overview of steps

  1. Create the Dell Recovery & Restore USB drive on your working computer
  2. Start, or boot, the nonworking computer from the Dell Recovery & Restore USB drive
  3. Dell Recovery & Restore will guide you through the repair, restore, or reinstall options.
  4. Re-enable Secure Boot on your restored computer (Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 only)
  5. What if the files and settings I backed up are not restored?
  6. Useful links

Step 1: Create the Dell Recovery & Restore USB drive on your working computer

Before you begin

The Dell Recovery and Restore USB tool is for Windows operating systems only. For Linux OS reinstallation, use the Dell Linux Recovery Image to restore your operating system to factory condition.

Installing the Dell Recovery & Restore software on your USB drive will reformat the drive and erase your existing data. Please back up any files or data saved on your USB.

Install the Dell Recovery & Restore software on your working computer

  1. Once the file is downloaded to your browser taskbar or Downloads folder, you must extract the .zip file. To do this, navigate to the download location, right-click the file and select Extract All.
    If the file will not extract correctly, the download may be corrupted or does not have the correct file extension. Change the file to a .zip file type and then attempt to extract the files.
  2. Click or run the Dell Direct Key or setup.exe file to launch the installer. The Dell Recovery & Restore installation wizard will appear on the screen.
  3. On the Dell Recovery & Restore installation wizard, click Next and then click Install.
  4. When the installation wizard is complete, click Finish.

Open Dell Recovery & Restore to transfer the software to your USB drive

  1. On your desktop, click the Dell Key Creator icon to open the application.
  2. Connect an 8GB or larger USB drive to any available USB port.
  3. On the Dell Recovery & Restore application window, select the USB drive as the media that you would like to use. The software should detect the USB drive. If it is not detected, click the Refresh icon next to the drop-down box.
  4. Click Start to transfer the Dell Recovery & Restore software on to your USB.
  5. If a dialog box about formatting a disk appears, please ignore the message and close it by clicking the X in the upper-right corner.
  6. When the process is completed, you will see an "Operation done" message. Click OK.

Step 2: Start, or boot, the nonworking computer from the Dell Recovery & Restore USB drive

For Windows 10 and Windows 8.1

Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 includes a security feature called Secure Boot that makes sure your system starts up with trusted software only. To give your system permission to start up with the Dell Recovery & Restore USB drive, Secure Boot must be disabled temporarily. When the recovery process is finished, follow the instructions to re-enable Secure Boot.
To disable Secure Boot
  1. Turn on or restart the system you're repairing.
  2. When the Dell logo appears, tap F2 on the keyboard several times to open the UEFI menu. Or, from Windows, hold the Shift key while selecting Restart. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options: UEFI Firmware Settings.
  3. Using the arrow keys, navigate to the Boot tab of the UEFI menu.
  4. Next select Secure Boot and press Enter, and then use the + or - key to change the status to Disabled and press Enter. If you are prompted to allow the changes, select Yes.
  5. Select the Boot List Option and press Enter, and then on the options menu, select Legacy and press Enter.
  6. Connect the USB drive with Dell Recovery & Restore to any available USB port.
  7. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the Exit tab of the System Setup window. Then select Save and Exit. Your system will automatically restart.
To boot from Dell Recovery & Repair USB drive
  1. When the Dell logo appears, tap F12 on the keyboard several times to enter the system setup screen .
  2. Select the USB storage device and press Enter.
  3. The PC will start the Dell Recovery & Restore software on your USB drive.
  4. On the Recovery & Restore window, select your preferred language for the application.
  5. Read and accept the license terms and agreement and then click Continue.

For Windows 7

  1. Turn off the system that you're repairing.
  2. Connect the USB drive with Dell Recovery & Restore to any available USB port.
  3. Turn on the system.
  4. When the Dell logo appears, tap F12 on the keyboard several times to enter the system setup screen.
  5. Using the arrow keys, select USB Storage Device and press Enter. The PC will start the Dell Recovery & Restore software on your USB drive.
  6. On the Recovery & Restore window, select your preferred language for the application.
  7. Read and accept the license terms and agreement and then click Continue.

Step 3: Dell Recovery & Restore will guide you through the repair, restore, or reinstall options.

Video - Restore Your Computer With a Dell Windows 8 or Windows 10 USB Restore Key

Video - Restore Your Computer With a Dell Windows 7 USB Restore Key

Key in the Cloud will not download any operating system image, and will not work for restoration with a blank hard drive. Features of Key in The Cloud are listed below:
60 sec scan of the HDD SMART software repair (The smart repair feature can be used to resolve the following issue)
MBR (Master Boot Record)
Issue BCD (Boot Configuration Data)
Issue Partition issue
Data back up process
Trigger image restore process from the hidden partition

Smart Repair

Smart Repair automatically checks and tries to repair the most common and basic Windows startup issues:

  • Master Boot Record issues
  • Boot Configuration Data issues
  • Partition table issues
  • File system errors on the hard disk drive

If Smart Repair is able to find and fix the issue, you'll see a summary screen and then be prompted to exit the Dell Recovery & Restore application and restart your computer. Your data has not been touched and there's no risk of data loss.

If Smart Repair is unable to fix the issue, then Dell Recovery & Repair will continue to the next step in the process.

Data and User-Setting Backup

Dell Recovery & Repair will prompt you to continue to reinstall your Operating System. When you click "Continue," the Backup screen appears and gives you the option to back up your personal files and settings.

Note: We highly recommend that you back up your data. If you click "Skip," then you will lose all of your data and settings when Windows is reinstalled.

Your backup options are:

  • Default Backup. Clicking Continue will back up everything saved under the My Computer folder (example: My Documents, My Music, My Video, My Pictures).
  • Customized Backup. Clicking Select More will open the Customized Backup screen. This option allows you to select the individual files you want to back up.
  • No Backup. Clicking Skip will cancel the back up. Your personal files and settings will be lost.

After selecting the backup option of your choice, you will either be prompted to connect an external hard drive and/or continue to the next step in the process.

Image Recovery and Reinstall

  • Once the backup is completed, Dell Recovery & Restore will perform the image recovery using the existing hidden system image on your computer.
  • When the image restore is completed, your system will restart a couple of times and you will be prompted to disconnect and reconnect the external hard drive until the backup is complete.
  • When the entire process is complete, Windows will start normally and the desktop will display.
  • The Dell Recovery & Restore application window will open. When prompted, click the Restart button.
  • After the system restarts, Dell Recovery & Restore application will prompt you to connect the external hard drive (if you chose to back up your data) and then click Continue.
  • Once the operating system is finished reinstalling, you will be prompted to restart your system one more time to finalize the installation. Click the Restart button.
  • If you're operating system is Windows 8.1, be sure to complete step 4 to re-enable Secure Boot.

Step 4: Re-enable Secure Boot on your restored computer (Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 only)

  1. Restart your restored system.
  2. When the Dell logo appears, tap F2 on the keyboard several times to open the UEFI menu. Or, from Windows, hold the Shift key while selecting Restart. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options: UEFI Firmware Settings.
  3. Using the arrow keys, navigate to the Boot tab of the UEFI menu.
  4. Next select Secure Boot and press Enter, and then use the + or - key to change the status to Enabled and press Enter. If you are prompted to allow the changes, select Yes.
  5. Select the Boot List Option and press Enter, and then on the options menu, select UEFI and press Enter.

What if the files and settings I backed up are not restored?

In rare cases, the backup may not get restored to your computer. If this happens, please follow the steps below:

  1. Download the Data Restore Tool for Dell Recovery & Repair.
  2. Save the "MigRestore.zip" file to the folder of your choice and unzip the file.
  3. Connect the external hard drive that contains the backup data.
  4. Double-click the MigRestore.exe to run the application.
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Useful links




Article ID: SLN298442

Last Date Modified: 02/12/2018 01:47 PM


Rate this article

Accurate
Useful
Easy to understand
Was this article helpful?
Yes No
Send us feedback
Comments cannot contain these special characters: <>()\
Sorry, our feedback system is currently down. Please try again later.

Thank you for your feedback.