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Restore your Computer Using SupportAssist OS Recovery

Summary: SupportAssist OS Recovery environment consists of tools to repair or reset the operating system, backup files, and diagnose hardware issues.

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Article Content


Symptoms

When your computer is unable to boot to the operating system even after repeated attempts, it automatically starts SupportAssist OS Recovery. This recovery environment enables you to diagnose hardware issues, repair your computer, back up your files, or restore your computer to factory defaults.

If you do not have SupportAssist installed on your computer, see the SupportAssist OS Recovery User Guide to learn how to install it.

If your computer does not support SupportAssist OS Recovery, you can download the operating system recovery image. Learn How to Download and Use the Dell Operating System Recovery Image in Microsoft Windows.

CAUTION: Manually formatting the hard drive of your computer deletes the SupportAssist OS Recovery environment.
CAUTION: Ensure to back up your files and other personal data before you proceed with the steps in this article.

Perform an Operating System Restore (With Data Backup)

Watch this video to learn how to backup the data and restore the operating system on your Dell computer using SupportAssist OS Recovery.

Duration: 01:30
Closed captions: English only

Cause

SupportAssist OS Recovery provides you with different options to recover your computer depending on the scenario you are facing.

Important: If the recovery image on the hard drive is corrupt or deleted, the computer cannot boot to the recovery environment. Newer Dell computers support BIOSConnect, a feature that allows you to restore the recovery image on the hard drive. Learn more about Using BIOSConnect to recover SupportAssist OS Recovery Partition.

  • SupportAssist OS Recovery Cloud Restore (Recommended): This option downloads and installs the latest version of the operating system on your Dell computer.
    Requirements:
    • An active Internet connection.
    • A USB drive with 16 GB capacity.
  • SupportAssist OS Recovery Local Restore: This option restores the computer from the recovery image that is stored in the computer's hard drive.
  • Dell BIOS Connect: Dell BIOSConnect helps you restore the recovery image on the hard drive if the recovery partition is corrupt or deleted. Learn more about Using BIOSConnect to recover SupportAssist OS Recovery Partition.

Resolution

Step 1

  1. Turn on or restart the computer.
  2. At the Dell logo, press the F12 several times to access the One Time Boot Menu. The available boot options are displayed in the menu.
    NOTE: If you wait too long, the operating system loads. Restart the computer and try again.
  3. Select SupportAssist OS Recovery, and then press Enter.
    NOTE: SupportAssist OS Recovery must be enabled in the system BIOS.
One Time Boot menu with SupportAssist OS Recovery boot option
Figure 1: One Time Boot menu with SupportAssist OS Recovery boot option. Image available in English only.

Step 2

  1. The computer boots into the SupportAssist OS Recovery environment.
  2. Select Reset or Restore System.
Main menu in SupportAssist OS Recovery
Figure 2: Main menu in SupportAssist OS Recovery. Image available in English only.

Step 3

SupportAssist OS Recovery loads and by default recommends the best recovery option that is based on your computer's status.

Reset to Factory Settings: This option restores the original factory-installed operating system and software that was shipped with the computer. The local recovery image is available only on consumer platforms such as Alienware, Inspiron, Vostro, and XPS products.

Reset and update: This option uses cloud restore. It downloads and installs the most recent operating system and requires an active Internet connection.

  1. Select a reset option and click Next.
Reset options in SupportAssist OS Recovery

Figure 3: Reset options in SupportAssist OS Recovery. Image available in English only.

Step 4

The reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery provides an option to backup your files.

  1. To backup your data and personal files before resetting the computer, select Yes, back up my files, and then click Next. Follow the on-screen instructions and complete the data backup process.
  2. If you do not want to back up your files, select No, do not back up my files, and click Next.
Data backup option during the reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery
Figure 4: Data backup option during the reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery. Image available in English only.

Step 5

  1. If you choose not to perform a data backup, a warning message is displayed indicating that the reset process permanently deletes all data and personal files. Click YES, CONTINUE.
Data loss warning before resetting the computer in SupportAssist OS Recovery
Figure 5: Data loss warning before resetting the computer in SupportAssist OS Recovery. Image available in English only.

Step 6

  1. Select a reason from the drop-down list to let us know why you are resetting your computer.
  2. Check the box to acknowledge that you understand that the reset process deletes all data and personal files.
  3. Click Next.
Confirm the reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery
Figure 6: Confirm the reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery. Image available in English only.

Step 7

The recovery process begins, and a progress bar shows the different stages and the remaining time.

Progress of the reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery
Figure 7: Progress of the reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery. Image available in English only.

Step 8

After the recovery process is complete, a message will indicate that the reset was successful and you will be redirected to the recovery process guide screen.

Completion of the reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery
Figure 8: Completion of the reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery. Image available in English only.

Step 9

  1. At the Recovery process guide screen, remove the USB drive (if the recovery process was started using a USB recovery media) and click Restart.
Recovery process guide screen in SupportAssist OS Recovery
Figure 9: Recovery process guide screen in SupportAssist OS Recovery. Image available in English only.

Step 10

  1. The computer reboots multiple times, and starts the Windows first-time setup procedure. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the first-time setup procedure.
  2. After logging into Windows, the SupportAssist Recovery Assistant will be displayed to help you install the latest Windows and Dell updates. Also, it installs Dell factory-installed software and recovers the backup files if you created one using the SupportAssist OS Recovery backup feature.
SupportAssist recovery assistant loads on the first startup
Figure 10: SupportAssist recovery assistant loads on the first startup. Image available in English only.

Additional Information

For SupportAssist OS Recovery troubleshooting and more, see the SupportAssist OS Recovery User’s Guide.

Frequently asked questions

To enable SupportAssist OS Recovery in the BIOS:

  1. Turn on or restart the computer.
  2. At the Dell logo, press the F2 key several times to access the BIOS Setup.
  3. Go to SupportAssist System Resolution or SupportAssist depending on your BIOS version.
  4. Go to SupportAssist OS Recovery.
  5. Click the checkbox to enable SupportAssist OS Recovery or SupportAssist depending on your BIOS version.
  6. Save and exit the BIOS.
  7. The computer restarts.

By default, your computer is configured to launch SupportAssist OS Recovery after two consecutive failed boot attempts. To change this setting in the BIOS:

  1. Turn on or restart the computer.
  2. At the Dell logo, press the F2 key several times to access the BIOS Setup.
  3. Go to SupportAssist System Resolution or SupportAssist depending on your BIOS version.
  4. Go to SupportAssist OS Recovery or SupportAssist depending on your BIOS version.
  5. Under the Dell Auto OS Recovery Threshold option, select the number of failed boot attempts to automatically launch SupportAssist OS Recovery.
  6. Save and exit the BIOS.
  7. The computer restarts.

SupportAssist OS Recovery version 4.0 supports cloud recovery using a USB recovery media.

To restore your Dell computer using the SupportAssist OS Recovery Cloud option, you must create a USB recovery media using the Dell OS Recovery tool. Follow the steps below to create the USB recovery media.

Step 1

Download and install the latest Dell OS Recovery tool.

  1. Go to https://www.dell.com/support/osrecovery.
  2. Click Download OS Recovery Tool and save the file to the computer.
  3. Browse to location where the downloaded file is saved.
  4. Double-click the downloaded Dell OS Recovery Tool installation file.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
Dell OS Recovery Tool download page
Figure 11: Dell OS Recovery Tool download page. Image available in English only.

Step 2

Identify the Dell computer using the Service Tag or Express Service Code in the Dell OS Recovery Tool.

NOTE: The Dell OS Recovery Tool allows you to download either Microsoft Windows or Ubuntu recovery image that was preinstalled on your Dell computer.
  1. Are you downloading the recovery image using the same Dell computer? Select This computer.
  2. Are using another working computer? Enter the Service Tag or Express Service Code of the Dell computer and click the search (magnifying glass) icon.
  3. After identifying the Dell computer, click Next.
NOTE: If the Service Tag of your Dell computer is not recognized, contact Dell Technical Support.
Identify the Dell computer in Dell OS Recovery Tool
Figure 12: Identify the Dell computer in Dell OS Recovery Tool. Image available in English only.

Step 3

WARNING: Dell recommends that you back up any important data from the USB flash drive. The Dell OS Recovery Tool formats the USB flash drive and all the data on the USB drive is erased permanently.
  1. Insert a USB flash drive with at least 16 GB of available space.
  2. Select the inserted drive from the USB Drive dropdown menu.
  3. Check the box next to I understand that the selected drive will be reformatted and existing data will be deleted.
  4. Click Download.
Select the USB drive in Dell OS Recovery Tool
Figure 13: Select the USB drive in Dell OS Recovery Tool. Image available in English only.

Step 4

The Dell OS Recovery Tool downloads the required files and copies it to the USB drive.

Download progress in Dell OS Recovery Tool
Figure 14: Download progress in Dell OS Recovery Tool. Image available in English only.

Step 5

  1. At the Recovery process guide screen, disconnect the USB drive.
  2. Click Restart.
SLN317666_en_US__21I_sa_osrecovery44_18_mr_v1a
Figure 15: Recovery process guide screen on the Dell OS Recovery Tool. Image available in English only.

Step 6

Boot to the USB recovery media.

  1. Connect the USB recovery media to the computer.
  2. Turn on or restart the computer.
  3. At the Dell logo screen, press the F12 several times until you see the One Time Boot Menu.
  4. In the boot menu, select the USB drive from the list.
  5. Press the Enter key and to boot into the USB drive.
USB boot option in the One Time Boot menu
Figure 16: USB boot option in the One Time Boot menu. Image available in English only.

Step 7

  1. A notification is displayed reminding you that the recovery process deletes all the files and resets the operating system. Remember to backup your data before starting the reset process.
  2. To start the reset process, click Got It!.
Data loss notification before accessing SupportAssist OS Recovery
Figure 17: Data loss notification before accessing SupportAssist OS Recovery. Image available in English only.

Step 8

The computer boots into the SupportAssist OS Recovery environment.

  1. Select Reset or Restore System.
Main menu in the SupportAssist OS Recovery environment version 4.0
Figure 18: Main menu in the SupportAssist OS Recovery environment. Image available in English only.

Step 9

The SupportAssist OS Recovery provides the recovery options.

  1. If the local recovery image is available on the hard drive of the computer, select Local Restore.
  2. If the local recovery image is not available, select Cloud Restore.
NOTE: The Cloud Restore option downloads the most recent version of the operating system that was preinstalled on the Dell computer.
Restore options in the SupportAssist OS Recovery version 4.0
Figure 19: Restore options in the SupportAssist OS Recovery version 4.0. Image available in English only.

Step 10

  1. If the local recovery image is not detected, SupportAssist OS Recovery takes you directly to the cloud restore option. Click Restore Now to proceed.
Notification that the local recovery image is not detected
Figure 20: Notification that the local recovery image is not detected. Image available in English only.

Step 11

  1. A notification about data loss during the reset process is shown. Click Next to continue.
Notification about data loss during the cloud restore process
Figure 21: Notification about data loss during the cloud restore process. Image available in English only.

Step 12

  1. To backup your data and personal files before resetting the computer, click Backup. Follow the on-screen instructions and complete the data backup process.
  2. If you do not need a back of your files, click Skip.
Data backup option before performing a cloud restore using SupportAssist OS Recovery version 4.0
Figure 22: Data backup option before performing a cloud restore. Image available in English only.

Step 13

  1. Select a reason from the drop-down list to let us know why you are resetting your computer.
  2. Check the box to acknowledge that you understand that the reset process deletes all the data and personal files.
  3. Click Next.
Data loss warning before resetting the computer using SupportAssist OS Recovery version 4.0
Figure 23: Confirm the cloud restore process. Image available in English only.

Step 14

  1. In the summary screen, click Restart to reboot the computer.
Summary screen after completing the reset process in SupportAssist OS Recovery version 4.0
Figure 24: Summary screen after completing the reset process. Image available in English only.

Step 15

  1. After the computer restarts, the Windows setup wizard begins.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup process.
Cortana setup screen during the Windows first-time setup process
Figure 25: Cortana setup screen during the Windows first-time setup process. Image available in English only.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Alienware, Inspiron, Vostro, XPS, G Series, G Series, Alienware, Inspiron, Vostro, XPS

Last Published Date

13 May 2022

Version

13

Article Type

Solution