Windows General

3 Silver

Want to do a Recovery

I have been playing with doing a clean install of Vista on my Dell XPS M1330. I did not clobber the recovery partition and everything is still there. However, I can't recover back to factory default. The manual for this device states to hit F8 during boot and select "Repair Your Computer" but it is not there. It was there before I did a clean install of Vista.

How do I get this option back so that I can repair my computer?



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2 Bronze

I managed to Restore to Factory setting by following this tutorial <p></p>

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7 Thorium

Not sure what you mean by "playing around" to do a clean install. Did you reformat? Don't go by the manual instructions--sounds like they are for XP. Boot to the Vista dvd and run the Restore program from there. Directions are HERE.

6 Indium

Manually reinstalling Vista seems to mess up the works that allows you to start up the restore feature.  From fellow forum member tgsmith, here is what needs to happen to manually restore the factory image:


Ok.  Here's how to reinstall your Factory Image manually as long as the Factory Image partition is intact.

First, go here:

Download the Windows Automated Installation Kit.  Burn the WAIK ISO image to a DVD using Roxio, Nero or whatever DVD burning software you have that can burn ISO images

Now, insert the DVD in a computer running Vista or  Windows XP SP2 system with KB926044.  Install the WAIK.

Navigate to the Program Files folder where WAIK was installed.  Find the Tools subdirectory.  Under it you will see four folders: AMD64, IA64, SERVICING, and X86.  Copy these folders to a USB drive.  They total less than 100Mb, so you can use a 128Mb USB flash drive if need be.

If you have installed Vista on the C:\ drive, then you can simply boot up your system.  Locate the file name factory.wim on the Factory Image partition. Make a note of the drive letter and path to that file.  On an Inspiron 1720 it is located in D:\Dell\Image\Factory.wim

On eMachines and Gateway computers the file is found in the Recovery partition under Preload\boot.wim

Now go to the command prompt by typing CMD in the Run box.  If Vista is not installed on the C:\ drive you can boot the system with a "live" CD such as Bart's PE or UBCD for Windows and shell to the command prompt.  Navigate to the Tools\x86\ folder on your USB flash drive.

Type the following command: imagex /apply d:\dell\image\factory.wim 1 c:\

Your system should be restored to its original "as-shipped" configuration in about 30-45 minutes.

Note that this restores Dell's Proprietary Master Boot Record so that in the future will be able to access the Factory Image by pressing F8 while booting up. 

Let us know if you run into any problems.


Dell Forum member since 2005

3 Silver

Thanks that did it.


2 Bronze

Is there away to put this on a boot able DVD DL . So if the hard drive crashes I will always have copy...

thank you..


2 Bronze

I followed the same procedure, but I received the following message in the CMD:

"[Error: 32] c:\Boot\BCD

Error restoring image.

The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process."


I have windows Vista and it's in Drive C; the Factory file is in drive D (the same path as you mintioned"


Please advice....

2 Bronze

I managed to Restore to Factory setting by following this tutorial <p></p>

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