Dell laptop restore partition

wheelo

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okay guys, here is my problem, about this time last year, my laptop was running very slow so i used the Dell pc restore function, which was great, it reset my laptop back to where it was when it got delivered to me.
But, and isn't there always a but, in the instructions on Dell's website, they didnt tell you what to do to keep this function on the laptop as well(I just presumed that it was going to do it for me). now i have run into the slow laptop problem again, and tried to do the above again, but it is gone. after a bit of research myself i too late found out how i should have done it.
I have a very detailed web page, which when i read it seems to give me two conflicting views, 1. that i can reinstal this partition and run it, and 2. that i cant.:here:Inside the Dell PC Restore Partition
what i need is for someone with a better knowledge than mine to read the page and tell me what the score is, I would be most appreciative.

if in the case of me not being able to reinstal this, what are the pitfalls of reinstalling Windows XP pro?? Is it just that i would lose my drivers? if it is just this, is it not as simple as me going into :here:C:\drivers and saving this, then reinstalling it when i put windows on it?

also, I have formatted a PC before, but it came with a floppy disk that was a recovery disk, that allowed me to do it safely, what is the process to reinstall windows.
lastly, do any of you PC very savvy people recommend that i reinstall Windows or do you reccommend any other course of action?
If it makes any difference, it is an inspiron 1520 laptop, dual core (1.8Hz? I think), 2G ram, 160 G hard drive.
 

dan-ger-ous

VIP Member
Did you re-install the operating system on your Dell laptop using the built in recovery system or was it from an original OEM disk from Microsoft?
 

sinno

VIP Member
This may or may not help
Code:
http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/fixes.htm
Windows 7 is an ideal choice replacement
 

dan-ger-ous

VIP Member
Hmm, under normal circumstances the hidden partition should stay there, i'm not alarmed that you're suprised that the hidden partition is missing.
Isnt there hotkey you can use on boot up which should lanuch the recovery console, i think press and hold ctrl and then F11?
 

wheelo

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@Sinno, that is the link that i have in my post, but it is a little confusing, sometimes it gives the impression that i can re jig it, then others not. this is why i would like someone more knowledgeable than me to have a glance through it to see if i am missing something.

@Dan, yes there is a hotkey "CTRL + F11", but I may well have written over the partition the first time around and now it doesn't work.

Just in case this helps anyone, my mother got the same laptop with the exact same set-up that still has the hidden partition, with the same drivers, etc. so if anyone could tell me how to find the secret partition, how to copy it, how to instal it on my laptop, then i can reset it to like it is new again. I have a brand new external hard Drive, could I just copy her c drive to it, then copy it to my C: drive, then run it?( I just got this bright spark now)

I ran spyware doctor last night and it found 2 Trojans, real or imagined, one called "Trojan.FakeAlert" and the other "Trojan-Downloader.Fraudload" i then got rid of these two, but the speed of start up is no faster:bang head:
 

dan-ger-ous

VIP Member
Hmmm, basing it on the experience of my Acer laptop, the only way to recover it would be to get a hold of the manufacturer disks for your system straight from Dell. Or you can somehow perform a back up to create some factory default recovery disks. Not exactly sure how the interface is like on the Dell laptop, but if you do check the preferences then there may be an option there. (y)

Just to note, me and my cousin have the same Acer laptop. However both of our laptops are fitted with different wireless chipsets, i have a broadcom wireless adapter and he has an Atheros one. So you might want to be a little careful if you can create yourself a recovery CD from your mothers laptop.

Edit: Just looked at that link again and did see : "If a DSR partition does not exist, you cannot create one and hope a backup image will magically appear in it. "

Based on that quote, i guess you can give it a try wheelo. Try to back up everything just to be on the safe side.:)

Found this guide here too:
Code:
http://www.ebccomputers.com/Awards/images/databasecriticalitems/

In theory, the manufacturer recovery disks are needed to set up the hidden partition again.
 
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wheelo

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i dont have recovery disks, not sure if i need them. if i need to format hard drive and reinstal XP, does anyone have a good tutorial
 

sinno

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wheelo when you start the computer you should be able to enter the boot menu pressing one of the f keys,when you put in your xp disc it will do the formatting for you
 

wheelo

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thanks sinno, so as it is starting up, just press the fkey for safe mode and work from there?
 

sinno

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As it is starting you will see a screen and it should be down bottom left press f? to enter bios mode,set your boot mode to disc and bobs your uncle
 

wheelo

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okay guys, i ended up reinstalling XP by the method set out by sinno, press f12 for set up screen, then select disc installation. so i am now back to scratch again, i reinstalled my drivers, then firefox, just about to get the TechKings toolbar again, but here is an interesting observation that i made while reloading XP.... there were 3 partions... 1 for media direct, one that i presume either contains or should contain my dell restoration program and 3 the biggest, which i presume is what i would commonly know as the C: drive, so i will go back to my original question if anyone knows the answer, is there a way of putting the image from my mothers laptop back into the empty partition, in case i should need it.

also how do i access this partition to see if my original image is there as it is a hidden partition.
 
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