How do i open my factory.wim image so i can restore my system

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How do i open my factory.wim image so i can restore my system

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I have windows 7 on a dell inspiron 545s and I performed a system restore. After the restore; windows will not start normally and the c drive does not contain the factory image. The factory.wim is located in the I:drive but I don't know how to use this to restore my system. Any ideas? Thanks, josh

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  • Hi,

    Welcome to the community

    Hopefully the partition is still there, to access Factory Image follow these steps ;

    1    Turn on the computer.

    2   As the computer starts, press <F8> on the keyboard until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears on the screen.

    3   Select Repair Your Computer on the Advanced Boot Options menu, and then press <Enter>.

    4    Specify the language settings that you want, and then click Next.

    5    Log in as a user who has administrative credentials, and then click OK.

    6    Click Dell Factory Image Restore.

    7    In the Dell Factory Image Restore window, click Next.

    8    Click to select the Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition check box.

    9    Click Next. The computer is restored to the default factory configuration.

    10    When the restore operation is completed, click Finish to restart the computer.

    The software is now installed as it was when the computer was first received.

    Let me know of the results, glad to help

    Dell | Social Media Outreach | Global Social Media & Community

  • Elijah you CANNOT EVER ACCESS the WIM file because thats not how its done anymore.

    Hasn't been there since WIN7 came out.  Some PRE SP1 VISTA machines have it.

    The DELL DATASAFE Utility does give you a way to Backup everything from factory onto a 16 GIG OR LARGER usb flash drive.  You CANNOT however clone the drive nor get to the "image" because the Dell Data Safe 2.0 partition is

    ENCRYPTED NTFS.  This also means that ANY Changes to the partition size or location BREAK THIS Feature FOREVER.

    I always recommend a USB Flash drive to do the backup of the Diag and Restore Partitions.

    Article ID : 266301 Date Published : 2009-02-11 Journal ID : 7b9a9177-7ad2-4b03-9741-6c8965936688

    Creating a Full System Backup Using Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0

    1      Click  then click   All Programs, click   Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 and click   Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0.


    2      Click   Back up your files  then select Full System Backup.


    3      To backup immediately, click 

      Backup Now 

    .

    To select the location to backup to, or to schedule regular backups, click  

      Edit Plan 

      and continue to the next step.


    4      Select the location to save your backup to.

    You can save your backups to your hard drive, to a rewritable CD/DVD using a CD/DVD burner, or to an external memory device like a USB memory key or USB hard drive. If an external device you want to save to is not listed, make sure it is plugged in securely then click  

      Refresh 

    .

    Once your location is selected, click 

       Next  

    .


    5      To create a backup immediately, select   I will manually backup my system and click 

       Next  

    .

    To set a backup to be run at a later time, or to schedule a regularly occurring backup, click   Backup my system automatically (recommended) and specify the time and date(s) to run the backup then click 

       Next  

    .


    6      To change any selections, click 

       Back  

    .

    If you chose to schedule a recurring backup and would like to start an initial backup now, click   Start this backup now.

    Once satisfied with your selections, click

       Finish  

    .


    Additional Information: Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0

    Refer to the following links for additional information on Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0.

    What is Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0? Article ID: 353560

    Creating Your System Recovery Discs with Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 Article ID: 353561

    Restoring Your Dell Computer to Original Factory Installation with Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 Article ID: 353562

    Creating a Backup Using Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 Article ID: 353563

    Restoring from a Backup Using DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 Article ID: 353564

    Upgrading To Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 Professional Article ID: 353565

    Frequently Asked Questions: Dell DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 Article ID: 353566


    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here

    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • Elijah, I tried that and it didn't work. Also, I cannot start windows normally not even in safe mode.  The c: drive does not contain the system image. It is another file and in the factory.wim image....

  • Hi,

    I think you need to reinstall the Operating system manually. Please see this link ; http://dell.to/IBwdqg

    Dell | Social Media Outreach | Global Social Media & Community

  • The factory.wim file is in the Dell/Image folder of Recovery partition, From the  tools folder, use the

    "imagex /apply d:\dell\image\factory.wim 1 c:\ "

    If this is the case you have Vista not WIN7.

    Article ID : 266618 Date Published : 2008-01-15 Journal ID : f1cc674c-8dd9-472b-9e98-9ad2e6bacf85
    This article is for Microsoft Windows Vista:
    Click here to change the Operating System

    Table of Contents:

    1. Step 1: Backup important files & data.
    2. Step 2: Remove non-essential peripherals
    3. Step 3: Restore the computer's software to original condition.
    4. Step 4: Restore your personal files and data from backups.


     Notice:  
      Dell has designed two new backup and restore programs, see below for the details:
    Dell Inspirons, Studios, and XPS Systems use DataSafe Local Backup 2.0 as the PC Restore/Factory Image Restore option as of April 22, 2009.
    Click here if your computer is an Inspiron, Studio, or XPS
    Dell OptiPlex, Latitude, Vostro, and Precisions use Dell Backup and Recovery Manager as the PC Restore/Factory Image Restore option as of May 26, 2009.
    Click here if your computer is an OptiPlex, Latitude, Vostro, or Precision
     


    Step 1: Backup important files & data.

    1      Click  , and then click Control Panel.


    2      In the Control Panel window, click

     System and Maintenance
    , and then click
     Back Up and Restore Center
    .

    3      Under Back up files or your entire computer, click

        Back up files 
    .

    If the User Account Control window appears, and you are prompted for an administrator password or a confirmation, type your password, or click

      Continue 
    .

    4      On the Where do you want to save your backup? page, choose the location in which to save the backup. To do this, click either   On a hard disk, CD, or DVD or   On a network, and then specify the location.

    If you select a hard disk, be sure to save the backup to an external drive such as a USB key or USB hard drive.


    5      Click

        Next   
    .

    6      On the Which file types do you want to backup? page, click to select the check boxes next to the types of files that you want to back up, and then click

        Next   
    .

    7      On the How often do you want to create a backup? page, leave the defaults as they are and click

      Save settings and start backup 
     to back up the files to the specified location.

    Backup will save the files in the background and may take several minutes to complete. If you specified a removable drive, Backup may prompt you to enter an additional blank disc if more than one is necessary to hold all your files. Be sure to label your discs thoroughly (such as "My Files Disc 1" etc.) so you can quickly restore them later.
    Once the Backup Complete message appears, you are ready to proceed with the next step.

    Back to Top


    Step 2: Remove non-essential peripherals


    Except for the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, remove all external peripheralsincluding:
      Note:
    An external peripheral is a device that connects to a port on the front, side or back of the computer, like a printer or memory key.
    • Scanner
    • Printer
    • Modem or Network cables
    • Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
    • USB flash drive or other external Hard Drive
    • Any other external devices (e.g., USB-attached devices)
    • Remove the computer from the docking station, if you are using one.
    Back to Top


    Step 3: Restore the computer's software to original condition.

    Using Dell Factory Image Restore in Windows Vista
     Notice:  
      Restoring the original factory image erases ALL existing data. This includes files, folders, programs, drivers, E-mails, photos. Before performing a PC Restore, back up all personal files. If you do not back up your personal files, the data will be lost.  

    1    Turn on the computer.

    2   As the computer starts, press <F8> on the keyboard until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears on the screen.
     Note:  
      You must press <F8> before the Windows logo appears on the screen. If you press <F8> after the Windows logo appears on the screen, the Advanced Boot Options menu will not appear on the screen. If you do not see the Advanced Boot Options menu, restart the computer, and then repeat this step until you see the menu on the screen.  



    3    Press the <Down Arrow> on the keyboard to select Repair Your Computer on the Advanced Boot Options menu, and then press <Enter>.

    4    Specify the language settings that you want, and then click Next.

    5    Log in as a user who has administrative credentials, and then click OK.

    6    Click Dell Factory Image Restore.

    7    In the Dell Factory Image Restore window, click Next.

    8    Click to select the Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition check box.

    9    Click Next
    The computer is restored to the default factory configuration.

    10    When the restore operation is completed, click Finish to restart the computer.
    The software is now installed as it was when the computer was first received.
    Back to Top


    Step 4: Restore your personal files and data from backups

    1      Click  then click Control Panel.


    2      In the Control Panel window, click

     System and Maintenance
    , and then click
     Back Up and Restore Center
    .

    3      Under Restore files or your entire computer, click Advanced Restore.


    4      On the What do you want to restore? page, click   Files from a backup made on a different computer and click

        Next   
    .

    5      Locate the backup you created earlier by browsing to it now. If you saved the backup to CD(s) or DVD, insert that disc now. Once the backup is located and selected, click

        Next   
    .

    6      On the Select the files and folders to restore page, click  Restore everything in this backup then click

        Next   
    .

    Backup will restore the files to your computer. If you are restoring from a removable drive and used more than one blank disc, Backup will prompt you to enter the next disc in the set as necessary. Depending on the number of files and their sizes, this process may take several minutes.

    Back to Top


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  • Speedstep - I do have Win7, but how do I open the factory.wim in the dell/image folder if I cannot sign in to Windows?  I can access command prompt, but I am not good with it.  

    I have an external hard drive.....could I somehow copy that factory.wim image onto there then restore the system from the external hard drive?  Or will I still run into the same problem of not being able to open the factory.wim?

    Thanks for your help

  • Does anybody have any ideas on this??  I feel totally lost.

    Thanks

  • scalegame

    Does anybody have any ideas on this??  I feel totally lost.

    Thanks

    Hi, Did your system come with dell data safe installed, if so, did you make up a set of disc's. The thing is, my F8 does not work, but I did make up a set of reinstall disc(2), and when I reiinstall, I use the 2 disc's I made up.

          

    If my answer Was helpful?  Please let me know by clicking on the 'Did this answer your question' and clicking on the Yes button.  Thanks.


     

     

  • You CANNOT ACCESS the WIM file because with WIN7 its no longer a WIM file.  With Windows 7 there is no WIM.

    Dell Datasafe 2.0 uses its own proprietary encrypted format.  If you touch the partition at all (Resize, change version of windows, etc.)  Then you will NEVER EVER RECOVER AGAIN.  It breaks the link to the encrypted partition and the "image" is lost.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here

    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • SpeedStep......is there ANYTHING I can do??

    Josh

  • Unless it is done differently in Enterprise than in Consumer, there IS a WIM file (how could there not be? that's how Vista/7 are installed/deployed!).  I've never had a desire to restore to factory condition, but just for kicks, I copied the Recovery partition contents from one of the new Optiplex 790's we got in.  I haven't had the chance (or desire) to play with it to see if it can be used to restore a PC, but I can confirm - at least in an Optiplex - that the Recovery does indeed use a WIM file.

      

  • Enterprise is done with Volume License Media.  Its not the same.

    I am an Enterprise customer at work.  There is no WIM for consumer Windows 7 on a Dell due to the NTFS partition with the Data Safe 2.0 image being encrypted.

    I have done the 16 Gig USB Flash media backup and it Recovers to Blank New hard drives just fine.

    I have also tried to use Norton Ghost to clone the drives.  They boot but the Datasafe Encrypted partition does not work because it cannot be copied or cloned.

    Been there Done that.  If you played with the partitions its broken. End of story.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here

    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • Note (as your statement about being an "Enterprise customer" didn't make any sense) ... I too am an Enterprise customer, and the 790's that came to us have the WIM file, as indicated.  As I said, I haven't attempted to do anything with it, so it may still be unusable, but it is there.  Or are you saying that ONLY Enterprise factory imaging is done using WIM files?  If so, then how is Consumer factory imaging done - using only an encrypted WIM, or some other imaging technology?  Is DataSafe that imaging technology, having some proprietary, encrypted image format?  Why would they use different imaging technologies for different LOB's?  Honestly, the last Dell consumer machine I bought, I formatted and installed the OS before even booting to the factory-installed OS.

  • "Note (as your statement about being an "Enterprise customer" didn't make any sense)"

    I disagree.

    Geeked

    I know what you are saying about Enterprise Customer.  I am however a Hybrid Customer.

    I have Home systems that were purchased from DELL or Retail at Microcenter etc.

    The HOME USER RETAIL Customer DOES NOT HAVE A FACTORY.WIM file that can be accessed.

    Home users Cannot access a factory.WIM file because it does not exist on their machines.

    The Home Dell Datasafe 2.0 WINDOWS 7 does not have a factory.wim file.

    The earlier Vista Home installs did have this.

    When I'm talking about a Home system its about a system that I have purchased Retail or thru Dell within the last 3 months.

    I'm not accountable or liable to answer as to WHY dell does this but I suspect that Microsoft was not too happy with people cloning

    Dell Factory installs and then hacking them to activate them.

    Home user Drives CANNOT BE CLONED.

    When there was a factory.wim file on an UNENCRYPTED partition they cloned Just fine.

    I have also tested and RE tested the Datasafe Backup routine onto 16 GIG OR LARGER usb flash drive.

    Which makes a bootable usb flash drive (THAT DOES NOT CONTAIN A FACTORY.WIM) but does backup the entire DIAG, RECOVERY, and FACTORY OS.

    It will recover to a NEW BLANK HARD DRIVE with 1 caveot.  IT MUST BE AT LEAST AS LARGE OR LARGER FOR THE HARD DRIVE.

    Not sure why there was a need to post a picture of a factory.wim file.

    The one you show is NOT ON A RECOVERY PARTITION its on a network shared drive using and RFC 1918 address.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here

    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.

    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • "I suspect that Microsoft was not too happy with people cloning Dell Factory installs and then hacking them to activate them."

    If you're going to "hack" an install to activate it, why would you hack a Dell factory image?!

    "I'm not accountable or liable to answer as to WHY dell does this"

    I didn't hold you accountable to answer for Dell - even Dell can't answer for Dell for most questions - consider it a rhetorical question.

    "Not sure why there was a need to post a picture of a factory.wim file."

    To show that a WIM file does actually exist on a Dell Windows 7 Recovery Partition.  You said "With Windows 7 there is no WIM".  You did not specify it was for home/consumer machines, and I noticed the existence of a WIM file where you said there should not be, hence the reason for my qualifying statement of "unless it is done differently in Enterprise" (and as it turns out, it is done differently - no big deal).  I can accept the fact that home PC's do not have them for whatever reason, while business PC's do.

    "The one you show is NOT ON A RECOVERY PARTITION its on a network shared drive using and RFC 1918 address."

    I told you I don't care about using the factory recovery but made a copy of the recovery partition contents to play with later - if I wanted to - which I probably don't.

    This is good enough for me:
    Home machines:  Use proprietary, encrypted DataSafe recovery image; cannot be cloned or recovered once broken.
    Business machines:  Use Dell-modified standard WIM files for recovery.