XPS 12 / Win 8 : how to boot from recovery partition / reinstall Windows ?

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XPS 12 / Win 8 : how to boot from recovery partition / reinstall Windows ?

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Messed things up on a newly purchased XPS 12 under Windows 8, and I want to boot from the recovery partition and reinstall windows.

The online support pages point to pressing F8 during boot-up, but this does not work at all.

How can I access the recovery partition ?

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  • Hi iveccc,

    In case your system is unable to boot into windows, restart it 4 times and it should automatically go to recovery options.

    If your system is able to boot into windows, below are the steps to the factory restore the system:

    Note: Factory restore leads to loss of all personal data; please backup all information on an external media before attempting it. If these steps do not work for you, you may have to perform a clean 'Windows re-install' with 'Windows operating system DVD'.

    This feature enables the user to recover the system to a previous date or to the factory image. To recover the system from within windows, follow these steps:
    1. Plug in the AC Adapter
    2. Click the Recovery tile
    3. Click System Recovery
    4. Click Yes, Continue
    5. Select the recovery point, then click Restart
    6. The system would prompt the user to ensure that they are selecting the correct backup point. Click Yes once verified
    7. The system restarts and goes ahead with restoring the factory image as per the recovery point selected. Follow the on-screen instructions to setup the Operating System

    Hope this helps. Do reply if you have any further questions. I would be glad to assist.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Vikram M
    To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, please go to 

  • To enter the setup menu, push F2.

    To enter the boot options menu, push F12.

    Because the XPS 12 boots so fast, it is better to repeatedly push on F2 or F12 after the machine restarts. During the boot process, the texts for the options should appear at the bottom right of the screen. If you enter Windows, you will need to re-boot again and push F2 or F12 until it works. However I don't think there is an option in the BIOS to restore the machine to its factory state. The previous post by DELL-VIKRAM M describes how to properly restore the machine to its factory state.

  • I have pretty much the same issue...I cannot restore from the General>reset system...I get an error saying 80070490. I can get to the Dell recovery and choose the image. But when it restarts, it just restarts back into Windows 8...

    Please help...

  • I have exactly the same problem. I always get the error 80070490 as described above. Anyone, please help because I really need to reinstall the system!

  • The only way i was able to get it to work was to get the USB key from Dell. Then reboot the computer into that key and do a repair...this worked fine after i done so.

  • For anyone who finds this post, here is a link to the Dell USB key.

    Win 7 only.

  • Being this is about Windows 8...i'm pretty sure a Windows 7 USB key link is unnecessary

  • See the Windows 8 support Video here and here:



    Philip Yip


    Windows Reinstallation Guide and Related Wikies See here for other wikies such as Customising and Using Windows 8.1, Dell Wireless Cards and Unofficial Drivers.