I bought my niece a 600m to take to college. It came pre-loaded with XP Home Edition (through my company's employee purchase program; I didn't have an option to get Pro), but she wanted it replaced with XP Pro. So, I'm rebuilding it XP Pro, using a student edition CD she bought at the campus bookstore). When I get done building it, I want to Ghost it, and then replace the factory image (fi.gho) that's in the hidden recovery partition on the hard drive with mine, so that she'll have the ability to use Ctrl-F11 on startup and rebuild the machine, just like with Dell's image.
What do I need to use to access the hidden recovery partition so I can replace the image file? Building XP software baselines for Dell notebooks and desktops is what I do for a living, but I've never fiddled around with the hidden partition (Dell doesn't use it on the Latitudes).
I know of no one that has modified it, but perhaps the info below will work. Or, you could simply have your niece use the Ghost boot disk to restore the DVDs/CDs you make since she'll have a copy of Ghost with her, right?
If the Symantec PC Restore utility won't work, but still resides on your computer, a Dell customer has figured out some ways to get it to work again. Note - If you removed this partition, it is not recoverable, cannot be downloaded from the internet, and cannot be shipped from Dell. Click here for ways to fix Symantec PC Restore. Users have also reported that the partition can be restored with Ghost 2003, and Ghost 9 using the '03 capabilities of it. If you boot to the Ghost 9 CD, select Advanced Recovery Taks, select Utilities, then Restore Legacy IMage it should work - but you want to verify the image before attempting the restore. It's in a folder called IMG.
With over 30,000 posts (through early 2007), Rickmktg hasn't bought a Dell computer since July 2005, but has bought two Lenovo laptops...
Cool. I'll look through Dan Goodell's page and see if I can get this to work. I figure I just need to name the image I create "fi.gho", and overwrite the one in the hidden partition. Getting into the hidden partition will be the fun part... I've already looking through the stuff in the hidden partition, using Ghost Explorer on the image I made of the entire drive before booting for the first time. Interesting.
I'll let you know if I get it to work.