Lost access to recovery partition on Dell XPS 15z.

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Lost access to recovery partition on Dell XPS 15z.

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According to Dell Local Backup and Restore (Backup Software) my Recovery Partition is corrupt and can no longer be accessed, the partition is still on my hard drive and I haven't modified it in any way or believe it to be damaged, but its reporting it is. I believe this to be due to my MBR being overridden previously by a dual boot configuration. I can no longer access the recovery partition either through key combination either on boot, I was foolish to forget that the MBR of Dell machines are tweaked due to the recovery partition.

Are there any recovery options available to me to restore the Dell MBR or access to the recovery partition through any means?

Thanks in advance

Verified Answer
  • Right looks like I don't need the recovery discs after all. Speaking to technical support they uninstalled and reinstalled Dell DataSafe via Remote Desktop session. During the configuration after the setup the installer runs a configuration stage and during that process one part stated it was modifying the BCD which is exactly what has been overridden. Upon opening Dell DataSafe after the reinstall I no longer receive the recovery partition is missing or corrupt error and can create a System Repair Disc (Which I will be doing immediately!).

    Looks like its solved!

All Replies
  • Hi James,

    Did you try this with the recovery CD to check if it works?

    DELL-Nikhil M
    Global SMaC (Social Media and Communities)
    You can also reach us at https://twitter.com/#!/dellcares

  • The partition is encrypted NTFS.  Changing the MBR breaks the encryption scrambling the data.  There is no recovery.

    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.

  • @DELL-Nikhil S The only CD I received with my XPS 15z was the Drivers and Utilities CD. It looks like I have to request recovery CD's as I'm outside of the USA and I will be charged for them also.

  • @SpeedStep Uh oh that's bad news.

  • Actually, I might be lucky. The MBR is lost obviously, but the Dell DataSafe Menu Option is present and working via the Windows 7 Repair Wizard. I managed to get to it through F8 > Repair Computer and clicking on the Dell DataSafe Option in the menu. I have a few backups available. The Factory Image, a full system backup and a few scheduled backups, the backups are several months old dating back to Feb-March (The last one being just before the MBR was altered). I think if I restore one of them I might be able to get the MBR back. Question is do the Full System Backups via Dell DataSafe provide full system images or not?

  • If  you do the dell datasafe Backup onto a 16 gig or larger USB flash drive you can make a bootable USB flash that can recover everything to a new blank hard drive.

    Article ID : 266301 Date Published : 2009-02-11 Journal ID : 3f6b6c52-d3da-4e61-a732-ef125192de4c

    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 systemand 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.

  • Hi SpeedStep,

    This is very true, however generating a bootable recovery USB is impossible now, because Dell DataSafe will no longer function due to the MBR modification. I did make a bootable USB a long time ago, but unfortunately since formatted it. Though by the looks of it, I appear to be lucky in the sense, I can still access the Recovery Partition and Dell DataSafe via the Windows 7 Repair Computer option (F8), so I can use the Factory Image present on the Recovery Partition to restore my XPS 15z to the factory default, with the Dell MBR. Problem is I since upgraded to Windows 7 Professional via Anytime Upgrade, so using the factory image I will lose that (As the Factory OS is Home Premium) and the upgrade key I believe is one time use only.

    Though soon I might actually need to do this as my hard drive has massive amounts of bad data sectors from installing a Dell/Seagate hard drive firmware update (Now pulled) and Dell wanted to get the hard drive replaced, which I currently declined because I don't have the time.

  • Even after successfully restoring my original factory image, Dell DataSafe still can't detect my recovery partition. I would of thought the Factory Image would have the original Dell MBR which is strange, so I guess the MBR is lost for good... Unless I can order the recovery discs.

  • You can order reinstall disks.  You should do this BEFORE warranty runs out or they will charge $$$$ for the discs.

    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.

  • You can order reinstall disks.  You should do this BEFORE warranty runs out or they will charge $$$$ for the discs.

    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.

  • Any idea how I can go about ordering them? I know there is a online form for US Customers, but I couldn't find anything for Non-US customers (I'm in the UK). I assume I need to contact Technical Support and request them though them right?

  • Right looks like I don't need the recovery discs after all. Speaking to technical support they uninstalled and reinstalled Dell DataSafe via Remote Desktop session. During the configuration after the setup the installer runs a configuration stage and during that process one part stated it was modifying the BCD which is exactly what has been overridden. Upon opening Dell DataSafe after the reinstall I no longer receive the recovery partition is missing or corrupt error and can create a System Repair Disc (Which I will be doing immediately!).

    Looks like its solved!

  • The partition is encrypted NTFS.  Changing the MBR breaks the encryption scrambling the data.  There is no recovery.

    If it's fixed then I guess this statement is false.

    Tom

  • Well I'm at work currently so I can't test out its backup/restore functions, but Dell DataSafe no longer displays any error regarding the recovery partition and all of the backup/restore functions are active again (They were greyed out before due to the boot loader modification). The fact that the BCD is written during the configuration stage after reinstallation of Dell DataSafe has saved me I here I think. I knew that my recovery partition was intact in terms of data consistency just my boot loader had been modified (Totally my fault).

    Like I posted above, even after the boot loader modification I could still access Dell DataSafe through the Windows 7 Repair My Computer option (F8 during boot) and restore my Factory Image.

    If I had actually messed with partition itself, it would be a different story.

  • Just to confirm this problem is solved. The reinstallation of Dell DataSafe Local Backup restored the Dell Boot Config Data and my Dell DataSafe is fully functional again, I was able to create a Recovery USB as well as run full system backups with no problem, now that the Dell BCD has restored access for DataSafe to access the recovery partition.