Dell Dimension E520 Restore Problem

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Dell Dimension E520 Restore Problem

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I bought a an E520 over a year ago that shipped with vista premium however some of my software and hardware would not work with vista (no drivers) so installed XP on the c drive keeping the D recovery partition so i could reinstall vista at a later date.When i go into the recovery partition and click the pcrestore.exe i just get an error message(just a red circle with an x).Ive tried f11,F12,F2 and F8 but theres only the option to fix xp.I have no disks so how can i restore the pc to factory condition ?

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  • Hello,

    Page 55 of this Dell PDF file for your system says to use CTRL + F11 at boot.

    Mis Dos Centavos,
    Darrell

    Gadfly at large

    Helping Dell Customers here since 1998

    My systems ...
    Dimension XPS D266 - Now retired
    Toshiba Tecra M1
    Dimension 4300 - Received DOA as a gift. Reinstalled XP and still working great
    Dimension 9150 - Pent D 3.2GHz, 4GB dual-channel 533 DDR2 Windows 7 Pro, Firefox 3.6.14
      Congrats to Jimmie Johnson #48 - FIVE time Nascar Sprint Cup Champ !!!!  

     

  • Yes and that would probably work if vista was still installed but i have XP on mine as i said.

  • Hello again,

    Page 54 of the same PDF file only lists XP.

    Did you try CTRL + F11?

    Mis Dos Centavos,
    Darrell

    Gadfly at large

    Helping Dell Customers here since 1998

    My systems ...
    Dimension XPS D266 - Now retired
    Toshiba Tecra M1
    Dimension 4300 - Received DOA as a gift. Reinstalled XP and still working great
    Dimension 9150 - Pent D 3.2GHz, 4GB dual-channel 533 DDR2 Windows 7 Pro, Firefox 3.6.14
      Congrats to Jimmie Johnson #48 - FIVE time Nascar Sprint Cup Champ !!!!  

     

  • Hello again,


    Just to add ...

    When you installed XP you may have changed or damaged the Master Boot record. If so, the restore function will not work.

    But you can order a free copy of your disks from Dell by using this link.

    Mis Dos Centavos,
    Darrell

    Gadfly at large

    Helping Dell Customers here since 1998

    My systems ...
    Dimension XPS D266 - Now retired
    Toshiba Tecra M1
    Dimension 4300 - Received DOA as a gift. Reinstalled XP and still working great
    Dimension 9150 - Pent D 3.2GHz, 4GB dual-channel 533 DDR2 Windows 7 Pro, Firefox 3.6.14
      Congrats to Jimmie Johnson #48 - FIVE time Nascar Sprint Cup Champ !!!!  

     

  • Hi  i did try F11+CTRL but no luck so will order the dell disks Cheers .

  • It is CTRL+F11 for XP and F8 for Vista.  However, regardless of which OS is installed, when you removed Vista and loaded XP Windows overwrote the MBR with its own boot info, and this removed the information needed for the recovery partition to start using the appropriate key combo.  The same thing happens if you got the system with XP and then loaded Vista.

    You can request replacement reinstallation media for US purchased systems here.
    Dell Drivers & Downloads for all systems.

  • On Dell Dimension E520 the [Ctrl] + [F11] keys did work for me and after several, 'Are you sure?' confirmation screens the computer began reimaging the drive "C:\" using Symantec Ghost 8.3 (and data apparently loaded onto a hidden partition of the primary physical hard drive).  Then I ran into another problem that I will document here for future reference and the benefit of other troubleshooters.

    (Ghost screen went away; not sure whether it reached 100% because I was not watching that closely...)

    "ABORT: 8027, A GeneralException occurred"

    "I/O error reading drive C"

    "Abort, Retry, Fail?" (and I selected "r" for Retry twice, but no luck)

    (so after waiting patiently for the next, "Abort, Retry, Fail?" I selected "a" for Abort)

    (next was a message asking to confirm the Abort of the Batch Processing and I reluctantly chose "y")

    The process reported a missing file, "C:\BAT\RECOVER.BAT".

    The thing is I have a complete hard drive image stored on a separate drive made prior to the Restore attempt, and I was able to browse it to check for the missing file.  This file is not present on the hard drive image of drive "C:\" (there is no C:\BAT folder).  So if your process bombs out then this may be the issue in your case also.  

    My recommendation to Dell would be to place the image on a CD-ROM or internal SSD (Solid State Drive), or at least offer these things to consumers at the time of purchase.

    ~ Dennis C.

  • Hello Dennis C

    The c:\bat\recovery.bat is in the hidden recovery partition, when you use the ctrl + f11 keys the recovery becomes drive C. When it is finished, it changes back to windows. That files runs Symatec Ghost to restore the image.

  • It would be awesome to know if the Restore process itself was responsible for creating "C:\BAT\RECOVER.BAT" at a specific step in the process, or if this file is supposed to be there "hidden" all the time.

    As self-taught and hands-on experienced technicians and "computer helpers", I cannot help but imagine there are hundreds or thousands of us out in the world who run into these issues when computers go "Pffffpht!" (or "Kablooey!", your choice).

    I just have a client and a computer who want to get back to doing their work as soon as possible, and technical issues where a fault tree did not plan for "Scenario X" (such as a missing/failed to create "C:\BAT\RECOVER.BAT") cannot be that difficult to imagine from Design Day 1 (when Dell is creating new models).

    Heaven forbid the improper deployment of technology actually result in the creation of Zombies, but that's is a scenario being used in a rather funny (and dumb) television commercial airing recently.

    Thanks!  Good luck all!

    ~ Dennis C.

  • Dennis C

    Go HERE to read about the Dell recovery.

  • Thanks Tom!  I had been looking at that site, downloaded the "dsrfix" and "ptedit" programs and even thought about creating a Bootable USB drive (but then substituted "The Ultimate Boot Disk for Windows" as my boot media).

    However, after fully considering the COMPLEXITY of editing the Partition Table per the Gooddells' site, I decided to take the path of least resistence and attempt the Restore process a second time!

    (blue "www.dell.com" banner), then...  [Ctrl] + [F11], then go Restore, go!!

    To my utter joy and amazement it worked !!!  (second time's a charm -- to heck with the third time...)

    Whatever went wrong on the first attempt for this (almost) five year old computer worked perfectly the second time around and the Welcome to Windows XP screen was a wonderful thing to see! (and I would ordinarily never say that...)

    Tom, thanks very much for your support and advice!

    ~ Dennis C.

    (Experts-Exchange.com contributing member, Lockheed Martin Alumni, Northrop Grumman I.S. Alumni)

  • Dennis C,

    Your welcome and thanks for posting back. after you download all the updates you should make a backup image of the drive, so you dont have to download all of it again. Have fun!

    Tom