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Dell Factory Image Restore Error

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Dell Factory Image Restore Error

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i have an Inspiron 530 Desktop w/Vista and have started having problems with the PC locking up and getting a 'did not restart correctly' type error.  Windows will run Startup Repair and/or System Restore, but neither fix the issue.  i want to go back to factory settings and have tried the following...

Pressing F8 during startup...nothing happens

Pressing F12 while booting from the Dell/Vista CD...i get an 'incorrect path' error (if i remember correctly, i'm at work now) to Dell Factory Image Restore, but i can use the 'Repair' or 'Clean Install' option.

My D: drive folders are intact and the Factory.wim file is there.  i've never run any kind of new partitions, but i have done a clean install of Vista from the Dell/Vista CD and have put in a second hard drive.

I did run Dell Diagnostics, didn't find any issues.

The only way tfor me to get the Factory Image Restore to run is through Command Prompt>Run as Administrator and the following...

path d:\windows;d:\windows\system32
CD Tools

Dell Factory Image Restore begins to run, but about 1/4 way through, i get a simple 'Error' explanation.

i've scoured the boards for another my only option to do a clean install from the disc and reinstall all of the Dell drivers from the website?

Thanks for the assistance,


All Replies
  • Try the solution outlined by JackShack in this thread.

  • Rebel9--

    thanks for the reply...i'll give it a shot tonight.  couple of things i'm confused about.  i do have a clean-install Vista on C:\drive, and it does boot up and work, just not 100% stable due to the lock-ups & shutdown errors...that's why i want to try to image restore.

    1-do i have to burn the WAIK to a DVD, or can i simply download/install it on the PC C:\drive i'm trying to image restore and then swap the referenced WAIK files to a USB?

    From JackShack--

    If you have installed Vista on the C:\ drive, then you can simply boot up your system.  Locate the file name factory.wim on the Factory Image partition. Make a note of the drive letter and path to that file.  On an Inspiron 1720 it is located in D:\Dell\Image\Factory.wim

    Now go to the command prompt by typing CMD in the Run box.  If Vista is not installed on the C:\ drive you can boot the system with a "live" CD such as Bart's PE or UBCD for Windows and shell to the command prompt.  Navigate to the Tools\x86\ folder on your USB flash drive.

    Type the following command: imagex /apply d:\dell\image\factory.wim 1 c:\

    2-i'm not good with command prompt stuff.  do i need to use command prompt to navigate to the Tools\x86 on the USB or just navigate regularly through 'My Computer'?  if so, how do i get to the USB once in command prompt?

    Thanks for your help!  It figures the day my wife starts online classes this would happen:)


  • Hi Chad,

    I've never had the need to perform this operation, but from Jack's instructions ,"Download the Windows Automated Installation Kit.  Burn the WAIK ISO image to a DVD using Roxio, Nero or whatever DVD burning software you have that can burn ISO images. Now, insert the DVD in a computer running Vista or  Windows XP SP2 system with KB926044.  Install the WAIK.

    As the downloaded WAIK is an ISO, you have to burn it to a DVD and then INSTALL it.

    Yes, you have to use the command prompt to navigate to the Tools\x86 on the USB drive. Beforehand (from Windows Explorer), check to see what drive letter has been assigned to the USB flash drive, and then from the command prompt, simply navigate to that drive and to the Tools\x86 folder.  In other words, if your flash drive is identified as drive X, from the command prompt you would type "X:" and <Enter>. Then type "cd\Tools\i86" and <Enter>. If you do this correctly, you will now see the cursor flashing after "X;\tools\x86". Now type the command "imagex /apply d:\dell\image\factory.wim 1 c:\" .

    Hope this helps.

  • perfect...i can't thank you enough!  i'll let you know if it works.


  • Rebel9-

    everything started working spun up to 1%, then scrolled a bunch of errors, and the final error was-

    Error Restoring Image-The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process

    I did a restart and got the same error.  any suggestions?



  • The only suggestion I might have is to try booting with a BartPE CD (you'll have to make this yourself) and then try from that environment. Otherwise, you may be looking at a clean install. If someone else has an idea, hopefully they will jump in.

  • thanks again!

  • Your original  factory restore error could be a hardware issue, I suggest running the Dell diagnostics on that PC.

  • i have done the Dell diagnostics, everything looked okay.  it looks like it may be the reinstall of the NVIDIA drivers that is causing my soon as i remove the drivers, everything seems okay.  i'm scouring the boards for a fix now.