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This question has been answered by mombodog



I want to restore my pc to how it was when i received it and i looked in the manual and online how to do this but found when i use the F8 option and go to Repair Pc I do not have a Dell factory Festore option or any other Dell options. I also tried the Ctrl + F11 mentioned in another post but this did not work either.

As i said i have not touched the D:\ Recovery partition that i see in my computer.

Please advise how to complete this operation or with any other advice

thank you

my system is

Studio XPS 435MT

Intel Core i7 970 2.67ghz

4GB ram

64 bit windows vista


Verified Answer
All Replies
  • If the recovery partition is intact, there is another method to run the restore process.





  • HI thanks for the reply

    I tried the link and when i get to the admin window in repair i type in

    path d:\windows;d:\windows\system32  -----------that did nothing so it just did

    CD Tools

    worked up until i typed in pcrestore then it came up with an invalid message like it was the wrong command or wasnt there?

    any other ideas? where should the image file be i cant find it on my D:\recovery drive

    thanks in advance


  • Also thought id add that my recovery D:\ drive seems to be fine, its about 6gig full of the possible 13 and i havent deleted or touched any files in it

    I dont know whats up with it?

  • If you can browse the D drive, look in the Tools folder, what files are in there?

  • Hi yes i can browse the recovery(d:\) but there is nothing in the tools folder? i even turned on hidden and system files in the options as well as protected operating files but still it shows nothing

    the d:\dell folder is empty to though i have not touched anything on that drive at all


    any thoughts ?





  • Is there a large image file on that drive, 1-3 gb in size? What is the file extension on it?

    Unless you can find another identical Dell system to check, and possibly copy the D folders to your system, you will have to manually reinstall the OS as described in one of the links I posted.

  • Hi I cant find an image file anywhere on the recovery drive

    what manual way are you talking about is it the one i tried before and mentioned abover where you go to repair pc on the vista disk then command prompt and type certain commands? 

    As i tried that and to no avail





  • At the very bottom of the link I posted there is a section "Reinstall Operating System Manually If PC Restore Fails"

    It is not easy to use this method to reinstall Vista, especially if you have media direct installed, and wish to keep this feature.

  • hi ok when i go that link and look at the reinstall manually - i click on the troubleshooting link it asks you to and then it just says the operating system you have chosen is invalid?

    Also what is the bit  about media direct - i dont know what that is or if i have it?


    Would it be easier for me to just do a clean vista install then make my own image back up for the future - will that cut out the media direct issue?



    p.s. im from uk and machine is less than year old so could i not get the restore disks off of dell

  • MD is a button on the laptop that starts a media player to view media or play movies without booting into windows.

    I don't know if your system has it or not.

    Yes I personally prefer a clean install.

  • ok well i will go for a clean install i guess


    its not a laptop but my dell keyboard does have buttons on it to start media player and internet and calculator - is this the same thing if so what do i need to do 





  • You are OK., only laptops have MD.

  • Hello!  A while back, I was searching for some way to restore my Dell studio xps 435mt desktop to factory settings.  Vista had been reinstalled from the DVD manually, so I lost the f8 startup menu choice that Dell had customized into the menu to restore the PC.

    I did, however, still have all the files on the recovery d: partition, fully intact, so I knew there had to be a way to restore from the image file located there.  It took a little research, but I finally found a fairly easy way to get it done. 

    I wanted to post the procedure here, because this is the first hit I get when searching for this topic via google.  Perhaps someone else will find this article, and it will save them some time and frustration:

    First, my system specs.  If your PC isn't identical to mine in terms of OS, Disk size, etc. then you may have to adjust the procedure somewhat to work with your system.  If you have trouble, find someone who is good with computers to help:

    Dell Studio XPS 435mt (mini tower)
    750GB HDD
    12GB DDR3 Ram
    Intel core i7 Processor
    OS: Windows Vista Home Premium x64

    How to restore Dell to factory defaults when the f8 menu option is missing, but you still have all the files on the d: recovery partition fully intact:

    D: partition is 15GB total, 8.34GB used on my machine (your mileage may vary)

    Step 1:  Prepare your Hard Disk

    I will not explain how to do this, as that would be outside the scope of this writing.  If you don't know how to partition and format your HDD (if needed) find the nearest computer geek at work, home, etc. and ask them for help.  They will be able to fix you up in minutes.

    Make sure C: exists, is formatted, and clean - any size you like as long as it's big enough to hold all the data in the image.

    Make sure D: exists, and contains all of the Dell recovery files that originally were there when it came out of the box new.

    Step 2:  Boot from the Vista DVD, get to a command prompt, and run the command that will restore the PC to it's factory shipped state:

    Choose repair then command prompt

    Navigate to d:\tools then run:

    imagex /apply d:\dell\image\factory.wim 1 c:\

    Note:  'factory.wim' is the actual image file that will be restored.  Your recovery file might be named something different, or even in a slightly different location, etc.  If so,
    just adjust the command as needed.

    Step 3:  Finishing up

    Once imagex is finished restoring the image file to the c: partition, you are finished. 

    Take out the Vista DVD, and shut the PC down.  Next time you power it up, it'll be exactly like it was when you got it.  Only difference is that now the c: partition is whatever size you want it to be.

    Note:  If you created the c: partition with 100% available space on the disk in step 1, then ignore this:  Once you boot up the first time, you will need to partition and format the remaining space on your Hard drive (if there is any) then you are finished.

    I hope you find this useful.  cheers from TX, USA  :)