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Reinstall Windows 7 from Recovery Partition on a Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop after FORMATING C: drive

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Reinstall Windows 7 from Recovery Partition on a Dell Inspiron N5110 laptop after FORMATING C: drive

This question has been answered by Seley


I desperately need HELP! I have formated my laptop Dell Inspiron N5110 and reinstall a copy of windows 7 after noticing several viruses running on my pc. But I didn't delete or format the Recovery Partition. The recovery partition is intact. I now want to recover my pc to the factory settings of the original windows but I do not know if it is possible and how. I didn't know that I could just use the Dell Datasafe from the beginning before formatting my pc (how stupid I am). I have given a letter to the Recovery partition (F:) and I know can see all the files included inside it. After searching for a while, some people suggesting to execute the following cmd under "Tools" dir (dir which I cannot find):

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

 Can anyone please help me??? I really need help with this! Can anyone give me guidlelines what to do???



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  • I do find the file factory.wim, I just do not find the dir tools which I suppose should be in the C: drive where original OS was installed.

  • The imagex.exe is part of the WAIK (Windows Auto Install Kit), Three different ones, One for x86, another for amd64 and another for Ia64. Make sure you get the correct one.  

    Hope this helps.

  • Hi Tom,

    so what do you mean?? How can I fix it? Do I need to download the waik, like described in the following link??

    And what is the correct one between x86,amd64 and Ia64 ?

    p.s. my lapotp is running win7 64bit

  • Hi Chris,  That is a good link, the WAIK file is very large but only way to get the imagex.exe file. The x86 is for a 32 bit system, on a 64 bit system use the amd64 files. It should work and also fix the F-8 repair. You will need a boot disk to do this, if system is running, go to Start, All Programs, Maintenance, Create a system repair disc. This will make a boot cd that you can use. Hope this helps


  • Hi Tom,

    I tried the trick on the link with amd64 as it is 64bit, but after 2% of completing it stopped and got the following error:

    "error restoring image cannot create a file when the file already exists"

    and was showing the files of amd64 in the dirs my current copy of windows

    so I assume as the windows are installed on C drive those files exist and cannot create new ones. Could you please suggest me anything about that?

    Also found that link which describes a similar procedure using WinPE

    Thanks a lot,


  • what I m also thinking is that if I create a new partition with other letter and try to install from recovery in the new parition,

    so I may do not face the error : "error restoring image cannot create a file when the file already exists"

    as it is a new parition. What do you think?

  • That problem sounds like you are tring to do this from within windows itself. The reason for the system repair disc, is it is a winpe/re disc that you can boot from and goto a cmd prompt and run the imagex file from there and it should work. This can not be done while booted into windows on the c: partition.


  • Hi Tom,

    after trying within windows I tried exactly what you described! I found the drives with the cmd "diskpart" and subcommands of it, I created new partition and tried to install it there (didn't work), I then formated the C:/ drive where the copy of windows was installed and tried to apply the image on that drive which again didn't work. In both cases it took about 10 minutes to apply the image and after reaching 100% prompted me with an error that "Cannot restore image". I tried to access the windows after restarting the PC and I couldn't, thing which confirmed me that the image hadn't been restored.

  • One other thing you might try, use the imagex.exe from the x86 and see what happens.


  • Hi Tom,

    after trying numerous methods in order to recover my data from the recovery partition I ve concluded that maybe the recovery partition is corrupted and this is why I got the error message above. So, I decided to forget about it :( and reinstall windows again.

    Thanks a lot for your help during these days,


  • Hi,

    No need to worry, by making use of formatted partition recovery software you can easily recover files after formatting the hard drive partition. Some days back, even I was going through similar problem where in lost some of the important files due to OS installation. Then I tried this recovery software which really helped me to recover files after installing OS. So, you can download this software by following the below mentioned links.

    Page link:

    Download link:

    Good luck,