Dell factory restore
I just picked up Dell Dimension E521 Vista Home Premium SP2 desktop computer and I'd like to find out how to do a factory image restore as I've never done one before.
I couldn't find the instructions in the manual so I tried this:
Computer > Recovery (D:) > Explore > Tools > PCRestore > Run as administrator
--- The program starts to format the hard disk but about 40% of the way it stops and an Error box shows up without any information in it so I cannot go any further from there
At that time I was using the user administrator account
--- So then I activated the Vista Administrator account using net user administrator /active:yes and the same thing happened.
--- If I'm doing a wrong procedure, can you help me figure out how to do that the right way?
--- I also went to the Dell website and used the service tag number all the computer does is churn even after an full hour
--- I did run Malwarebytes Free in Full Scan to ensure the computer is clean
My intent is to upgrade the OS to Windows 7 Home Premium but I thought it would be a good idea to have a clean Vista system until I get the Windows 7 Home Premium in
On the bottom of the tower, there is a red label that reads Refurbished
--- Is it possible that's why I can't do the factory image restore?
The computer did come with with OS & Drivers and Utility discs so I can switch over to using them but I was to learn how a factory restore works
You need to invoke the restore when you are booting the system. See if Need to restore factory settings on dell dimension e521? helps.
If the hard drive was the problem and reason for refurbishment and it was not handled by the OEM then it is possible only a "refurbish" license disc was used for the install and no system recovery partition exists.
The computer doesn't have the Dell PC Restore by Symantec
Then I thought of pressing F1 for help and it gave instructions on how to get into the System Recovery options
In my case here's what worked: Boot into Safe Mode > Select Advanced Boot Options > Select Repair your computer > follow the prompts to get to Dell Factory Image Restore
--- Note: If the Repair your computer option isn't available, the computer does not include the System Recovery Options menu as a preinstalled recovery option
--- In which case the instructions state the install disc is needed
I am presently installing all of the Windows Updates
When I'm done, I'll create a clean backup image
--- Where did I learn that? From you guys naturally
That's correct--the Dell/Symantec PC Restore only applied to systems that shipped with XP. Dell's Vista and Win7 recovery systems are fundamentally different. (The link Clint and Joe pointed you to is for the XP type of recovery system.)
Originally Posted by cmptrgy
FTR, I documented the Dell/Symantec PC Restore system in all its gory detail here, and Dell's Vista layout briefly here. It sounds like in your case Dell's Plan A worked, but if it hadn't there was also a Plan B and my own Plan C.
Yesterday when I had completed the Vista install, a bunch of Windows Updates started downloading immediately.
--- I do not like to install a bunch of them at once
------ When I know there are many Windows Updates to do, I like to install them in blocks
--- I don't remember seeing anything informing me it was going to do so
--- I would have liked to cancel the process but I don't know if it would have created any problems
Would it have been safe to cancel the process?
If I ever have to do a clean install, the very first thing I do is get a handle on WU among other things, and that means
changing WU settings to a manual setting of "look but don't download".
When WU is set to automatic it will not inform you prior to the downloads. You might only see a tray icon display
while it is occurring.
You could cancel the process, but you're still likely to get a few of the updates installed. (been there and done that too)
I believe that it is generally safe to cancel any download midstream.
Consider that the writers of most SW know that you can have a power loss at any moment.
You may have to clean up the shrapnel afterword but it won't fry the HW.
I have seen some posts in which someone shut their computer off in the middle of WU's going on resulting in serious problems
Cancelling WU's while in process came to my mind so that is why I had asked the question
Thanks for your answers at it makes sense cancelling them is ok, I'll just make sure I do not shut the computer off until the cancellation process is completed
If you are planning to put Win 7 and you haven't really used it, why bother with all the Factory Image? Just do a clean install of Win 7 and have it format the drive in the process. If you just got this computer, there is nothing to save.
miztrniceguy "If you are planning to put Win 7 and you haven't really used it, why bother with all the Factory Image? Just do a clean install of Win 7 and have it format the drive in the process. If you just got this computer, there is nothing to save"
--- That's exactly what I would have done if it was only about me and my computer
However, I have some friends who have Vista's that need to be Factory Imaged. They do not want to update to Windows 7 yet but want to have their computers back to new condition. Then I have a son and a cousin who want to have their Vista's eventually upgraded to Windows 7. So I am using this Vista computer to experiment on and that's why I mentioned "I'd like to find out how to do a factory image restore as I've never done one before" and I want it to be clean without everything that's been accumulated by the previous owner. On future Vista computers that come my way I will not have to go through what I'm doing on this one and I won't be "fudging" what I will need to do
--- I volunteer at a non-profit organization and we get computers donated to us so we can provide families we help with good used/refurbished computers
If you wish to avoid Windows Update at the beginning, simply unplug the network cable on the rear panel of the computer, or remove the wireless adapter if it's a USB plug-in, or temporarily turn off the router or internet modem until you have a chance to adjust the Windows Automatic Updates settings to your liking. This will avoid all those unwanted downlaods.
With regard to installing the Windows updates on a new installation all at once or in batches, I have always opted for the former, knowing that certain updates need to be installed before later ones, and I have no idea which is which.
Presumably Windows takes care of this, and anyway it quicker and easier to leave it to Windows. But then, I am no technician.
As Clint had pointed out to me, I should have set my WU's preference ahead of time
--- When I know there are "umpteen updates" to do, I like to do them in groups
--- Granted "umpteen updates" is a subjective call but I like to know ahead of time what's due