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reinstall windows without disc?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by fifrenzy3, Jan 30, 2007.

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  1. fifrenzy3

    fifrenzy3 Thread Starter

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    When I got my computer a year or two ago, it came from dell with Windows XP Media Center Edition. it all seemed very helpful and time saving until now when I'm seriously considering reformatting (only after backing up important files of course) and I have no Windows Installation disc. see, although my computer came with an OS ready to go, they failed to send me any disc to boot from or reinstall or whatever.

    are there actual files on the computer that I can use to reinstall, or am I out of luck?
     
  2. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    YES ... There's a recovery partition.

    With a Dell .. You have to make your own recovery CD/DVDs.
    The procedure is somewhere in your Dell tools or accessories.
    I suggest you find it ... and do this now.

    I'm a HP fan .. so I don't know where Dell hid it.
     
  3. Old Rich

    Old Rich

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    See this from Dell It explaines how to access the recovery partition ( if there is one ) and how to request a replacement install disc.
     
  4. mannyn

    mannyn

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    dell usually partations out your hard drive and has your win mc restore on there.
    check your bios to see if you have a special partation. when you boot your computer you should see a hit f12 or f10 key to get into system resources. thats where it will be.
    if not, contact dell. even with out warrenty support. they will be more then happy to send you a cd. they did that for me last year when i did the same thing.
    enjoy! Manny
     
  5. fifrenzy3

    fifrenzy3 Thread Starter

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    thanks for your help, I sent an e-mail to Dell explaining my desire for a disc and hopefully they'll understand.

    as for F12 to reach the system resources, I have no idea what to do with the screen that comes up, is there a certain option I should look for?
     
  6. mannyn

    mannyn

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    not really, when you boot your computer, look at the top right hand corner of your screen.
    you should see the F options there.
     
  7. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I assume we're not talking about a Laptop here... they usually come with the discs.
    Make your own recovery discs ... Dell will want to charge you.
    You will need these if the HD has a meltdown.

    Also ... There's a Dell procedure that will use the recovery partition and restore your computer back to the way you bought it.
    Have you found these procedures yet ??

    Then you will have to do all the M$ updates .. add/update all the programs you like ..
    and all the new computer setup stuff.
    I'm assuming this'll take you about 8 hours or more... (including all the rebooting required)
    Just make sure everything is backed up before restoring.
    Got your Address Book, Favorites, Important Cookies, and important OE Email backed up ??

    Once you do this restore and get it setup the way you like it ...
    Then will be a good time to Backup your OS so you don't have to spend all this time ... The next time.
    Interested in how ???
     
  8. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I found these "Make your own Dell Discs" procedures ...

    Click the Start button on your Windows desktop.

    Click All Programs, Dell Accessories, and then Dell OS Recovery CD.

    Click the OK button.
    The Dell Software License Agreement window appears.

    Read the license agreement and then click to select Yes, I accept if you agree to the terms.

    Click the Next button.
    A Welcome message appears prompting you to place a blank CD-R disc into your writeable drive.

    Place a blank CD-R disc into your writeable drive if you have not already done so and click the Next button.
    The program will create your backup OS Recovery CD.

    NOTE: The program can take up to 30 minutes to create your backup disc.

    When the backup disc is complete a Congratulations! message appears.

    Remove the CD-R disc from the writeable drive and label it Windows Operating System Backup CD.

    Click the Finish button.
     
  9. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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  10. fifrenzy3

    fifrenzy3 Thread Starter

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    Dell informed me that all computers shipped after june 2004 have the hidden partition in question here. I definitely got mine after that date but cannot find the utility. Under Dell Accessories, there are only two options: driver reset tool and express service code.

    the driver reset tool isn't the same thing, is it?

    The computer I'm on is an Inspiron 6000. It is a laptop, but i searched through the entire set of stuff that came with it that I have kept in my office, and if an installation disc came with it then it has been very unfortunately lost (or "borrowed" by someone and never returned).

    according to my e-mail from dell, the partition should be accessed by pressing ctrl + F11 upon startup when the Dell logo appears. this, however, did nothing when I tried it a couple times. I wonder if I accidentally deleted the tool when I first got my computer? I don't think I would do that but it's not impossible, I always delete some junk programs when I get a new machine (like MS Streets and trips and those annoying advertisement shortcuts and things).
     
  11. mannyn

    mannyn

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    If it's not there then your probably out of luck. you may be forced to get a windows MC DVD
    if Dell won't provide one for you. you can alway buy one off ebay. they have tons of them for like $10.00 plus shipping. they are not expensive. just the hassle of waiting for it to arrive. or even better, if you know someone who has a dell with the media center dvd you can use there cd. then just download the drivers once your up and running.
     
  12. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Right click on "My Computer" >> choose Manage >> Disc Management ...
    and attach a screen shot... if you want.
    I have a hunch .. you'll see three partitions.
    One of them will be called Recovery and will be about ~~ 4>5 gig in size .... probably the third partition.
     
  13. fifrenzy3

    fifrenzy3 Thread Starter

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    So somewhere in all this there was a helpful site with a tool someone programed that fixes the PC restore partition. I tried it and it worked. I haven't run it yet but the pact that i got the partition started properly leads me to believe I have found what i was looking for. thanks for all the advice, it saved me time and money that I don't have to spare! :D
     
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