Dell forum


reinstalling windows from the dell cd

by ale1964 / March 6, 2012 10:09 PM PST

I have a inspiron 2650 and I need to reinstall windows from the dell CD, but I don't have the CD for this laptop.

I do have a windows reinstall cd for my dimension 2400 desktop.

would the windows reinstall cd that came with the desktop work on the laptop? xp home is on the cd, which I think is the version installed on the laptop.

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All Answers

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Re: reinstall
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 6, 2012 10:13 PM PST

It surely won't FULLY work because it lacks the right drivers. But with some luck you can download those from using your service tag and then it might work.

But just as well it will refuse to install (after checking the hardware) or will not run satisfactorily even after installing all drivers. Then you need to order the right recovery media with Dell. If they don't have those any more, you need to find a retail version of an OS to install.

Are you sure there is no recovery partition on the disk to reinstall the OS? That's a common way to spare the cost of a disk.


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by ale1964 / March 7, 2012 12:46 AM PST
In reply to: Re: reinstall

I do see a partition, FAT file system. 31 mb in size. healthy EISA configuration. is that a copy of the OS?

if yes, how would I find out? If yes, how could I install that to the C drive?

thanks for your help so far btw...

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Factory restore
by Bob__B / March 7, 2012 4:53 AM PST
In reply to: partition

This procedure varies by Dell machine.

So........based on this Dell machine.

Boot the machine.
At the Dell logo start tapping F8.
That gets me to "advanced boot options".

From there I can navigate to "Dell factory image restore".

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no such option here.
by ale1964 / March 7, 2012 11:59 AM PST
In reply to: Factory restore

all I see are the following:

safe mode
safe mode w networking
safe mode w command prompt

enable boot loggin
enable vga mode
last known good configuration (recent settings that worked)
directory services restore mode (windows domain controllers only)
debugging mode
disable auto restart on system failure.

start windows normally
return to os choices menu.

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Re: f8
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 7, 2012 4:03 PM PST
In reply to: no such option here.

That's the Windows options menu. Either you press f8 to late or it isn't f8 on your machine. On my Dell netbook it's ctrl-F11 to boot directly in the recovery partition, and it could be f12 to boot into the boot choice menu, I don't remember. But it was in the documentation that came with it.
As Bob said, it's different between makers and models.

Anyway, 31 MB surely isn't enough to contain a copy of the OS. But it might be in a hidden partition. If you can't find it in the documentation or on the Dell support site or via Dell customer service, it might be a good idea to download GPARTED (a free graphic partition editor) to have a look.

The worst that can happen is that there's no such partition and Dell doesn't sell the recovery media anymore (did you ask?). Then you'll have to buy a new OS license to install an OS (or switch to Linux). But, as I said above already, it MIGHT work (more or less) with that other recovery CD.


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by ale1964 / March 7, 2012 11:45 PM PST
In reply to: Re: f8

I can run puppy linux from cd without installing. it's fast on this old dinosaur pc. may try that for now. thanks again for your help everyone.

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