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Factory Restore to Inspiron 1120 - No DataSafe?

by Shatsworth / June 26, 2012 9:01 AM PDT

I'm trying to restore a Dell Inspiron 1120 to the original factory image. The computer has the "hidden" RESTORE partition of approximately 14.6GB, but I cannot find the DataSafe utility anywhere on the machine. The original owner states that they did NOT reinstall the operating system (Win7). It's a netbook, with no CDRom drive, so I doubt it came with restore CDs. Can the DataSafe program be installed, or run externally, or booted into? Or is the RESTORE partition for Windows Restore files, and not for a factory image??? Any help or guidance would be appreciated.

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All Answers

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My comment is forget it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 27, 2012 5:26 AM PDT

I didn't find datasafe to work that well so I went for other backup solutions.

Are you saying you have opted for no media or restore system beyond what's on the HDD? My guess is that you are new to PCs and haven't learned this hard lesson yet or consider the restore to be a non-issue. Wait for it!

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Anybody got something USEFUL to contribute?
by Shatsworth / June 27, 2012 6:24 AM PDT

I'm hardly new to PC's, but thanks for the condescension and taking time away from your Star Trek fan-fic to type up such a useless response. Trust me Bob, I admit that you're probably a better techie than me, so you can quit trying to impress all your chat room pals with your scintilating Dell forum repartee.

This POS isn't mine, it's my bosses. He drops it on my desk and says, "Hey, I think I got a virus and it's running really slow - can you fix it?" Viruses are the least of the problems on this thing, and it needs a restore. Mind you, I'm NOT the IT guy in my office, but I made the mistake once of letting him know I knew which end of a power cord to plug into the wall, so he thinks I'm the guy - apparently. He's got no restore or even driver/utility disks for this computer. Guess the boss wasn't quite as clever as good ol' Bob, eh? There's no DataSafe restore utility loaded on the machine. There IS a RESTORE partition. If there's no factory image in that 14.6GB restore partition, then I'll just wipe the drive and do a fresh Win7 install and find all the drivers on the Dell site. I just know that if I CAN restore this thing with a pre-built image, it'll save me a helluva lot of time and be less a pain in the ***. Unlike Bob, I don't consider doing a manual OS install and loading drivers for inept users a form of entertainment. So the only responses I need from anybody right now are: 1) How to actually get this system to do a factory restore, or 2) go ahead and wipe the drive and start from scratch.

Anybody out there want to try to actually answer the question without being an ******?

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See if this helps.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 27, 2012 7:50 AM PDT

Since this is a Dell, head over to Dell's web site, input this machine's Service Tag, (probably on the bottom of the laptop), and see what guides are offered to Recovery or Full Factory Install.

I've done this myself with my own Dell and usually found helpful information.

If this is your bosses own personal laptop I suspect that hidden partition is a return to factory restore partition. Whether that means it has a full system image or not I can't say, I'm not that technical. But on personal systems today users are encouraged to create our own Recovery Disks (onto USB memory sticks) as soon as we turn the system on, but it seems this was not possible as Dell's DataSafe is not installed. I have to wonder if Dell missed something there.

As I understand it the recovery media would be needed anyway to access the hidden partition but again I am not sure.

I found this forum discussion interesting;

Not quite the same setup in that the laptop there arrived with dual boot Ubuntu and Win 7, but the discussion itself was revealing in what a patchwork setup recovery is nowadays.

See if that Service Tag works for you.


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Factory restore
by Bob__B / June 27, 2012 7:57 AM PDT

Dell seems to move this procedure around depending on machine type.

I do not have a 1120.

On this dell machine.
Boot the machine.
Tap "f8" a few times during the boot.
This gets me to .....advanced boot options.
Select your computer.
From there I can navigate to factory image restore.
That might be all rubbish for a 1120.

Perhaps visit dell and see if they have a user manual that you can download.
There might be a clue in the manual.

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Thanks guys!
by Shatsworth / June 27, 2012 8:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Factory restore

Thanks for the replies gents!

I did initially try going through the F8 (and F10 and F11 ctrl+F11, etc) process and got to the repair menu where you would EXPECT to find the "restore to factory image" option. But it wasn't there. It provided the options for the Windows system restore (like the checkpoint restores), or restore from an external image, but nothing regarding the FIR.

And Mark, thanks also for the good words. I had also seen that thread on the sevenforums site, and my problem is the same as the OP - "(When I press F8 just as Windows starts after 5 seconds, I do get the Advanced Boot Options that only brings the usual Sytem Image Restore and not the Factory Image Restore)". My option list stops at the Command Prompt selection. Crazy. Unfortunately, that thread also ended w/ n solution.

Must just be the way the 1120 is set up. Guess I'll just do it the hard way! Thanks again for the help!

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Ask Dell another question please.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 27, 2012 8:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks guys!

Dell may offer the restore via download.

Read;msg5325452 then ask Dell how to get the one for your machine.

Sorry to read your reply above. I wrote it because of what I'm seeing today with folk that opt out of making restore media or backups. If you felt it was condescending then that I hope you can try again since it was not.

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RE: Factory Restore to Inspiron 1120 - No DataSafe?
by DELL_shomprakash / July 12, 2012 2:14 AM PDT

Dear Shatsworth,

I would be happy to assist you with this query. My name is Shomprakash, and I'm a member of the Dell Social Media and Communities Team.

Essentially, the Dell Datasafe Image can be "Created" as a base image. The link to install the DSL Software is at :

Once you download the standalone setup file, you will be required to run the setup. Kindly note that the process of "Base Image Creation" is a long process, and it will allow you to create a new recovery image based on the current status of your hard drive.

However, if the purpose of seeking a factory image restore is to remove additional programs which are already installed, kindly follow the process to do a clean windows re-installation using a Windows Re-installation DVD.

If after installing Windows, you need to seek the Dell Branded Utilities, you will find them at the website "My Dell Downloads" (Link :

If this reply was helpful or if you need a further follow-up, Kindly respond here. I will be glad to assist you to the best of my knowledge and ability.

Thanks & Regards
Dell Social Media Responder

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