Perform A Dell System Recovery Using Dell Datasafe Restore

| November 16, 2010

There are several Dell system recovery options and the most common is using Dell DataSafe Restore. Newer Dell computers, such as the Dell Inspiron 580, will have the DataSafe Local Backup Option in addition to the the tradition method of restoring from an image located in a system recovery disk. Use the following methods to create recovery media and restore it in the event your Dell PC no longer boots.

Create Media For A Dell System Recovery

You can create recovery media using the DataSafe Local Backup utility. You can use either DVDs or a USB stick with 8GB or more of space to create your Dell DataSafe Restore media. The system recovery media can be used to restore your Dell to the condition it was on a previous date without having to worry about the loss of data. To create the System Recovery media, turn on the computer and let it boot up. Insert the blank DVD (cannot be a re-writable disk) or USB stick and then go to Start>Programs>Dell DataSafe Local Backup and then click the Create Recovery Media option.

Dell System Recovery

Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the creation of the Dell DataSafe Restore media. Once done, store the media in a safe place for future use.

Dell DataSafe Restore Or System Restore

You have several options to get your Dell back up and running again. Try the following in order, as they are organized as easiest to hardest:

System Restore – A system restore is a feature built into Windows that allows you to go back to a previous state in the event a system file or hardware driver has been damaged. To perform a System Restore, go to Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore.

windows system restore

Click through the restore options and go back to a date when you know the computer was working properly. Your personal data should be safe using this method.

Dell DataSafe Local Backup – You can use this method if the System Restore does not work properly. You will need the USB key or DVD you created from the instructions above. Restart the computer. When you see the Dell logo, tap the F8 key until you access the Advanced Boot Options. Select Repair Your Computer from the list. Next, select Dell DataSafe Restore and Emergency Backup from the System recovery Options and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the recovery process.

System System Recovery Media – Use this method to perform a System Recovery in the event you cannot boot into Windows or if you have replaced your hard drive. To use the System Recovery Media you created above, put the USB stick or DVD into the computer and restart the machine. As the machine begins to boot, tap the F12. Select the boot device (either the USB or DVD) and then follow the instructions to perform recovery using the media you created.

Dell Factory Image Restore – This final method will destroy any data or programs you have added since you bought the computer. If you are still able to backup, backup any important photos, documents or other data before attempting this process. When ready, reboot and tap F8 until you see the Advanced Boot Options.

repair your computer

Select Repair Your Computer.

dell factory image restore

Select Dell Factory Image Restore. The image resides on a separate partition of your Dell’s hard drive. When the factory image restore has completed, your Dell will be the same as it was when you brought it home.

As you can see there are several Dell System Recovery options; some are easy, some are drastic. Choose the one that is best for you. Be sure to create the recovery media as soon as you can and always perform routine backups of your important data. If you have questions about Dell DataSafe Restore or other Dell system recovery options, please refer to our other Dell tutorials.

Category: Dell

Dave

About the Author ()

Dave has been providing free computer repair and tech support advice online since 2002. Join us on our forums and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and other helpful computer articles. Connect with me on: Google+

Comments (120)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Don M. says:

    I received a update notice for my Dell DataSafe online app. The update download started and something went extremely wrong – I lost all my data(documents, pictures, file, etc.) and my Dell datasafe online was also lost. When I attempted to open it, it would not accept mt password and would not acknowledge the response to the security question(Mother’s maiden name). In looking through the hard drive it indicated that datasafe unline had been removed at the date and time of the “update”.

  2. Frances N. Pingel says:

    I am in the process of doing a system retore, last resort, other choice attempts failed, and it’s been stuck on 21% for about three hours now. The message reads… Please wait…..do not turn your computer off. My question is, how long do I let his run before admitting defeat?

    • Dave Dave says:

      It shouldn’t take that long.

    • Brian says:

      I have been stuck at 21% for over 12 hours!!! Argh

    • Henry Rovira says:

      I have the same issue, only my progrees of factory reset was stuck at 51% for about 4 Hrs. Finally I run a Hardware test by pressing F12 similar when starting up pressing F8. Follow the instructions and found out that I have the hard driver with error. I had to change my hard drive. That was my case!

  3. Nick says:

    I have pressed F8, I have selected REPAIR YOUR COMPUTER. The. I get a black screen that reads: Windows is loading files… With a solid white bar below the text. This screen remains for hours. No change. No loading. What can I do? I am trying to do a complete factory restore. Please help.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Not sure what is hapening. I would try and make sure all external devices are unplugged–such as printers, camera, scanners, etc. Sometime a reset can fail because it is looking for a driver for devices it doesn’t know about.

      • Martha says:

        I cannot restart windows normally after I downloaded the Norton Power Eraser and did what it suggested (which was to let it fix it). I tried to do a system restore but failed (it said system restore failed due to an unspecified error and the parameter was incorrect (0x80070057)). To make the story short, I finally decided to do a Dell Factory Image Restore. I followed your instructions but after the Repair Your Computer was selected, it did not come back with the System Recovery Options window but a blank page with an blank icon in the center and ‘Other User’ displayed below this icon. I don’t understand what this other user is, but I figured I could just log in as usual, but it did not work, I tried to log in both as the administrator and the standard user and failed. (It said that the domain was either did not exist or couldn’t be contacted.) Can you please help?

    • Christa says:

      Hi, I’m having the same issue with trying to restore my daughter’s dell back to factory settings. I left it on the same “Windows is loading files” overnight and it stayed as is never getting to the factory restore option. Were you ever successful in restoring your pc and if so, may I ask how you did it? Thank you in advance!

      • Dave Dave says:

        Start with an extended (NOT just quick) hard drive diagnostic by tapping the F12 key at boot. We need to make sure there isn’t a problem with the hard drive first. Also, make sure nothing else is connected to the computer when trying the recovery.

  4. Kaela says:

    My Dell was infected with a trojan horse so I went to restore system for a few days ago and it was running for about 4 hours, so I shut it off and now windows won’t even boot. I tried pressing f8 on start up but nothing happens…

    • Dave Dave says:

      Something has to happen…what’s on the screen? Describe what happens on the screen when you power it up and we’ll see if we can help.

  5. Caleb says:

    Hey, I had a similar issue. I had a 500 Gb external hard drive that I plugged into my computer to do the emergency backup thing and it backed up fine, but when I tried to restore, it got stuck on 1% for about 14 hours. I turned the computer off by holding the power button, unplugged the drive and any other excessive usb connections, and it did the restore in like 5 minutes. now I’m restoring my files with the external drive. Thanks alot for the advice of unplugging stuff. just posting so people know this works.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Great. Glad you got it working. Yeah, when these restores encounter hardware that is not part of the original factory setup, the process can stall or fail. Thanks for posting!

  6. Tay says:

    I have tried to restore my dell Inspiron back to factory settings but it’s stayed on 74% for like 10 hours I tried restating the computer & doing it again but it did the same thing everytime what should I do??????
    Please help me!!!!!!!

    • Dave Dave says:

      Make sure all external devices are unplugged (printers, scanners, cameras, etc)–anything that was not part of the original configuration. It might be getting stuck looking for a driver for that hardware.

      • Tay says:

        Can you please help meeeeee I need my laptop & I have no money to replace it so I need a way to fix this one

  7. Tay says:

    Nothing is plugged in…. What should I do?

  8. Tay says:

    I’ve tried everything & it still keeps getting stuck at 74% then when I tried to start my computer normally..it would go to windows repair then go they that then start windows but it would just go to a blank screen I need help

  9. Martha says:

    I am resubmtting this one as I’m not sure if my last one reaches Dave since it was inserted in as a reply to an earlier response.

    I cannot restart windows normally after I downloaded the Norton Power Eraser and did what it suggested (which was to let it fix it). I tried to do a system restore but failed (it said system restore failed due to an unspecified error and the parameter was incorrect (0×80070057)). To make the story short, I finally decided to do a Dell Factory Image Restore. I followed your instructions but after the Repair Your Computer was selected, it did not come back with the System Recovery Options window but a blank page with an blank icon in the center and ‘Other User’ displayed below this icon. I don’t understand what this other user is, but I figured I could just log in as usual, but it did not work, I tried to log in both as the administrator and the standard user and failed. (It said that the domain was either did not exist or couldn’t be contacted.) Can you please help

  10. Kelly Stoner says:

    I cannot get past a screen that says System Recovery Error-I have tried everything, been on my Husband’s laptop since 4:30 this morning trying to find a solution. I have a Dell Inspirion 560MT. I can’t find any disk to download to restore my computer and it didn’t come with one. I tried to restore it through the built in restore and it goes back to the same screen. Can you help?

  11. Kelly Stoner says:

    I also unplugged everything extra and tried all the above mentioned things that applied.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Have you tried tapping the F8 key to see if you can get into Safe Mode. If you can get into Safe Mode (I’m not really sure where you’re at in this process) see if you can get to System Restore (Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore….see if you can restore back to a date prior to the problem.

      If you continue to have issues, please post in our forums, as that is a better place to troubleshoot. http://www.pctechbytes.net

  12. karim says:

    hi dave ,
    i m i have issue which i i like to share …. i have recently uninstalled the window 7 home premium which came with my laptop .. an i did a new ver on my laptop which is windows 7 pro … so i have formatted the drive which use to contain the the windows which it came with …. now all the softwares are gone ….. i tried to restore to its factory settings .. through dvd backup which i made earlier with dell data safe …i made a backup of the factory settings !! .. its seems im getting no where … it shows the recover process and all that … it even shows successful … but when i restart it after restoration … it simply show no sign of restoration only thing i get i the ver of windows that i installed not the one i came with … nd tried to restore it through the recover drive which is there in system .. i can see a recovery drive in disk management …. but same thing happens it goes into the windows that i installed !! .. no restoration !! and i didnt get any dell factory image restore option shown in the image above help plzzz plzzz …. i have a dell xps l502 which came with win 7 home premium pre installed ….. and sory for my bad english plzz reply sooon plzzz

    • Dave Dave says:

      The only other thing I can think of is to use a program to delete the new partition (Not the recovery partition) and that will take the new version of Windows away. Then run the disks again. Not sure what software you could be missing unless it came preinstalled with software from Dell. Good luck. Ask any followup questions on our forums and someone will try and help.

  13. Raman says:

    Hi Dave,
    I think I had a virus on my Dell XPS with win 7 which made my system very slow even with i5 and 1 Ghz graphics card. I restored my win 7 using the procedure you have mentioned. After getting win 7 reinstalled successfully, I observed that there is a folder created on C drive “Drivers”. Questions are :
    1. Do I need to install these drivers manually? or are they already installed.
    2. even after i installed everything correctly, the PC takes close to 3 – 4 min in booting the system and still very slow in performance.
    3. can’t smoothly run a video, it gets stuck in between very often. Is it because of unnecessary installed driver named “video_nVdea” and “video_3D”
    Please help me if you know how to get rid of this problem

    • Dave Dave says:

      Are all of your old files still on the computer? Personal files like pics and bookmarks? If so, it might not have done a format and reinstall to factory condition. I would check the Dell support site and download the manual for your exact model and see how they handle it. You want to wipe it and reinstall. Sometimes there is an option to repair, which may be what you did.

      To answer your question, you should not need to manually install any drivers, the reinstall does this automatically.

  14. Raman says:

    Yes, files which were kept on other drives (not C:\) are still on the computer. I did “Dell factory image restore”. What can I do to format and get the exact state as when I bought it?
    my laptop model is : Dell XPS L502X

    What do you think is the reason of Video shuttering in between. ?

    • Dave Dave says:

      Here is the procedure:

      Turn on the computer.

      2. When the DELL logo appears, press several times to access the Advanced Boot Options window.

      NOTE: If you wait too long and the operating system logo appears, continue to wait until you see the Microsoft Windows desktop; then, shut down your computer and try again.

      3. Select Repair Your Computer.The System Recovery Options window appears.

      4. Select a keyboard layout and click Next.

      5. To access the recovery options, log on as a local user. To access the command prompt, type administrator in the User name field, then click OK.

      6. Click Dell Factory Image Restore. The Dell Factory Image Restore welcome screen appears.

      NOTE: Depending upon your configuration, you may need to select Dell Factory Tools, then Dell Factory Image Restore.

      7. Click Next. The Confirm Data Deletion screen appears.

      NOTE: If you do not want to proceed with the Factory Image Restore, click Cancel.

      8. Select the check box to confirm that you want to continue to reformat the hard drive and restore the system software to the factory condition, then click Next.The restore process begins and may take five or more minutes to complete. A message appears when the operating system and factory‑installed applications have been restored to factory condition.

      9. Click Finish to restart the computer.

  15. Raman says:

    Hey Dave, thanks for this. I am going to follow the procedure you mentioned. Although I am 90% sure I did exactly the same thing but will try it again. This time would make sure all data should be deleted.

  16. Raman says:

    Hey Dave,

    When I executed 7th step you mentioned, the data deletion confirmation page comes but there it is clearly mentioned that “only C drive will get impacted through this”. Therefore, nothing happened on D and E drives.
    What I did was, manually formatted D and E drives and restore factory image on C using datasafe. Did I do something wrong?
    My computer now seems working fast than before but still it hangs in between, dont really understand what is going wrong.
    What are the other ways to format and reinstall with wiping everything automatically. And how can I preserve my Win 7 home premium licence

  17. Daniel says:

    Hi Dave,

    Been trying for a couple of days with no luck. I have a Dell XPS L502X (same model as Raman has). I got a virus (malware) that slows down every process and opens a random page in the background which plays a video. Very annoying when you are working and suddenly something plays for no reason!

    Tried for a week to remove the virus and got fed up. Now my issue is i cannot get passed the “Windows is loading files…” message when pressing on “Repair my computer”.

    I have unplugged everything as you mentioned in other replies and still no luck.

    Any ideas would be great!

    Thanks!

  18. Robbie says:

    I’m trying to create a Recovery Disc for a Dell Laptop M5010 and the Dell Datasafe directory is empty. Is there another way to create a recovery disc?

    Thanks

  19. Seshu says:

    HI Dave,

    You seem to be the only one helping out. I was struck with my half-formatted laptop before an important exam :(

    I am trying to use Dell Datasafe local backup to restore to factory default. The final stage where the reinstalling will happen is struck :(

    I am getting the message :
    Please wait..
    Note: You are not able to cancel this process so that the interity of your system an be maintained. Please also donot turn off your machine during the process.

    But, the “Reinstalling your selected system backup..” phase is going on for ever and ever. It took 15 hours, before I force restarted. Again, it is 1 hour, but still it is going on and on..

    Please throw some light on how much time this restoration will take? If this is not going to work, can I use a new Windows 7 bootable DVD to format my machine(existing widnows 7 is not at all responding)

    • Dave Dave says:

      Sure, you can use a Windows 7 DVD. The restore process should take less than an hour. Something is wrong if it is taking that long.

      • Seshu says:

        Thanks dave. Finally, it took some 3 hours to restore to factory default. But, my laptop became dead slow and is getting struck very frequently after restore.

        I even started getting an error from Windows saying that harddisk might be damaged, and replace! :(

        Not sure, if this is because of the repeated restarts i did during restoration!

        Is the slowing down of laptop related to the hardisk failure message that I am getting?

        Thanks in advance.

  20. Theresa says:

    I have a new Dell laptop and am trying to use the Data Safe to make the system recovery disks, but into the second disk, it goes about 72 to 90% then says that there was an error. I thought it maybe the DVD’s, but I used about 5 of them and I don’t think that is the problem. Could you possibly tell me what could the problem be? I mean, this is a brand new computer. I have had it for 3 days, could there possibly be something wrong with the harddrive?

  21. priyabrat says:

    Hi Dave,

    i am planning to restore my dell xps to factory setting. Windows is on the c drive, is there any chance of other drives getting formatted as i want to take back up in d drive.
    thanks in advance.

    • Dave Dave says:

      The D drive is likely the smaller recovery partition. I would really look into getting an external hard drive to be safe. While it’s true only the C drive should be formatted, it’s always good to be safe. And besides, you should have a backup outside of the computer too.

      • priyabrat says:

        Hi Dave,

        i have total two visible drives, C drive of 300GB and D drive of 600GB. there is another recovery drive of 15 GB which is only visible through disk management console. I will surely take your advice of taking back up in external hard disk but just curious to know whether D drive will lost its data after restore factory setting is done. Thanks for the advice.

        • Dave Dave says:

          If you physically added that D drive, it should be fine, but I would unplug it to be safe….If you partitioned the C drive into two drives (300 and 600) then the data will likely be lost, as returning it to factory condition usually means wiping out partitions that were not there originally.

  22. sonu says:

    Hi Dave,

    I have Dell xps consisting of c drive and recovery partition which is intact. But earlier i have formatted the c drive and installed same window 7 provided by dell but i found that certain dell softwares like dell database local backup and other more missing. now i want to restore it to factory setting using recovery partition. i have also burned the recovery data into dvds but while restoring it, it doesnot have some driver to get access to the dvd. i know i did a mistake of formatting the drive before as it may have deleted the driver. can you please help me in restoring it to factory setting. thanks

    • Dave Dave says:

      Sonu, I would recommend going to support.dell.com and putting in either the model number or the service tag number of your computer and look for the manual for your specific model. The manual will detail the exact procedure. If you can’t find it, give me your model number and I’ll try and help locate the manual.

      You can also try manually downloading the driver from Dell in the support section. Once you do this, you can install the driver via the Device manager in the control panel>system>Hardware>device manager.

      Good luck.

      • sonu says:

        Dave,

        thanks for the advice, can you please tell me the name of the driver which i should be downloading, as i dont know about it.

  23. Mary Kay says:

    Hi, I’ve used Dell DataSafe Restore, screen says:

    Formatting your partition…
    Reinstall your original content…

    Progress: 100% completed

    But it’s still seems to be reinstalling – how long should it take – has been about 8 hours.

    Thanks.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Normally it only takes about an hour or two.

      • Mary Kay says:

        Dave, thanks.

        Suggestion as to what I should do now? Restart, do a clean install of Windows (Vista)?

        • chad says:

          Progress 100% complete. Been stuck at 100% for 7 hours.
          There is a check mark next to “formatting your partition…..”
          There is a spinning arrow next to “reinstall your original content….”

          What happens if I turn the comp off?

          • Dave Dave says:

            The whole process should take less than an hour. Something is not right. If it hasn’t changed since you posted last night, you have no recourse but to restart the computer and see what happens.

  24. Jamie says:

    Hey there, I have tried everything to restore my Dell inspiron 1545 back to factory settings.. I have tried F8 i dont know how many times and there is no “Repair your computer” option. I tried going into backup and restore center and it doesnt not do anything it wont even open. Not sure what is going. what else can I do!? Help please!

  25. darcy says:

    hi dave, i have a dell XPS Core i7 8gb ram and i cant find recovery cds and when i hit F8 in recovery dialog it does not have Restore to factory settings

    • Dave Dave says:

      You might have to tap F12 when booting….the process for recovering is different based on your model. You can visit Dell Support and download the manual for your computer. Just type in your service tag number located on the back of your computer or type in the model name and it will take you to the page where you can get the manual. Good luck.

  26. Dell E5510 says:

    I do not get the option: dell datasafe restore and emergency backup

    What to do please help???

    • Dave Dave says:

      Your best bet is to visit support.dell.com and look for your computer’s manual. The manual will describe the procedure for your computer. Or visit our forums and give us the exact model and we will try and help you resolve this.

  27. dell e5510 says:

    The problem that i have is that i merged the c and d drive on my laptop so i probably
    deleted/damaged the recovery partition and i do not have a recovery disk/cd

    is there another option to retrieve my original recovery partition could you please help me

    i tried everything even contacted dell support and it looks like they can’t help me

    pleasee help me if possible

  28. Mike says:

    Hi Dave,

    I just performed a restore system (to prior date – 2 days ago) after my Dell XPS L502X (Windows 7 64 bit OS) would not load after typing in my password. The restore seems to have worked nicely, however, my files were all moved, my firefox bookmarks seemingly deleted, and I am unable to run many programs due to the files being moved. They were moved from my profile, which I no longer see, and placed in my c drive : C/OS/USERS. Is there an easy way to move them all back to their original locations and possibly get my bookmarks back?

    Thank you so, so much!!!
    Mike

  29. Mango says:

    Hi

    I have Dell vostro 1440 laptop which i formatted yesterday using Dell data safe backup and restore.

    I was successfully able to format and whole backup was up to the mark.. i tried connecting my Dongle for Internet connection and was successfully connected but when i want to visit any website it give me error that no internet

    Please help.. the status of the Internet connection shows me that the packets are sent and recieved

  30. hafeez says:

    hi Dave pls i formatted the partition that contains the Dell factory image restore on my dell n4010 and cant get my system back to factory default most especially the vram size but have got the actual windows that came with my laptop and a recovery disk from a site that allows u to get all driver restore disk will i get it back if i do it that is my vram size. pls do get back to me

  31. JR says:

    I need help! I have a Dell Inspiron 1440 with Windows 7. Did a Factory Image Restore, but after the process, it’s unable to start-up correctly. Did the recommended Start-up repair, but didn’t work. Says “Startup repair cannot repair this computer automatically”.Redid the Factory Image Restore and checked memory and every other check option it would let me, but it doesn’t recognize any problems. It starts off booting correctly, past the logo, past starting windows, then a blue screen with white writing flashes (too fast for me to read anything) then the Windows error recovery screen shows up again. Please help! Thanks.

  32. Redbone says:

    Dave I need help, I need to do a factory restore on an XPS L502x with DataSafe, however I get an error when I hit F8 saying I have a corrupt file, I cannot boot to safe mode or anything else. Is there a place to download a boot disk in order to acces the recovery partition ( no one made a boot disk with datasafe, feeling a bit stupid )
    Thanks in advance

    • Dave Dave says:

      You can buy them right from Dell for a small fee. That’s your best bet. Hopefully, the drive is okay. I believe they have a diagnostic program you can download and run on your dell to test the hard drive, memory, etc. You might want to try that also. While it won;t fix your problem, it might help you determine if there is a more serious issue.

  33. i have a dell inspirion laptop that used to work just fine till recently the computer will open and then go to user icon i click it and it says loading personal settings and goes no further I did the above and put laptop in safemode has been 5 minutes still in black screen safemode? can i fix this? also, or should I just have it wiped and new software installed back on it? any advice would be great
    Thanks jamie

  34. ash says:

    i have a dell inspirion laptop bought last week but some how boot manager error came so i installed a cracked version will i get the original version if i upadate so will the dell company will help to install original windows 7 again????

    • Dave Dave says:

      I have no idea, I’ve never used a pirated version of Windows. If you have the recovery disks that came with the computer, that will likely erase the version you put on there and return it to factory condition.

  35. Jackie says:

    I got stuck at the installation progress bar too., and also restoring to factory due to deep Trojan infections corrupting a large amount of system services and hkeys..Since datasafe had already formated the C drive, I didn’t want to reboot, so tried unplugging the adapter. This will refresh datasafe to original restore point screen. Select same the options and it should start working =) It’s gone from 1 percent to 82 percent in the time I’ve written this.

  36. juan says:

    hi dave i need your help, i have a dell inspiron 1564 and it ill not boot up im guessing it has a virus and i dont have the repair disk so i have tried the alt+f10 but wont let me do it either. im not sure if you could help me restore it back to factory settings with another method or if i have to take it to someone so they can fix it. please help me.

  37. Christine says:

    Hey Dave, I have a Dell Inspiron desk top. We just installed a new hard drive. Now we want to have the original factory settings back on the computer. So, I installed the Dell data safe local backup system recovery cd”s that I made awhile back. Everything was going fine and seemed to be loading everything quickly. Then it got to the screen stating setup is preparing your computer for first use. It said that the computer would restart several times before finishing. I thought we were in the homestretch, then the screen went black with a diaplogue box(windows\system32\cmd.exe) with these things:

    (rw_fat16) unable to open hard drive device

    error RW_FAT16 Putfiles failed

    COPYHD2SYS

    error was 702

    Is there anything we can do to fix this hard drive problem? The computer has been stuck on this cycle of restarting and going to welcome screen, then the black screen again, for over an hour now.
    Thanks so much!

  38. Christine says:

    Dave, one more thing. We do have an option to load up a windows 7 disc. We did that first, but then it was not connecting to the internet (no network device detected). So that’s when we decided to do the system recovery, hoping that all the factory settings would take care of the network device situation. So, do we try to do the recovery again with additional steps? Or would we be better off to install the windows 7 again and figure out the network device problem?

    • Dave Dave says:

      I would find a way to get the driver from the dell website. You can download it to another computer and then copy it over via a thumbdrive. Load Windows 7 and then look in the device manager after Windows loads the first time. You will likely find a lot of Unknown Devices. Uninstall all of those. Put the driver on your C drive and then reboot. Windows should then find the network card, and then locate the driver for the card. Good luck.

  39. Emeka says:

    Hi Dave,
    I reinstalled my OS with a windows 7 cd a few months ago so i lost all the programs that came with my computer (Dell Inspiron N5010). I didn’t think i would need any of those programs but i realize some are important, like the webcam app for example. Also, Notifications that used to appear when i used any of the function keys or special keys to do stuff like turn my wireless on and off etc have disappeared. Any way to get them back using my recovery drive? I have no other backups.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Using the recovery partition will get most of that stuff back, but some applications may have needed to be burned to CD–if you didn’t receive or make recovery CDs you might be out of luck. It’s worth a try, though.

  40. Missy says:

    Hi Dave,

    I have major issues! I did system restore and windows failed to load. I do not have recovery disks and it keeps taking me to system recovery options, but I do not know the password for administrator. Can you please help me~

  41. jorge says:

    Can someone please help?

    My girlfriend’s Dell 580 was giving a message saying that there was a problem with the hard drive and to press f2 to continue or something like that. I attempted to do a recovery to factory settings and then I got a message saying that the recovery partition was missing. The computer turned off and now will not turn on at all. There are no lights, no beeps, nothing.

    I don’t know that the hard drive was bad since everything pointed to a hard drive failure, but then again, I’m not an expert. Any ideas?

    All peripherals are disconnected, system was working ok except for having to go through the whole f2, then exit out of cmos screen, then start up.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Dave Dave says:

      Yes, it does sound like a hard drive issue. Not sure why you’re suddenly not getting power. Try unplugging the machine and then hold in on the power button for thirty seconds. Plug it back in and see if it at least powers back on. You can always put another hard drive in there and run Linux or buy a copy of Windows. Unfortunately, unless you have recovery DVDs made, you will not be able to restore that Operating System.

  42. M5030. The hard drive is dead as far as booting. I have it out and it seems like I can retrieve the files via testdisk or other method. It does have a separate partition where the Dell DataSafe Restore is likely held. How do I determine what of the recovered files that are found that I would need to copy again to a new hard drive (and save in other media of course) so I can again have that recovery option for the future? Is there a better recovery tool that will let me specify a partition to recover or help me with this? Thanks.

    • Dave Dave says:

      You cannot use the recovery partition to restore the Operating System and make it bootable again–that’s what that partition is for, unless there is a more serious problem with the drive. You should post in the forums so our other techs can help you narrow down your options–we have several people in there that have their own shops.

  43. Amy says:

    I have a dell studio 1558,I have done disk cleanup, defraged, system restore to factory condition, I am havin g a problem with the recovery e local disk being full. How can I delete the recovery e hard drive or move the files onto an other drive?

    • Dave Dave says:

      The recovery drive is supposed to be filled. That partition is only allocated for the files necessary to restore the computer to factory condition. If you require more space on your system, I would look into getting an external hard drive.

  44. Lisa Kramer says:

    Hi Dave,
    I am trying to restore files from Dell Datasafe Online to a different PC (mine crashed). I did get a couple file to restore off the web portal login, but then just errors. I have about 50Gig to restore.

    So, I installed Dell Datasafe Online on this Dell PC and was in the process of restoring when I lost my internet connection. It seems to have restarted (24 hours ago), but it hasn’t moved as far as the estimated amount of time left and % completed since then. It’s been at 17 hours and 4% completed since just after it lost the internet connection. Should I just be patient and let it keep running, or abort it and start over?

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    • Dave Dave says:

      Does the hard drive sound like it’s working–is the hard drive light flickering with activity? If so, I would let it go for a while longer. You can also open up your internet adapter and see if a lot of data is being received. Obviously, if the state doesn’t change soon, you will need to restart the process, as you will have no other option. Good luck!

      • Lisa Kramer says:

        Hi Dave,
        Just wanted to give you/your followers an update. I went ahead and canceled that restore. I’ve since determined that, at least for me, with my 50Gig restore and my home high-speed connection, that it won’t work to restore that much at one time. It kept failing. However, if I break it up into smaller chunks, like no more than 10Gig for sure, then it works. I’m actually still restoring… it’s taking several days to get everything back, but I’m on the last chunk and hope to complete it today or tonight.

  45. KR says:

    Hi, I recently restored my Dell xps L501X to its factory settings. Everything is fine but a messsage to create reovery media is constsntly appearing on my screen. I had already created the system recovery disks. Can you please tell me how to permanently stop the message. The only two options available are 1. create system recovery media and 2. Remind me later. If I click remind me later the message disappears and appears within few seconds.

  46. Pamela says:

    I am so upset with myself. Im giving my Mom our older computer to get started on. I wanted to take it back to the factory settings. I did this and it said there was a partition problem. now Ive got the dell B110 recovery cd in and it states “WARNING: SYSYSTEM DIAGNOSTICS, Confirm: do you want recovery to automaticallu recreate your partition for you, erasing all data on your hard drive. what does this mean? Im stuck with this on the computer and do not know wether to say yes or no…please help ASAP..thank you so so much, Pamela

    • Dave Dave says:

      Yes, if you want the recovery to work you will want it to wipe the drive–this is what the CDs are meant to do. It sounds a bit ominous, but they are warning you because they are going to wipe your data during this process. If you’re okay with this, proceed.

  47. Ian says:

    Hi I restored my Dell XPS using the Factory restore method detailed above. With Dell Datasafe local i backed up the files that were on my laptop. The factory settings restored successfully however i am not able to restore my data which was backed up in the emergency folder on my C drive. There are a large number of DSB files (approx 327 MB each) in the emergency folder. I know that i am supposed to click on the executable file in the emergency folder to restore my data, however when i do that i get a error message that reads that the executable is not a valid Win 32 application. Please help.

  48. Frank says:

    Hi Dave, I have a buddies computer here XPS M1330 and the HD died. It won’t boot at all. Got a new HD, formatted it and put it in and all is good that far but I tried everything I could think of to get to the recovery partition. I hooked the old drive up USB and that won’t work. Copied the recovery partition to the new drive and made a bootable USB drive and tried to run the recovery that way. No deal. How are you supposed to deal with this when the windows partition is dead?

  49. Teri says:

    If I did not know that I needed to make recovery disks when I bought my computer and make them now….will the disks contain all my computer problems or will they be disks that I can use to restore my computer?

    • Dave Dave says:

      Teri, the disks are created from the recovery partition and should only contain factory settings. But it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that a virus could also infect that area. I would make them and use them if you are having issues. You need to have them, even if you do not plan on using them now.

      • Teri says:

        Thank you very much for your help. I am going to make them and see what happens. It can’t get much worse…

  50. Ingrid says:

    I Want to go back to my original state, with all my Icons and programs installed and after the emergency backup and reboot that wipe everything.

    HELP
    Is there any chance to go back?

    • Dave Dave says:

      So you did a factory restore that wiped all of your data? As far as I know there is no way back. But you might be able to get some of the data back using a program called Recuva.

  51. James says:

    I am running a factory restore on a 1 TB hard drive. How long should it take because I’m going on 17 hours now and I’m at 46%, and it has been at 46% for 2 hours now. Suggestions?

    • Dave Dave says:

      It should only take an hour or so to finish. The fact that it’s taking so long could indicate a hard drive problem. Was it giving you problems before the restore?

  52. Patrick says:

    Just for the benefit of others, I was restoring an XPS from the Dell DataSafe factory image and it was stuck on 1% for over an hour. All I had connected was a monitor, a USB mouse and USB keyboard.
    I ended up powering down, restarted via F8 and started the restore again but before I restarted it I moved the mouse into a different USB port and I disconnected the keyboard completely (I left it plugged in when first booting so I could hit F8, then removed before starting the restore).
    Then when I started the restore again it just zoomed through and finished in about 10 minutes. Woo hoo!
    So, if you are stuck for more than 15 minutes at one spot I think you need to try something else as it is probably never going to move.

  53. Rick says:

    On my laptop the option is missing i mean this “Dell data safe restore” so i cant restore factory setting i seen the recovery partition n yes it is in good condition y it is missing a month ago i restored n now it is vanished ??????
    is there any other way to restore factory image setting????

    • Dave Dave says:

      Hi Rick. I always recommend going to the Dell site and looking for the manual for your specific model. It will be located it the support and drivers section and is good to have.

  54. Madhu says:

    Hi Dave,

    I saw your wonderful advises, i am also in same situation, please help me. I am using dell laptop 1558 studio, suddenly got restarted but windows did not load, showing blue screen error stop. I tried to reinstall windows but my harddisk partitions are not displayed. Please suggest.

  55. Terra says:

    Hi Dave,

    I got a virus on my Dell Inspiron with Windows 7 and tried to do a factory restore. When it loaded and I selected the restore to factory image, after about 20 minutes, it came back and said that there wasn’t enough memory to complete the restore. I know that I had 240GB free on my C;/ before I started. Now when I try and restart my computer, it automatically goes into startup repair, and takes 5 days to finally restart. Usually it takes 2 days to get through the looking for problems stage, then 3 days to get through the repair stage. Does this mean I have issues with my hard drive? do you have any recommendations? Thanks!

  56. Jack says:

    I did a Dell DataSafe restore for a friend and I used a SD Card to store the files. Now that his system is great my SD card won’t format. Any suggestions on how to restore my SD card to blankness again? : o (

  57. Laura says:

    Hi! Need help please! My computer messed up and wouldn’t work even with a startup repair so I did a full factory settings re boot. It only took 1 hour to get to 99 percent but its been stuck at 99 percent for 10 HOURS! What do I do :(

    • Dave Dave says:

      Not sure why it did not finish. The entire process should only take an hour or less. At this point you have no recourse but to restart the machine and see what happens. You could have a faulty hard drive. Also, I would remove any printers, cameras, and any other USB devices you have added. If they’re plugged in they might be causing driver issues.

  58. Elisa says:

    I stupidly never made backups with Datasafe, as I make copies of my files to Dropbox once every 2 weeks or so. Sadly, my last 2 weeks of work are vital and I have no backup.

    Yesterday, I turned on my computer from sleep mode and it said that windows could not start up (in normsl or safe mode). a dialog box popped up, giving me diagnostic choices, and it couldnt figure out why windows startup was failing. i clicked system restore, and despite having other restore points in the past, the only restore point available to me was from the previous night, where I saw that in the middle of the night, windows updated on its own. Of course, that system restore failed.

    As a last resort, I ran the datasafe option, which allowed me to make a file and folder backup, but only to its own c drive partition.

    I ran the program, it backed up everything, and now it has been stuck on 1% on the screen that says it is reinstalling my selected system backup for 10 hours. It says not to restart the computer or risk damage…what do I do?

  59. Elisa says:

    I stupidly never made backups with Datasafe, as I make copies of my files to Dropbox once every 2 weeks or so. Sadly, my last 2 weeks of work are vital and I have no backup.

    Yesterday, I turned on my computer from sleep mode and it said that windows could not start up (in normsl or safe mode). a dialog box popped up, giving me diagnostic choices, and it couldnt figure out why windows startup was failing. i clicked system restore, and despite having other restore points in the past, the only restore point available to me was from the previous night, where I saw that in the middle of the night, windows updated on its own. Of course, that system restore failed.
    As a last resort, I ran the datasafe option, which allowed me to make a file and folder backup, but only to its own c drive partition.
    I ran the program, it backed up everything, and now it has been stuck on 1% on the screen that says it is reinstalling my selected system backup for 10 hours. It says not to restart the computer or risk damage…what do I do?

  60. Elisa says:

    Yesterday, I turned on my computer from sleep mode and it said that windows could not start up (in normsl or safe mode). a dialog box popped up, giving me diagnostic choices, and it couldnt figure out why windows startup was failing. i clicked system restore, and despite having other restore points in the past, the only restore point available to me was from the previous night, where I saw that in the middle of the night, windows updated on its own. Of course, that system restore failed.
    As a last resort, I ran the datasafe option, which allowed me to make a file and folder backup, but only to its own c drive partition.
    I ran the program, it backed up everything, and now it has been stuck on 1% on the screen that says it is reinstalling my selected system backup for 10 hours. It says not to restart the computer or risk damage…what do I do?

  61. Elisa says:

    I ran the datasafe option, which allowed me to make a file and folder backup, but only to its own c drive partition.
    I ran the program, it backed up everything, and now it has been stuck on 1% on the screen that says it is reinstalling my selected system backup for 10 hours. It says not to restart the computer or risk damage…what do I do?

  62. Elisa says:

    Sorry about the multiple posts – it kept saying there was an error and to try again.

    • Dave Dave says:

      We should worry about your data first. Consider downloading a Linux Live disk, such as Ubuntu. You can run the entire Operating System from a USB drive. If you are able to get into Linux, you should be able to browse the hard drive and get the data off. Try posting in our forums for additional help. The forums are a better place to troubleshoot lengthy problems and resolutions.

  63. Grace says:

    I tried to do a restore and it worked, but now everytime I turn on the laptop it crashes. It worked fine before the restore.

  64. dachief says:

    I would recommend that you post a large caveat about using datasafe since there are many issues with it – can’t finalize DVD-S, can’t recognize working flash drives. Until Dell fixes this, it’s dangerous to even recommend that people use it.

  65. Wendy says:

    Using Dell DataSafe Local Backup, on Restore My Computer…I was stuck at 42% for several hours, took your advice of unplugging printer my progress jumped to 52%… I’m trying to be patient… Still at 52% 10 min later.

  66. nidhi says:

    i have created recovery DVDS for my dell vostro 1550 using dell datasafe local backup. now i want to know how i use those recovery dvds to restore my system. is there any changes made to drives other than C

    • Dave Dave says:

      The system will revert back to factory state. So if you have a single disk that is partitioned with a C and D drive, and you have made changes to the D drive, it will be reverted back. Other physical drives that have been added after the fact should be fine, but I always like to unplug them, anyway.

  67. JamieWalsh says:

    After Dell digital delivery popped up (after a previous factory state restore) my computer completely froze and went black. I ended up retrying the factory state method yet only got to 57% until it stayed at that percentage for six hours. I see the HDD LED on my inspiron 15r laptop flash during boot-up, maybe it’s just corrupt? Is there any other reason why my internal back up to factory settings would be doing this? I cannot even access anything past repair options due to me shutting it off after six hours. Basically, Dell’s program screwed my laptop and they won’t compensate at all… Please help Dave.

    • Dave Dave says:

      I’m not sure what model you have but try tapping F12 when booting. See if you see an option to run diagnostics. I wonder if the hard drive might be going bad. If it clears the diagnostic without errors you may have no recourse but to purchase recovery disks from Dell.