In plain English - how do you wipe these Dell partitions and restore points!?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by optech290, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    I don't know if I was clear in a previous post, but I want a clean reformat
    and reinstall on a Dell Dimension 3000. I haven't bought a Dell in years
    and this is a friend's unit. I'm just getting into their method of loading
    an XP OS, and as I stated before, I can't boot from the system created OS
    backup CD-rom (no matter how often I change the BIOS settings).

    I"m not even sure the MS site download for creating a set of floppy boot
    disks will work with Dell's series of tools and utilites.

    All I want is a nice simple install with a set of programs of my choosing
    and none of Dell's utilities (and spyware).

    (Please excuse the crosspost. After reading the Dell forums and seeing how
    many experienced users have problems with this Dell interface, boot up OS
    disks and OS setup), I thought it might be useful to have as many responses
    as possible for future net searches).

    Whatever happened to the days when you would load your own OS and they
    provided the disks. Can you request it? Don't they charge extra for the
    bloated utility and restore partition load they send out now? Please don't
    tell me that McAfee's memory intensive, resource heavy software suite is
    pre-loaded, too?
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. optech290

    Ben Myers Guest

    You still may be able to get Windows XP and driver CDs from Dell. Call them
    up, tell them that creating a "backup" install CD did not work for you, and ask
    them to send out the necessary CDs. They may charge you for them, but it is
    worth the $10 or so they are claimed to charge. You can request installation
    CDs at the time of order for a price.

    Dell is possibly the last of the name brand computer companies to automatically
    stop sending out all the CDs in the box with the computer, but they done it.

    I typically get rid of the McAfee bloatware on any Dell I touch. There are far
    better alternatives... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 20, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. optech290

    DJ Guest

    FDISK from a win98 boot disk. Delete everything.
    Then just put the XP cd in, reload windows, and start from scratch.
    Download the drivers from dell when you are done. has boot disk for all boot media.
    DJ, Aug 20, 2006
  4. optech290

    DJ Guest

    Oh yeah, I meant to tell you the CD you use matters, but all MS cares
    about is the sticker on the computer with the serial #.
    DJ, Aug 20, 2006
  5. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    I'm going to try that. The only thing that worries me is this recreated
    Dell OS system disk. If I can't boot up now from it and the autorun
    feature only activates after boot up, who's to say I'll be able to do a

    Can someone check their XP OS disk and see what file BIOS recognizes at
    bootup that allows it to boot from the cd-rom?
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
  6. optech290

    Jay B Guest

    you still dont get it,
    the hidden boot sector on the cd rom is missing.
    it is not bootable.
    you cant do what you expect.
    you need to boot from a windows cd to install it.
    get another cd, or try making it again.
    Jay B, Aug 20, 2006
  7. optech290

    DatabaseBen Guest

    Yes, you have to understand that if you don't want nothin of the Dell O.S.
    installed, then you need to get / buy a Window CD from the store. If you
    use the Dell OEM Windows CD's, you will get all that stuff you are trying to
    avoid. But any unwanted software can be unistalled later. Some PC's have a
    hidden partition that has a dos restore program. This hidden program then
    instructs you to provide the cd's in numerical order so that the system
    partition can be rebuilt.

    To access the hidden partition, you need to press somekind of f key during
    the booting. The instructions should be found at the Dell site. If you
    simply cannot get beyond the cmos/bios screen, then you need to obtain
    emergency boot up disks from another computer. Then use them to repair or
    setup your harddrive. If by chance the hidden drive was wiped away, you may
    want to download the restore program from dell via another pc that can help
    restore the hd with the cd's. But I think it is unlikely that the hidden
    drive was wiped away, as an "extra and specialized effort has to be made to
    do this.

    As a temporary fix, you could use another windows cd to setup the computer.
    Because you should not activate it, you will have a limited number of times
    that it is usuable before it stops functioning. This can provide you with
    the ability to get the harddrive back into its original state with the OEM
    you have..... (If you use this method, be sure not to be connected to the
    internet when installing someones elses cd to repair your oem version)

    Hopes this provides additional fyi with everyone elses......
    DatabaseBen, Aug 20, 2006
  8. optech290

    Bob Levine Guest

    That is total crap. The Dell OEM CDs are effectively the same as any
    retail CD with possibly some Dell drivers and installation info so that
    it doesn't need to be activated.
    I just nobody believed any of it.

    Bob Levine, Aug 20, 2006
  9. optech290

    Tom Scales Guest

    Yeah, I can't believe how little is known about Dell. Dell XP is XP.
    Tom Scales, Aug 20, 2006
  10. optech290

    Rebecca Guest

    Well, not quite. Dell has two types of Dell-branded 'generic' XP CDs: One
    will not install on anything except a Dell PC, the other installs on any PC.
    Both need to be activated, neither has any special drivers that any other
    OEM XP CD has.

    Dell also makes Recovery XP CDs that don't require activation and have
    special Dell stuff on them, but those CDs aren't even close to "the same as
    any retail CD".
    Rebecca, Aug 20, 2006
  11. optech290

    Rebecca Guest

    Rebecca, Aug 20, 2006
  12. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    Between what you wrote above (and what I've read elsewhere about the
    activation keys being burned into the motherboard (don't know if that's a
    joke or not), you seem to be saying that unless I buy a completely new
    Windows XP package, the only way I can reinstall the Dell OS disk (even if
    I order one from them to replace my system created one) is if I restore the
    hidden partition!

    What a pain in the neck! Remember - this isn't my computer. I'm trying to
    do this for a friend who bought it as an extra machine for his office.

    No wonder these machines are so cheap. They probably have someone making
    $.50 an hour in a foreign country pre-installing these drives, so that the
    novices are indebted to Dell customer service when something goes wrong.
    The cases and the boards are proprietary, the chips are Celeron's, the
    power supplies are weak. No wonder PC Mag recommends the e-machines over
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
  13. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    Great. Now everything I read and responded to in the previous post is

    Has anyone here ever rebooted from a Dell Dimension 3000 (recreated or
    restored using the Dell utility) OS disk?

    Btw, the Dell system is programmed to remove the option to create the disk
    right after you burn it!
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
  14. optech290

    optech290 Guest

    are these the same as the OS restore disk that the Dell utility creates as
    a "one time" option?

    If so, do you know whether you can boot directly from the cdrom drive using
    this atrocious invention of a disk?!
    optech290, Aug 20, 2006
  15. optech290

    pen Guest

    I haven't followed all of this thread, but this statement of yours is
    Dells can be restored from the hidden partition OR they can be bare
    from either the DELL XP disk OR ANY XP disk . Only in the last case is
    activation required. The DELL disk checks the BIOS to see if its a DELL.
    pen, Aug 20, 2006
  16. optech290

    Tom Scales Guest


    Sorry, but absolutely none of this is correct. Dell has ONE kind of XP CD,
    which is a standard XP CD with Dell drivers slipstreamed. It is BIOS locked
    and does NOT require activation on a Dell, but will if used as a OEM CD for
    another brand.

    Dell does not have ANY Restore CDs that include the applications.

    Tom Scales, Aug 20, 2006
  17. optech290


    Don't talk rubbish. DELL CDs are complete versions of MS products
    without any of their own stuff. When did you last buy a dell product?
    You really need to think before making any more false statements. You
    are worst than MVPs on this NGs!
    ANONYMOUS, Aug 20, 2006
  18. optech290

    Bob Levine Guest

    Well, I've got a stack of CDs that don't require activation on any Dell
    machine but install just fine other OEM machines and activate fine with
    an OEM CD Key.
    Where are you? How many Dells have you owned, worked on?

    Bob Levine, Aug 20, 2006
  19. optech290


    For dell support, you can post and get free advice from here:

    On MS Newsgroup, there are some who dislikes everything about DELL and
    there are some who sleep beside a DELL system. The arguments will
    invariably lead to insults and contradictions. Best thing is to go to
    DELL'w own forum which is moderated and insults are not tolerated.

    Just make sure you create your own account (FREE) and use a web based
    email such as AIM ( which can be
    read using Outlook or Outlook Express.

    ANONYMOUS, Aug 20, 2006
  20. optech290

    Rebecca Guest

    Fucking incredible! Where do you get your information? Don't get it there,
    it's wrong.
    Rebecca, Aug 20, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.