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Restoring Windows 7 Dell Factory Image After Windows 10 Upgrade #

Restoring a Dell factory image is usually performed by pressing F8 during boot to open the Advanced Boot Options menu and then navigating to "Repair Your Computer" > "Dell Factory Image Restore".

Upgrading to Windows 10 breaks this functionality. Here is an alternate method for restoring the factory image; unlike the usual method, a current Windows username and password is not required:
  1. Backup, backup, backup! This process will erase the entire contents of the OS partition.
  2. Boot from Windows 7 DVD
  3. Press Shift+F10 at language selection screen to launch cmd.exe
  4. Check drive letter assignments carefully; they may well differ from the ones shown here (in my case, the RECOVERY partition was assigned C: while the OS partition (which is assigned C: when booted normally) was assigned D:)
  5. Copy imagex.exe (or imagex64.exe for 64-bit boot discs) to the RECOVERY partition (C: in this example)
  6. Check the factory image:
    C:\>imagex.exe /dir C:\Dell\Image\Factory.wim 1
  7. Format the OS partition
  8. Restore the factory image to the OS partition:
    C:\>imagex.exe /apply C:\Dell\Image\Factory.wim 1 D:
Notes & Updates References

/windows | Mar 30, 2016


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