Dell Dimension 3000 Factory Restore Help Needed!

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by 70JUDGE, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. 70JUDGE

    70JUDGE

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    I have a Dell Dimension 3000 that I have been trying to restore to factory specs,and I'm having some trouble.The first think I tried was the Windows XP SP2 cd that came with it,and all that did was come up with ALOT of files that it couldn't copy.So I tried another drive,same thing.I then tried to put on a Windows XP upgrade that I had,but it wouldn't let me use the product key from the machine.So I come to the conclusion that the Dell cd is bad,and would like to know if all Dell Windows XP SP2 discs are the same,and I can use my key with one of them?How much are they from Dell?Why didn't the retail copy of XP work?Does Dell have something on their discs to prevent it?Also I noticed that it didn't restore the partitions that it originally had.Why is that?I thought that is what a factory restore did?Any help is greatly appreciated.Thank You very much!
    Tyler
     
  2. Ob1

    Ob1 EGO MY LEGO

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    dell restore disc that you got with your pc is tied only to the product key that came with that pc, you cant use a different product key with that cd. i believe all you have to do is contact dell and tell them your restore disc is scratched and you can't restore your pc with it, they should ship you out another one, i dont think they charge for it, except for shipping and handling.

    The retail copy of XP, must use the product key that came with that one, you can't use the dell product key with the retail upgrade disc. its was a way to prevent software piracy, by not letting product keys work with all copies of XP whether retail or OEM restore discs from Dell, HP, etc.
     
  3. 70JUDGE

    70JUDGE

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    So there is something on MY Dell cd so that I couldn't get my neighbors Dell cd,and use my code for it?Is that what you are saying?I thought all the discs were the same,just different codes?Somewhere I thought I read that.So when I call Dell,do I have to tell them my product key so they will give me a disc with my code on it?Thank You very much!

    Tyler
     
  4. TallTravel

    TallTravel

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    I had a Dell Dimension 3000


    Tyler:

    I had a Dimension 3000 which I had to restore about six months ago. I called to speak with support, and I most definitely had to give them the product key on the PC before they would even say hello. They can, in some situations, pull that product key up based on other matching information you might give them (phone number at registration time, I think, etc)

    I most definitely do not think all discs are the same. Each one seems to match a general set of features on a PC, and with their range of PC's i don't think they ship standard discs with each one. Different, newer, hardware on one PC which just one month before was not even available, as an example, would require two Dimension 3000's sold a month apart to have different drivers, right?

    Lots of variation, in my experience, causes them to match the product key against a specific build.

    Good luck.
     
  5. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    You can use your neighbor's Dell CD. They still use generic XP CD's locked to a Dell bios. You will need the Resource CD that came with YOUR machine to install the correct drivers. A reload using a Dell XP CD will NOT ask for a product key and it WILL be preactivated.

    Why don't you just use the builtin restore from the recovery partition? I believe that's Ctrl+F11 on startup. You also should run hardware diagnostics, that's F12 on startup for the menu. I would suspect hardware problems just as much as a bad CD for the failure to reinstall properly.

    If you have wiped the partitions already, neither of those options are available to you any more and there is no way for you to recreate those partitions, you will have to reload from CD and either the Resource CD or downloaded drivers, and you will have NONE of the preinstalled applications unless CD's for those were provided. Dells have a small FAT partition (approx. 32mb) at the beginning with diagnostics, followed by the main system NTFS partition, then a 4gb or so hidden recovery partition at the end of the drive. You can boot from the Resource CD to run diagnostics.
     
  6. TallTravel

    TallTravel

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    There is a lot more to a restore than just the OS

    Tyler:

    I found out first hand that restoring the OS is not the same as restoring the drivers, applications, and all the related functions. Like me, you probably expect that a restore will result in your Dell being similar if not identical to the way it was before the problems started, but there is a lot that has to happen to accomplish this, meaning much more than just the OS restore.

    I wish I had never done it on my Dell.
     
  7. 70JUDGE

    70JUDGE

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    So what do I have to do to get the machine back to as close as I can to the factory specs? I did format the partitions.Will the discs put the partitions back on,or are you saying that none of them will?Thank You very much!


    Tyler
     
  8. Ob1

    Ob1 EGO MY LEGO

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    it should put the partitions back on the computer by installing from the disc. but you will also have to get your driver disc so your audio, chipset, video, network card, etc working properly by installing all of those drivers, and the application discs to reinstall all applications that you want.

    you can also download the latest drivers for you dell by visiting there website and look under support & help and select drivers and downloads and enter in either your service tag # or your model # to search for the drivers. you might not be able to do this after restoring your pc if your network card drivers aren't installed. you can either use a different pc to download them and either burn to a disc and then install them on your pc or if you have your drivers disc that came with your computer, then install just the nic drivers and then go get the updated drivers then
     
  9. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    No, the restore CD does not put the diagnostic partition or the recovery partition back on, much less drivers and applications. By blowing the partitions away, you forever closed that door. As I said, the restore CD is a simple generic XP CD that's keyed to a Dell bios and preactivated. You now have to manually reinstall ALL drivers and applications individually, there is no way to put it back exactly the way it came.
     
  10. 70JUDGE

    70JUDGE

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  11. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    That is why I suggested you run diagnostics.
     
  12. 70JUDGE

    70JUDGE

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    But with all the partitions gone,that program was gone too,right?Are there programs out there that test parts like the ram?Well at least I have more hard drive space with all that gone! HA! HA!Thanks Again!
    Tyler
     
  13. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Refer to my post #5 -

     

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