Solved

Windows 8 reinstallation using files from recovery partition (damaged disk)

Posted on 2014-01-04
4
1,996 Views
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi,
I have a Dell Inspiron 3521 with Windows 8. It has no COA label/activation code on the underside (presumably it's license is tied to the BIOS).  The disk is damaged, unbootable and no recover disks were ever made.  However, I was able to get the full contents of the 4th and 6th partitions which seem to house the recovery setup.  I've also gotten most of the data from the windows partition.

Partition 6 has two small .wim files and 4 .swm files which are 3-4Gb in size.  I've attached a screen dump to show the partition's files and directories.

Some points to note:
I can't get a recovery DVD from Dell or any other source
I don't have any other Windows 8 media to work with

My question is, is there any way I can restore this PC to a new disk using what I've saved from the recovery partitions?  I've attached screenshots showing the files/folders of partitions 4 and 6 with the WIM and SWM files highlighted.

Thanks in advance!
partition-4.gif
partition-6.gif
0
Comment
Question by:mark_D74
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
4 Comments
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Korbus
ID: 39756313
Hi Mark,

I have not run into this situation before, but when I looked up .WIM files (windows image), I found MS does indeed have software to "deploy" these files:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj979425(v=winembedded.81).aspx

this part in particular seemed like it would be useul to your situation:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj979690(v=winembedded.81).aspx

Looks like you need to know which of those two WIM files you have are neede to deploy.

It also appears that those SWM files in the dll folder can be opened with 7zip
http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Recovery/How-do-I-restore-backup1-swm-files-created-during-system/td-p/1414171

Sounds like a pretty hairy situation with no recovery disks,  Good luck.  (By the way, wont dell let you download the recovery disks?)
0
 
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

by:
Miftaul earned 500 total points
ID: 39756321
Oem version of widows are preactivated. You could reinstall that as long as the partitions are intact. Only option left is to get the OEM dvd, you might have to buy that.

Here is what Dell says - link
0
 
LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 39756348
If the Inspiron is still under warranty and you're in the US you can order re-installation media by using your Service Tag here:
https://www.dell.com/support/diagnostics/us/en/19/nondiagnostichome?c=us&l=en&s=dhs

Your CoA sticker should be in the battery compartment or it will be a BIOS embedded product key.  Either way you need a Win8 boot environment to launch the recovery from which without a bootable environment or an OS DVD you simply don't have.

Why aren't Dell helping?
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:mark_D74
ID: 39769260
This wasn't the solution I asked about, but in the end, was the one that worked. I obtained an ISO of the correct Dell reinstallation DVD and it worked perfectly.
0

Featured Post

Enroll in May's Course of the Month

May’s Course of the Month is now available! Experts Exchange’s Premium Members and Team Accounts have access to a complimentary course each month as part of their membership—an extra way to increase training and boost professional development.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Restart "sometimes" fails 11 64
google retention policy 4 127
Optimizing SAN 16 54
Remote Desktop Shadow Connection 4 27
In this article you will get to know about pros and cons of storage drives HDD, SSD and SSHD.
Windows 7 does not have the best desktop search built in. This is something Windows 7 users have struggled with. You type something in, and your search results don’t always match what you are looking for, or it doesn’t actually work at all. There ar…
This video Micro Tutorial explains how to clone a hard drive using a commercial software product for Windows systems called Casper from Future Systems Solutions (FSS). Cloning makes an exact, complete copy of one hard disk drive (HDD) onto another d…
Finding and deleting duplicate (picture) files can be a time consuming task. My wife and I, our three kids and their families all share one dilemma: Managing our pictures. Between desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and cameras; over the last decade…

734 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question