Dell Operating System Download, WIN8.

WORKS2011 used Ask the Experts™
Dell Inspiron just over two years old hard drive crashed. Backups and restore are not working, I was able to get the data off the drive however I don't have the operating system (since the restore is not working).

How do I go about downloading a version of the OS? Is it an option from Dell or Microsoft?
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Computer Technician
Top Expert 2015
You can get the Windows 8.1 ISO from Microsoft.

Download the media creation tool to get started.

This is probably a Dell option you might want to use. That's because the above solution (Win 8.1 ISO download) requires a CD key, which most big brands (Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, etc.) don't provide anymore. Just look around the case of your Dell, and look for anything closely resembling a Microsoft sticker. You'll probably find a small Win8 square holo sticker. But, you actually need a much longer rectangular one that fits the 25 character long CD key. If you CAN'T find that key, you need a full system restore DVD from Dell (they may charge you a small amount to send it to you).
If you have more if the same model lying around though, the solution would be faster, just clone the disk, follow up with a full image reset.
WORKS2011Managed IT Services, Cyber Security, Backup


Will I experience any problems activating the software? I've used this once before and I could not get the software to take the product key no matter what. Turns out there's an issue known to MS.

If I understand this is a trial and the activation problem may come about mentioned above.

Do you know a way to get the download from Dell or Microsoft that will work with my device, I have a product key and express service code.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

If you get the Dell Recovery DVD, there will be no licensing issues.
If you have to purchase Windows 8, there will be no licensing issues.

At this point, especially if you have to pay, move to Windows 10 Pro. Best move.

Even if Dell send you a recovery DVD, install it and upgrade directly to Windows 10.
*** Hopeleonie ***IT Manager

So you have an OEM key? If yes just download the Windows 10 media creation tool

and install Windows 10. You can use the Windows 8 key for the installation. If you have problems with the activation just call Microsoft.

Happy Xmas!
Distinguished Expert 2017

Are you able to clone the recovery partition from the old drive onto the new? Then using the recovery option you can have the system restore the OS from the recovery partition onto the drive.....

If the Dell included software is not an issue, I'd echo the John and hopeleonie to get the windows 10 and install it.
WORKS2011Managed IT Services, Cyber Security, Backup


worked without error downloading and installing the download tool, thank you.

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