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I'm having trouble accessing the Dell Utility/Recovery Partition.

I've seen all kinds of articles online that tell me to press some magic key combo when I see the Dell splash screen, but I never see the Dell splash screen. Just the initial boot screen and then straight to the Windows XP screen.

I know the Dell partition is there because I saw it when I attempted to reinstall windows.

What is the easiest way for me to boot from the Dell Partition so I can re-image the machine back to factory defaults?

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What model is your Dell? –  Force Flow Oct 10 '10 at 22:30
    
@Force Flow: Inspiron 1501 (Laptop) –  theycallmemorty Oct 10 '10 at 22:32
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2 Answers

The splash screen is the Dell logo with a loading bar. If it's been disabled, you'll see a listing of your system specs (RAM, CPU, drives, etc).

During that time, press Ctrl+F11

If it doesn't appear, you might not have the PC Restore feature and will have to use the CDs that came with your laptop.

[edit]: Your laptop's manual can be found here. Jump to page 84.

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After some further investigation, the steps outlined above were not working because the Master Boot Record had changed and did not know about the Dell Recovery Partition. I had to burn a CD and boot from it in order to repair the partition and gain access to the Dell Recovery software. –  theycallmemorty Oct 10 '10 at 22:54
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I did some digging and found the answer to my question here:

http://tp0x45.blogspot.com/2008/04/solved-system-restore-dsr-fix-dell.html

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