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This may have been asked before, but not for Windows 8. How do you create the factory restore media for a Dell Laptop (a Dell XPS 15 in my case) before I go and do something stupid with it.

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You could also use the new Refresh Feature and capture your own WIM with recImg.

Refreshing your PC to a state you define, including desktop apps

We know that many of you like to first configure your PC just the way you like it, by installing favorite desktop apps or removing apps that came with the PC, and then create an image of the hard drive before you start using the PC. This way, when you need to start over, you can just restore the image and you won’t have to reinstall the apps from scratch.

With this in mind, we’ve made it possible for you to establish your own baseline image via a command-line tool (recimg.exe). So when you get a Windows 8 PC, you will be able to do the following:

 Go through the Windows first-run experience to configure basic settings.
 Install your favorite desktop apps (or uninstall things you don’t want).
 Configure the machine exactly as you would like it.
 Use recimg.exe to capture and set your custom image of the system.
recimg -CreateImage C:\RefreshImage

This works for all Windows 8 installations not only OEM devices.

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Nice, but that's not the Dell Factory restore media, that's a Win8 restore image. – Aethylred Dec 27 '12 at 23:46
yes, but this works for all Win8 devices ;) – magicandre1981 Dec 28 '12 at 4:54
ah, but the question wasn't about all Win8 devices :) – Aethylred Dec 28 '12 at 11:36
up vote 0 down vote accepted

First you will need some media to write the restore images to. The Dell factory restore handles multiple disks so writable DVDs will do. If you want to have a single restore disk, either a writable dual layer DVD or an 8GB USB stick will be required.

I strongly recommend that you do not attempt to do this on a laptop with low charge. I do recommend that a laptop is connected to a power supply. This will not go well if your laptop runs out of battery and shuts down.

With windows 8, use the Search charm to find the Dell Backup and Recovery tool and run it.

Click on the Recovery Media icon. The tool will then look for a drive suitable for creating the recovery media. Insert this now and wait for the Dell Backup and Recovery tool to detect it.

Once your media has been detected, select it from the list, and click on the Start button. It may take some time to write out and verify the media (15-20 minutes on my laptop).

Close the Dell Backup and Recovery tool, and then eject your media. Label it carefully, an put it in a safe place. Away from 2 year old hoodlums and/or house rabbits.

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