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I have a Dell xps15 and I want to run the recovery to set the laptop back to factory settings. I have the OS on C: and have D: which has other files and docs not related to the OS.

Does running recovery delete all files on all drives (C: and D:) or just the OS drive C:?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Best check on Dell Support site for details.

In general it should ONLY touch C: drive. But if you have created the D: partition yourself (eg. it is not a part of original factory build) then theres a good chance you will loose it too.

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The built in restore will not affect other partitions on the hard drive., Just the C: Partition.

If you are using the Recovery Media then you will have an option of what partition to install it on. As long as you choose the C: partition, then any other partitions will be untouched.

Just be aware that anything you 'installed' on your computer will likely need to be re-installed. When you install an application the OS puts files all over the place and uses pointers to keep track of them all. The pointer or (junction) references are stored in the registry, which is stored on the C:\ drive.

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Factory Reset:

Factory Reset removes all partitions, reformats the entire hard drive, reinstalls the original operating system, and reinstalls all the original hardware drivers and software.

This option also recreates the required Recovery partition (usually D:) and UEFI partition (usually E:) and reinstalls the required software.

The Factory Reset option returns all of the notebook's software to the condition it was in at the time of purchase. All user changes or additions are removed.


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-1 as this information is for HP, the OP asks about Dell and they could have different rules/terminology – Dave Dec 17 '13 at 8:27

Factory Reset The Factory Reset option does the following:

Removes all partitions.

Reformats all hard drives.

Re-installs the original operating system on the default system drive (usually the C: drive).

Re-installs all original hardware drivers.

Re-installs all original trial software.

This recovery option returns all of the notebook's software to the condition it was in at the time of purchase. Any programs you installed after purchase and any files you created will be removed entirely.

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This is plagerism, you've stolen the content from here, not cited the source and this is about HP where as OP is about Dell. -1 – Dave Dec 17 '13 at 8:29

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