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I have a dell xps with windows 7 and I've been told that using recovery partitions is easier to do when you don't have an OS disc.

So I backed up and booted to the f8 menu to select the restore option, but it isn't there.

I check the backup (I took one of the recovery partition as well) and there is nothing there expect ADRInfos.xml and an empty recovery folder (there are no hidden files).

I took the OEM key and the product key is on the laptop itself (for windows 7), so what is my best option? Format and install windows 7 from an iso I have and then using product key + OEM? Will that work?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You probably will not have a problem just formatting and reinstalling with the laptop key as long as its the same hard drive it was originally on. And the versions match, ie the install disc is not for an upgrade edition or something.

If it doesn't work you have the option of contacting Dell or Microsoft and explaining the situation and they should get it working for you.

You'll need to download a bunch of drivers right away with the oem cd though. If possible have this ready beforehand on a USB stick. Can get everything from dell support site.

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