I used to have a dual boot with Windows on one drive and Ubuntu in another. Then I don’t know what I did but I cannot restore windows to factory settings using the USB recovery media. So this is what happened:

— I had a dual boot system, Windows on one drive and Ubuntu in another, booting with UEFI, which means both drives had an UEFI partition.

— I erased Ubuntu, until here everything was fine.

— I reinstalled Ubuntu but it was crashing, so in the installing-reinstalling process I messes up the bios (or something related to the boot) of Windows.

— I decided to do a full factory recovery but every time I was running the USB recovery media it told me that it cannot find the system drive, it could not find the image and nothing was working.

— I installed Ubuntu instead and wiped out all of windows from the first drive. Ubuntu is running good, which means (I think) the hardware can be detected and it works properly.

— I tried the recovery media for Windows again and it stills tells me that it can’t find the system drive or an image.

I just want to put windows back with factory settings.


I could not do the PC recovery using the usb I had, so, I deleted my two hard drives completely. Then, I installed Ubuntu, and from Ubuntu I downloaded de factory image of my laptop from the Dell website. Finally, I used that image on the laptop.

  • Did you delete all the Windows Partitions, then? That's what it sounds like based on your description. What type of recovery media are you booting from, it sounds like it's just bootable Windows RE which doesn't have an image on it. – Allen Howard Feb 14 '18 at 16:14
  • I have an USB recovery media. Yes I deleted all of Windows. – Luis Feb 14 '18 at 16:16
  • The system image should be stored on that USB drive, then, otherwise it would need the recovery partition from the hard drive. – Allen Howard Feb 14 '18 at 16:17
  • It seems it is asking for the recovery partition. But if I have the USB media, why it cannot recover from it? Can it be damaged? – Luis Feb 14 '18 at 16:20
  • It may not be the full recovery media, it may just be the Window RE in order to boot a system in case it has failed. How much space is used on the flash drive? That should help to determine what is on it. – Allen Howard Feb 14 '18 at 17:17

Look into USB boot settings in BIOS. Some older bios' had options to emulate an HDD when a USB boot stick is used. in these cases, the USB drive may map itself as the C: drive and may not allow access to other physical hard disks or move those drive to other mapping points. Check to see if your drive letters are changed when booting from the USB stick.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.