So, a while back I installed Microsoft Vista Beta2 on my Dell machine. Seems that it must have overwritten the master boot record (MBR). I wanted to revert back to Windows XP Media Center Edition that came on my box, so I fired it up, and hit F12 to goto the boot selection. Where is system restore? not there – wtf. So i look online, you need to hit ctrl+F11 to get the restore partition – even though that isnt stated anywhere when booting, or the sheets that came with the PC. Do they expect everyone to have 2 computers so they can figure this out? Anyways, ctrl+F11 – not working at all. So I hop on dell.com, get on live chat, and talk to not 1, but 2 different techs – they tell me I am screwed – need to get the cd’s (which, btw, they dont ship by default anymore with new systems). I think to myself, there has got to be a way to get to that partition – i never deleted it, so it is still there. More spelunking on the internet, and I find this site. Seems that someone has created a utility to fix your mbr and get to your restore partition.
Ok – seems that I have what I need, right? Well, next step – find a old win98 cd so I can boot it up. Copy the utilities on the restore partition site to my flash drive, and boot to the cd. I run the utility, and I have one alert – easily fixable. I run the fix, reboot, and ctrl+f11 works, and I am in the symantec ghost restore partition – two clicks later – its restoring and a few minutes later I am back into winXP MCE.
My biggest gripe/question with all of this is, why didn’t dell
#1 – create this utility themselves
#2 – steer me in the right direction
#3 – ship the cd’s with my system
Now it maybe just me, but you would think they spend more $$ on support than it would cost to ship the cd’s in the first place. Anyways, I’m back to my old system, so I am happy :)