Posted 17 November 2007 - 11:32 AM
I've seen some Dell's with recovery partitions, but most don't have them. To use it you'd have to locate it through the boot menu and use it from there (try pressing F12 as the system first boots up).
Dells generally come with recovery CD's - and you can use them to do a repair install. The OS CD is usually purple in color - although I've occasionally seen other colors (blue and green come to mind) - but they all say that they're the Operating System disk.
Yes, you can use the Dell CD's to wipe the system and start over. Be sure to install everything from the CD's that you'll need (you can leave out a lot of the add-on stuff if you'd like). It's a tedious process but you'll be able to restore everything including the drivers with it.
You may be able to use your XP CD if it's the proper type of XP (Home, Media Center, Pro) and if it's an OEM CD. If not, it won't accept the product key from the Dell - but the drive will be a new one so you don't have much to lose by trying it. The Dell CD's are preferable tho', as they'll have the drivers that you'll need (where your XP CD won't have them).
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