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Dell Issue - Fresh Win Inst on new HDD


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#1 nojokeve

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Posted 14 March 2015 - 11:50 PM

Dell Inspiron 3521. FOUR months past the warranty, the hard drive FAILS.  Apparently this is a common problem with this laptop.

 

Bought a new hard drive, BIOS recognizes hard drive, however upon booting up with Dell Windows 8 factory restore dvds, it says "unable to restore, required partition is missing".

 

I am unsure what to do at this point, other than burn the laptop at the stake after dousing it with holy water.

 

Thanks in advance for reading post, and providing assistance/guidance.

 

:killcomp:

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 09:01 AM

It's possible the Recovery Disks are looking for the Dell Recovery Partition before they can start a restore but I have not heard of that issue. You can go here to get the install media. Pick the same version as what you have. This would probably be Windows 8.1, 64bit Your key is embedded in firmware so you should not have to enter it. If you start the install of Windows 8.1 and it asks for a key, then we will have to use linux to retrieve the key that is embedded in firmware but first download the media and see if it installs without inputting a key.

 

Edit: Referencing this post from a BC Advisor

 

However many manufacturer's use their own custom configurations which might not include the necessary configuration files ( automated Diskpart script etc ) to perform the bare metal recovery

 

 

This may be your case where the Recovery disks would not work on a bare metal recovery, i.e. a new hard drive install.


Edited by JohnC_21, 15 March 2015 - 09:19 AM.


#3 nojokeve

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 09:23 AM

Thank You!  I will work on this now.

 

I Sincerely hope that the custom configuration situation is not the issue.  That will seriously piss me off.

 

Thanks a bunch.  Will update soon.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 09:30 AM

I would select the iso option as this would let you use a disk or USB flash drive.



#5 nojokeve

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 09:33 AM

Actually, John C, here is another question.

 

I am replacing the hard drive in my niece's Dell.  The old hard drive died (computer said "boot media missing" and when I removed the hard drive and hooked it via usb adapter to my laptop, it wouldn't even recognize the drive and the drive wouldn't spin) so we bought another one.

 

She didn't have a "recovery disk" from her laptop, but it just so happens that my daughter bought the EXACT SAME laptop during that black Friday sale in 2013.  SO, that allowed me to make recovery DVDs from my daughter's computer.  Which brings me to my new question:

 

Can I image my daughter's drive some kind of way to this new hard drive?  Will that put the "Partition" on the new drive that this thing is saying I am missing?

 

 

Thanks!

 

:bubbles:



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 09:53 AM

If the computers are identical you could try using her Recovery DVD's to put the OS on your computer. That should work unless it gives the same partition error.

 

If your daughter has the OS up and running, you could image the drive with Macrium Free to an external drive then restore it to your new drive. You would need to create a bootable disk of Macrium within the program. I do know that v6 or Macrium can do a bare metal restore to a UEFI computer but the free version is still at V5.



#7 nojokeve

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 09:58 AM

Yes, my daughter's is up and running and that is where the recovery discs I have came from.  I will try the Macrium Free because the recovery discs from my daughter's is what is giving the error on my nieces.



#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 10:07 AM

When booting the Macrium WinPE disk, you may have to disable SecureBoot in BIOS/UEFI in order for the computer to detect the Macrium Free boot disk. Another thing to watch out for. If you daughter's disk has Microsoft Office with it's own activation then Office probably will not work on your niece's computer. Everything else should be fine as long as the hardware is completely identical.



#9 nojokeve

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 05:25 PM

Well Alrighty Then!!!

 

I first posted Saturday, and am here giving a frustrated update on Tuesday.  And, may I ask to go over this as if you were replying in the "for dummies" format.  It's been a few years since I've regularly repaired/reprogrammed laptops/computers and things have indeed changed.

 

Okay.  I have TWO identical Dell Inspiron 3521. 

 

The hard drive in one crashed.  I bought a new WD 500gb SATA drive.  I Cloned (with Macrium) the good hard drive to the new hard drive. 

 

The dumb thing STILL won't recognize the WD SATA hard drive in BIOS!!!  GRRRRRRRR!  :scratchhead:

 

Please somebody, what in the heck am I doing wrong?!?  I went to DELL, found what was supposed to be the SATA and the Controller drivers, NO GO. 

 

This is BULL.  They make it where the warranty sucks, then don't even have it where it should be a simple swap!

 

Please help me fix this BLEEPING computer, and so help me I will NEVER fix another laptop for anyone else (other than myself) again!!!

 

 

Thanks A HUGE BUNCH in advance for saving my sanity!!!  :kiss:



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 March 2015 - 05:45 PM

SecureBoot is enabled in BIOS?

 

I am not sure why the Dell does not detect the drive in BIOS. It's possible V5 cannot do a clone or system image restore to a bare metal disk unless the disk is intialized as GPT first. In order to do this with a Windows 8 install disk, you would need to download the iso file I linked to in my previous post. Using that, we would first initialize the disk as GPT then do the clone or system image restore. If that does not work then you may have to do a clean install using the Windows 8.1 install media.

 

Did you clone the drives (disk to disk) or did you first create the system image to an external drive and then restore the system image using the bootable Macrium disk?

 

If you created the system image to an external drive, it may be possible to initialize the disk as GPT using a bootable disk of Partition Wizard. Then you would do the System Image restore to the blank drive but I belive the best way to go about this is to download the Windows 8.1 media and work with that.



#11 nojokeve

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:18 AM

I just learned how to use computer mgmt to "initialize" the disk as GPT.   The drive is already listed as GPT.

 

I did clone them disk to disk.  Maybe I need to use the bootable macrium disk? 

 

The windows 8.1 media you speak of, is that the link you sent me previously?  If so, it would not work because the bios is not seeing the hard drive.

 

Hey, at least I'm getting up to speed!!! :bubbles:



#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:30 AM

I am concerned that BIOS/UEFI does not see the hard drive. If that is the case, then nothing will work. The hard drive needs to be detected before the OS can be installed or booted up. If you look at the new hard drive, is it the same thickness as the old one? Some of the older drives were 9.5mm thick and the new ones are 7mm thick. You may need to add a paper spacer in order for the drive to match it's connector on the motherboard.

 

JTWCK.jpg



#13 nojokeve

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 10:34 AM

SIR!!!

 

 

YOU      ARE      THE      ULTIMATE      COMPUTER  MASTER!!!!

 

 

  :luke: 

 

 

A friggin difference in thickness!!!  It sees the drive now.

 

 

 

I bow to you, sir.  Master!



#14 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 10:52 AM

Great! Now the disk boots normally after the clone, correct?

#15 nojokeve

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 10:56 AM

No, unfortunately not.

 

However, Hopefully the link to the windows 8.1 flash drive thing will work.  Will be trying that now!






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