Step-by-step guide to creating a factory backup image for the Dell Venue 8 Pro

Discussion in 'Dell' started by BenH, Dec 21, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BenH

    BenH Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Factory Backup Image For The Dell Venue 8 Pro

    I present on method of backing up your Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet's eMMC (Disk Drive) so that you can retain a "factory image", or simply a complete backup of your current state.

    At this point in time, while Dell provides a way to re-image your tablet from within their Windows install, they do not provide a full recovery option.
    Therefore you may wish to follow this procedure if you plan on installing another OS on your tablet, or simply want the security of having a full sector-level backup.

    NOTE: While it is possible to create a FULL image backup to a microSD/USB disk using Dell's Backup and Recovery Software, it is NOT possible to actually restore with this backup.
    The reasons are as follows:

    1. The system cannot be rebooted from the microSD card created by Dell's Backup and Recovery Software.
    2. If the system is booted from the USB drive, the Backup and Recovery software refuses to run, requesting to be connected to AC power. Therefore, Dell has created a Catch-22, since they require the restore to be booted from USB, but do not allow it to proceed unless the USB (with the image) is disconnected for AC power.
    Additionally, when booting the Backup and Recovery software it is clearly not formatted to run on the DV8P's screen. I do not believe that Dell has tested or verified their proposed recovery method as a reasonable method.

    ALSO NOTE: Making a copy of your Recovery Partition to a USB drive is NOT enough to recover your DV8P in all scenarios. It will only work if an existing Windows 8.1 installation can be found. I highly recommend making a full system backup using the method described in this post as it will help you recover from any drive configuration changes.

    Notes before you begin

    All of my work was done on a staging system runnning Windows 7 64-bit . I would expect anyone running any version of Windows 7/8 to be able to follow these procedures.
    It is possible this may work on XP without modifications, but I have not tested and there may be some dependencies that Windows XP does not have.

    Many of the tasks below will require administrative privileges on your staging machine. Please remember to always start applications as "Run As Administrator", especially command prompts, or you may not have the necessary rights required.

    This method entails using a WinPE USB Boot drive with Macrium reflect.
    This method is advantageous if you don't have a USB mouse/keyboard/hub to connect to your DV8P, as it creates a WinPE environment with all drivers injected - including touchscreen (and optional on-screen keyboard).
    Personally, I did not have a USB hub to use, which is why I developed this method. If you have a USB hub to connect both your mouse/keyboard AND USB drive, it may be possible to create a standard Macrium boot disk without any of the injected drivers. If you attempt the non-drive method, be aware that your microSD card will also be unsupported - requiring all backups only to USB.

    What you need

    1. 2GB+ USB Flash Drive - to create the Windows PE USB boot disk.
    2. 16GB+ microSD - to store your image. Larger may be required if you are imaging a non-factory install or don't want to use high compression.
      *Optionally, you should be able to use a 16GB+ USB Flash drive to both build your WinPE boot disk AND backup your image to. This will likely be slower than backing up to MicroSD, but it should work.
    3. OTG micro USB cable - to connect the USB drive
    4. Macrium Reflect Free - image software
    5. Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 8.1 - to build a custom boot disk with drivers.
    6. Dell Venue 8 Pro Win 8.1 Driver Cab - 5830-win8.1-A00-9Y5Y5.CAB
    7. USB Mouse/Keyboard (optional) - to navigate within the image software
    8. TouchIt Virtual Keyboard Software - touchit_4.9.7.exe
    9. TouchIt PE Setup Wizard - TouchItPE_2.0.exe

    Create the following folder stucture on your staging computer

    • C:\DV8PWin
    • C:\DV8PWin\Drivers
    • C:\DV8PWin\Image
    • C:\DV8PWin\Temp

    Restore your DV8P to Factory settings (optional)

    If you have just received your DV8P and have not gone through the inital setup, or you wish to image as-is (meaning keep your settings/files) you can skip this step.
    If however you have been using your DV8P and wish to restore it to factory settings use the below procedure.

    1. Open "Recovery Options" (search in Windows for it)
    2. Choose "Remove everything and re-install windows"
    3. Choose "Next" on "Reset your PC"
    4. Choose "Fully clean the drive"
    5. Choose "Reset"
    6. Wait about 15-25 minutes for your system to restore.
      *You can skip to the next section while you wait!
    7. When the "Region and Language" screen appears, hold the power button in for 5-10 seconds to power off your system

    Install the ADK

    1. Run the adksetup.exe tool downloaded from above.
    2. Select "Install the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit for Windows 8.1 to this computer"
    3. Select your choice for CEIP
    4. Accept the license terms
    5. Select "Deployment Tools" and "Windows PE" from the feature list and choose Install.
      *You can skip to the next section while you wait!

    Install Macrium Reflect

    1. Run the reflectdl.exe downloaded from above and select "Download"
    2. Click "Next" to begin the install after the download has completed
    3. Accept all defaults and install
    4. Click "Finish" when done

    Prepare the Drivers

    1. Extract 5830-win8.1-A00-9Y5Y5.CAB with Winzip/WinRar/CabArc/etc. to C:\DV8PWin\Temp
    2. Navigate to C:\DV8PWin\Temp\5830-win8.1-A00-9Y5Y5\5830\win8.1\x86
    3. Cut and Paste the 'chipset' and 'network' folders into C:\DV8PWin\Drivers
    4. Open C:\DV8PWin\Drivers\network\379GH_A00-00\production\Windows8.1-x86\Bluetooth-Driver\qcbtuart.inf in your favorite text editor:
    5. Find the section entitled [SourceDisksFiles] and remove all entries except:

      qcbtuart.sys = 1,,
      qcbtctrl.dll = 1,,​

    6. Find the section entiled [BTUART.Files] and remove all entries except:


      *This step is required since the .INF file lists driver files that are not needed/present and therefore must be removed.
      As an alternative, you can simply delete the "C:\DV8PWin\Drivers\network\379GH_A00-00\production\Windows8.1-x86\Bluetooth-Driver\" folder, as the BlueTooth drivers are not really necessary for WindowPE.

    Create your WinPE Environement

    After the ADK has been installed, perform the following:

    1. Launch the "Deployment and Imaging Tools" shortcut as Administrator
    2. Create an x86 PE environment by typing the following at the command prompt:
      copype.cmd x86 c:\DV8PWin\winpe
    3. Mount the Windows PE .wim Image with Dism:
      dism.exe /Mount-WIM /WimFile:"C:\DV8PWin\winpe\media\sources\boot.wim" /index:1 /MountDir:"C:\DV8PWin\Image"

    Import the Drivers

    1. Import the drivers into the image:
      dism.exe /image:"C:\DV8PWin\Image" /Add-Driver /driver:"C:\DV8PWin\Drivers" /recurse /forceunsigned

    Dismount the Image

    1. Dismount the image saving the changes:
      dism.exe /Unmount-wim /mountdir:"C:\DV8PWin\Image" /commit

    Create Macrium USB Boot Disk

    1. Connect the USB flash drive to the PC
    2. Start Reflect
    3. Select "Other Tasks" > "Create Rescue Media" from the top menu
    4. Select "Advanced" and choose "Windows PE 4.0", click Next
    5. Change PE Architecture to 32-bit and click "Continue" on the warning prompt
    6. Select "Custom based WIM", browse and select "C:\DV8PWin\winpe\media\sources\boot.wim"
    7. Click "Next" and "Continue" on the Architecture Conflict screen
    8. Select "Download" if prompted to download from Microsoft
    9. Wait while the download and image building complete (might take a bit...)
    10. Click "Continue" when presented with the "Check your rescue media..." screen
    11. Click "Cancel" if presented with an "Update Found" screen
    12. Choose your USB device from the "Burn Rescue Media" screen and click "Finish"
    13. Click "OK" when done copying files and remove the USB drive.

    Add On-screen keyboard to boot disk (optional)

    While you should be able to navigate Macrium entirely with a few simple taps, you may want to use a keyboard for specific customization.
    Technically, you should be able to unplug your USB drive and hot-swap a mouse or keyboard if required.
    However, following this step allows you to have an on-screen keyboard if you prefer (one is not included by default in WinPE).

    1. Place the WinPE USB disk in the computer
    2. Launch the "Deployment and Imaging Tools" shortcut as Administrator
    3. Mount the Windows PE .wim Image on the USB drive with Dism:
      dism.exe /Mount-WIM /WimFile:"E:\sources\boot.wim" /index:1 /MountDir:"C:\DV8PWin\Image"
      *Replace E: with your USB drive letter
    4. Install touchit_4.9.7.exe using all the defaults. This need to be installed on your PC to stage it to the WinPE disk.
    5. When the On Screen Keyboard appears after install, click the Red power button to close it.
    6. Open "c:\Program Files (x86)\Chessware\TouchIt\TouchIt.ini" in your favorite text editor
    7. Find the following section:

      Desc=102 keys keyboard

    8. Change MonitorX0 and MonitorY0 values from 100 to 83
    9. Add the following to the bottom of the file:


    10. Save and close the file
    11. Run TouchItPE_2.0.exe
    12. On the WinPE paths screen set the following and click Next:
      • PETools Folder = C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\8.1\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment
      • Image Folder = c:\DV8PWin\Image
    13. Click Install
    14. Click Close
    15. Open "c:\DV8PWin\Image\Windows\System32\Winpeshl.ini" in your text editor. Delete the contents and replace with:

      %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Chessware\TouchIt\Run_TouchIt.exe
      %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Macrium\launch.exe

    16. Save and close the file
    17. Dismount the image saving the changes:
      dism.exe /Unmount-wim /mountdir:"C:\DV8PWin\Image" /commit
    18. Remove the USB drive
    19. Uninstall the Touch-It Virtual Keyboard from your system, else it will start on every login.

    Boot to Macrium

    1. Power off your DV8P
    2. Ensure your USB drive and/or microSD card are connected
    3. Enter BIOS by powering on your DV8P and holding the Volume button down for 3-5 seconds
    4. In BIOS tap "Boot"
    5. Tap "Boot Option #1" and select the USB drive
    6. Tap on the keyboard icon in the top right
    7. Tap F10
    8. Tap Yes to Save configuration and restart
    Your DV8P should now boot from the USB drive and launch Macrium

    Backup the Drive to the SD/USB:

    You should be able to use the touchscreen to navigate within WinPE.
    Additionally, if you opted to install the on-screen keyboard above, it should start minimized in the bottom right corner of the screen. Touch the blue circle to open the keyboard.
    If not, you can unplug your USB drive after Macrium has loaded and attach a USB mouse and/or keyboard.

    1. In Macrium, select "Backup" > "Image Local Drives" from the top menu
    2. In the "Source" section, check the left most box to select all partitions on the drive
    3. In the "Destination" section, browse the Folder to your microSD card (should be D:\) or to your USB Flash drive.
    4. Select Next
    5. On the Summary Screen, select "Advanced Options"
    6. Select "Make an exact copy of the partition(s)"
    7. Choose the compression type desired (I used High)
    8. Set a Password (Optional, but a good idea if you are backing up a non-Factory image with sensitive data).
    9. Optionally choose to Verify
    10. Click "OK"
    11. Click "Finish".
      *Depending on the speed of your microSD/USB this will take anywhere from 20-60 minutes. My backup took just about 20 and created a compressed .mrimg file a hair over 9GB
    12. Once complete, press and hold the power button to turn off the DV8P.
    13. Remove the USB drive and reboot back into Windows 8.1

    You can now copy the backup .mrimg file from the USB/microSD card to another location if desired for archival storage.

    How to Restore

    If and when you need to restore the image, follow the below steps:

    1. Using the bootable USB drive you created above, follow the steps in Boot to Macrium to get back into Macrium.
    2. Ensure the .mrimg file you need to restore is on your microSD/USB card
    3. In Macrium, select the "Restore" tab and click "Browse for an image file"
    4. Select the location of the .mrimg file on your microSD or USB disk
    5. On the "Image Restore" tab the selected backup will display. Click the "Restore Image" option
    6. In the "Source" section, check the left most box to select all partitions on the drive
    7. Click each partition on the Destination disk and select "Delete Existing partition" on each one until the Destination drive contains no partitions
    8. Click Next
    9. Click Finish
      *Depending on the speed of your microSD/USB this will take anywhere from 20-60 minutes. My restore took just about 15 minutes.
    10. Once complete, press and hold the power button to turn off the DV8P.
    11. Remove the USB drive and reboot back into Windows 8.1

    Now that you are all backed up, if you would like to do your own fresh Windows install, you can follow my guide here:
    Alternate Step-by-step Guide to installing Windows 8.1 on the Dell Venue 8 Pro

    You can also create a multi-boot USB with the following:
    Step-by-step guide to creating a multi-boot Backup/Recovery and Install USB drive for the Dell Venue 8 Pro

    Or, free up even more space!
    Guide to Maximizing Disk Space on your Dell Venue 8 Pro (or other Windows 8.1 system)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  2. baxter

    baxter Scribbler - Standard Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Many thanks for this excellent tutorial. I am a big fan of Macrium Reflect. It saved my V8P from becoming a door stop. After doing all of the updates, I made an image of the V8P C drive and a rescue USB drive with Macrium. I also created a USB recovery drive and deleted the recovery partition. I decided (stupidly) to test recovery and managed to brick the V8P because recovery failed looking for the recovery partition and then I couldn't boot into Windows. I was however, able to to boot the rescue USB and successfuly restore from the drive image.

    I used an OTG cable attached to a USB hub and after booting the rescue USB, I found that I had to plug in a mouse to navigate the rescue program. Also, I had the image on a 64Gb SD card, but Macrium wouldn't recognize it. However, after plugging the SD card into a USB carrier and this into the hub, the image was found.

    I could never figure out how to incorporate the drivers into the Macrium rescue USB and those sections of your tutorial are particularly useful.
  3. sjheeta

    sjheeta Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    These are in depth instructions, many thanks for your effort. These will be tried as soon as my OTG cable arrives.

    Looking for any guidance. I plan to also try the following using your steps as framework:

    - in the backup to USB/SD section, take a backup of only the C: drive partition
    - remove all partitions from the drive, create a single partition using all space avail
    - restore this new backup to the main drive leaving only a single partition with the originally installed win8.1pro, delivered product key in tact

    Will this plan work? Do you see any holes in this plan? Please advise, thank you.
  4. BenH

    BenH Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Thanks for your experience. I have update my post with some more information. Yes - it is possible to skip all of my driver/touch screen keyboard steps if you have a USB hub to connect both a mouse/keyboard and USB drive to.
    The basic Macrium boot disk only supports very basic USB functions. All your USB devices must be connected at boot (no hot-plug). Additionally, as you have discovered, it does not support the storage drivers to recognize the microUSB.

    Basically, your method will work - and may be easier for those who have access to a USB hub and a microSD to USB adapter. If not, my method will provide access to all the hardware. It is a little more complicated to setup, but much more flexible in operation.
  5. BenH

    BenH Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    This plan will *NOT* work. The DV8P is UEFI based device and therefore requires a UEFI partition to boot. Additionally, windows itself requires the MSR partition.
    In short, you need at least the EFI, MSR, and windows partition.

    While Dell did make these partitions a little larger than necessary, all the partitions are necessary except the recovery partitions.
    If you wipe out all the partitions and simply restore the C: to the whole drive, it will fail to boot.

    I recommend you simply delete the Recovery Partition and extend the main OS partition - which you can do easily from within Windows.
    This will get you about 5GB of additional storage.

    Your method will only free up maybe another 500MB to do properly, and probably isn't worth the effort if you are wanting to keep the original OS install.
  6. sjheeta

    sjheeta Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Appreciate the feedback, I've finally got my cables so will be doing this tonight, thank you again.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  7. Username/Password

    Username/Password Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    A+ guide........only 5 replies???

    I followed it to the tee and was able to do a full back up.....thanks a ton!
    sjheeta likes this.
  8. TheArtfulDodger

    TheArtfulDodger Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    This is an excellent guide but I wonder if it would apply with the Venue 11 Pro?

  9. TheArtfulDodger

    TheArtfulDodger Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I have a new Venue 11 Pro - I don't know how similar they are to DV8P but I wanted to describe (briefly) how I backed up my DV11P:

    1. I use a Zalman ZM-VE300; this is a 2½" HDD enclosure that has the capability to make itself look like a CDROM - all I did was use Macrium Reflect Free to create a bootable Recovery ISO. I loaded this into the _iso folder on the HDD in the Zalman.
    2. That's about all! I booted up the DV11P from the Zalman (a WinPE for Windows 8) and made a backup of all of the partitions on the DV11P SSD.
    3. I presume that I can then simply boot into the Zalman and restore all of the DV11P partitions.

    I haven't tried it because I don't know how to restore the tablet via Dell. Do you see any problems with this approach?

    Many thanks for an excellent article.

  10. BenH

    BenH Pen Pal - Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Your approach should work. Really the procedure I describe here in using Macrium should work on just about an PC/Tablet.
    The extra steps I describe in loading all the drivers enables you to access the MicroSD card and the TouchScreen drivers.
    If you are using this for something other then the DV8P then you would have to download the appropriate drivers and load them appropriately.

    However, if Macrium detects your source and destination disks properly without loading anything additional - and if you can connect a mouse and/or keyboard in order to do the backup/restore then you should be just fine!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page