Step-by-step guide to restoring your DV8P from a USB-based Recovery Drive

Discussion in 'Dell' started by BenH, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. BenH

    BenH Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Step-by-step guide to restoring your DV8P from a USB-based Recovery Drive

    I present here the method to recover your DV8P using a USB based recovery drive.

    There have been many posts on this forum and elsewhere on the Internet describing how to copy the recovery partition to a USB drive and then delete it from the DV8P.
    Many people opt to remove the local Recovery Partition because it frees up about 5GB of additional space on the DV8P.
    Most places however fail to mention how to actually recover your DV8P from this USB drive if necessary or warn about the dangers of having this recovery partition as your only backup.

    The recovery partition is configured by the OEM and is meant to be used in the event of a corrupted Windows installation or to start fresh.
    It was NOT meant to be used to perform a full re-install of the OS from scratch.

    If you would like to get a FULL backup of your DV8P that you can use to recover in ANY scenario, follow my post
    Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Factory Backup Image For The Dell Venue 8 Pro

    If all you have done is moved the recovery partition to an external USB and deleted it from the local drive, you WILL be able to use it to restore your Windows back to stock.
    However, if you have wiped the entire hard drive, or installed a different OS, it is extremely unlikely you will be able to use the recovery drive (see end of post for more info).

    Here is the method used to restore from your USB recovery drive:

    Boot to Recovery USB

    1. Power off your DV8P
    2. Ensure your USB drive with the recovery partition is 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 the recover process

    Run Recovery

    1. Select US (or your language) from the "Choose your keyboard layout"
    2. Click "Troubleshoot"
    3. Click "Reset your PC"
    4. Select "Windows 8.1" as your target. If Windows 8.1 does not show up as an available target, you are likely out of luck - but you can try to proceed.
    5. Click "Next" to acknowledge the "Here's what will happen" screen
    6. Choose "No, keep the existing partitions" (the other option will fail to work)
    7. Select "Fully clean the drive"
    8. Click "Reset"

    If you get errors about partitions it is likely because the recovery process is unable to detect an existing Windows 8.1 install.
    Again, the "Recovery Drive" is not meant to do a full OS installation.

    If you want to use your Recovery Drive to restore the original Dell OS, you will have to first install another copy of Windows to the drive.

    Once you have a copy of Windows on the drive, you should be able to follow the above procedure to overwrite that version with your Recovery Drive.

    Installing another copy of Windows is beyond the scope of this post, but you can use my post here as one method:

    Alternate Step-by-step Guide to installing Windows 8.1 on the Dell Venue 8 Pro
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
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  2. ricard2798

    ricard2798 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    could you please assist me with my dv8 back up? i followed the procedure detailed on this page

    Things I’ve learned about the Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows tablet | Auri's Space

    but when i tried to restore/refresh, i could not get it to work because the tablet requires the tablet to be plugged to ac power, which unfortunately also seems to be the only way to plug a usb drive. i have already deleted my partition, so i was wondering if i am screwed, or else, if i can still recover.. and if so, how?

    thanks for the help
     
  3. BenH

    BenH Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well - you're kind of screwed :)

    That post on Auri's space is very very bad. While it explains how to create the backup disks - he obviously didn't test the restore.
    Read my post here:
    Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Factory Backup Image For The Dell Venue 8 Pro

    Near the top I explain why this method doesn't work.

    I am to take it that you did the backup on Auri's page only and did not do the procedure listed above on the link for "copy the recovery partition to a USB drive" ?

    If that is the case you are going to have to follow the advice at the end of my post above - which is to re-install Windows 8.1 from your own media.

    There may be a way to modify the contents of your backup to get them into a bootable state. Basically, we would have to bypass the Dell restore phase (Requiring AC power) and manually apply the restore.
    I have not investigated how to do this yet.

    At this point, I would do one of two things:

    1) Follow my linked guide above to install your own copy of Windows. The drawback here is you will need to get your own copy/key of Windows.
    2) Contact Dell. It would be a boon actually for the community here to get Dell's "official response" on how to recover. They might complain that you deleted your recovery partition, but I would tell them that you did do the backup and restore using their included "My Dell" software, but now you cannot restore since AC power is required.

    I would really recommend you do #2 first - mostly because I want to know what Dell says. If they can't help you, you have to go the #1 route (or, just return/exchange your device if still in return period if you don't want the hassle).

    I will look into the backup drive that get's created with Auri's method and see if I can figure out a way to restore it.

    UPDATE: Good News. I have looked into the backup drive created with the Dell Software and it uses fairly straightforward native Windows images. I have posted a new thread with how to recover from a restore created in this way:
    Step-By-Step Guide To Restoring your DV8P from a "Dell Backup and Recovery" Image
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
  4. ricard2798

    ricard2798 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I got lucky and my problem kind of went away... In a non technical very coincidental way.
    A person in the company i work for just had his sammy tablet stolen. In addition, my boss really liked my venue 8. He told me to order one of the venue 11 top configs for him ( from dell business, which has the 1.6 processor). And offered me an identical one for me if i in turn gave mine to to person that had recently lost his.
    So i went to ms store to help me restore mine to factory, and explained my situation... They replaced the tabby with a new one... And in 2 days ill have the monster version :)
     
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