Dell System Restore with Vista

I was recently “working on” a new Dell Dimension C521 running Vista Home Basic. I wanted to do a system restore to the original factory condition. The documentation provided with the machine tells me that CTRL+F11 is the magic key combination at boot, but that probably only applies for Windows XP. Apparently they haven’t updated their documentation yet.

I was getting kinda ticked, not knowing if I was hitting the key in time, or if my Function Lock key was screwing me up. If you’re looking for the quick answer it’s F8 at boot.

Vista provides it’s own image recovery environment. I found some information on this over here at Otherwise it would have taken me longer to figure out how to perform the recovery…. and I knew there was a recovery partition. It’s visible as drive “D” and it’s taking up 10GB of the 80GB drive!

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1 Response to Dell System Restore with Vista

  1. Cordialis says:

    Well, Dell have updated (some of) their online manuals now. As a result I could not make the F8 trick work. My PC is old. I had to call Dell’s support so that they could tell me to use ctrl+f11. Which the online guidelines did not mention. Very, very Dell, isn’t it? Just as we know them. I’m going through driver hell update right now after the Restore Factory Settings exercise. No fun. Not at all…

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