When Dell ships a computer to a customer, rather than including a Windows boot CD that the customer can use to reinstall the operating system, Dell creates a backup partition on the computer itself. This partition is known as the Dell System Recovery or DSR partition. It is a hidden partition on the hard drive that is unaffected by everyday use. If you want to backup your DSR partition, you need to perform several steps and some preparation is required.
Back up any important documents, files or other data on your hard drive that you do not want to lose.
Right-click on the Windows "Start" button. Type "diskpart.exe" in the search field and press the "Enter" key.
Type "select disk 0" to manage your hard drive. If your computer has multiple hard drives, type "list disk" and select the hard drive with the hidden partition on it to manage that drive. You may have to explore multiple drives to find the one with the DSR partition.
Enter the following command in the "Diskpart" application:
Then, enter the following command to choose which partition you want to manage:
select partition 1
Type "detail partition" and press the "Enter" key to verify that the partition is hidden. If the partition information does not indicate that it is hidden, select a different partition number from the list until you find the hidden one. The type of the partition should be either "07" (which means it is a Windows partition), "17" (a hidden partition) or "27" (an OEM recovery partition).
Change the hidden partition to an unhidden partition by entering the following command once you've verified that it is the correct partition:
set id = 07 override
Type "exit" once you've received a confirmation.
Back up your DSR partition using your favorite partition backup or cloning software. Popular backup applications include "DiscWizard," "Disk Copy" and "Active@ Partition Recovery" (see Resources).
Repeat Steps 2 through 4 to open the DiskPart utility and access the DSR partition again. Enter the following command to change the DSR partition back to hidden:
set id = 17 override
If the partition was originally set up as an OEM recovery partition type, use the following command instead:
set id = 27 override
Type "exit" and press the "Enter" key once you receive a confirmation that the process is complete.
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