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Dell Insprion 5520 Windows Reinstallation


Posts
3
#1
I'm in a bit of a bad situation right now... I have a Dell Insprion 5520 which I purchased two years ago. It shipped with Windows 8. I've since upgraded to 8.1

I want a fresh start and I'm looking to reinstall Windows. However, when I choose "Remove Everything and Reinstall Windows" in PC settings, I'm told that the recovery environment cannot be found. Upon further investigation, I notice that I have no recovery partition in Disk Management.

Since I don't have a Windows 8 installation disc, I resorted to my Dell recovery USB disk. This also requires the recovery partition.

I recovered my system's product key using Magical Jellybean. I found the "Upgrade Windows With Only a Product Key" article on Microsoft's website. I downloaded the Windows 8 installation utility and typed in my product key. I'm told that my product key cannot be used to install a retail version of Windows.

My only option now would be to buy a copy of Windows 8.1, which I want to avoid at all costs. Is there anything I can do?


Thanks,
AppleGeek1127
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64

whest

New Member
Member
Posts
122
#3
Ive used this myself and it works and is available in one of the tutorials on this site - hope it works for you:
To Create and Register a Custom Recovery Image
1. After you have finished seting up Windows 8 how you like it, open a elevated command prompt.
2. In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below, and press Enter. (see screenshot below step 3)
NOTE: If you like, you can subsititute the C drive letter in the command below for the drive letter of the location that you would like to keep the CustomRefresh.wim recovery image file at instead.
recimg -CreateImage C:\RefreshImage
Tip Tip:
If needed, you can press the ESC key at anytime to cancel creating this custom refresh image.
3. When finished, this new custom recovery image of your current Windows 8 setup will now be set (registered) as the current active recovery image used whenever you refresh Windows 8 next in STEP TWO below.
NOTE: It may take a bit to finish creating your custom recovery image. At the Writing image line the progress stays at 1% for a bit and then increases slowly until finished at 100%.
Tip Tip:
You can create multiple or new recovery images every so often to have an updated version handy if you should need to refresh your PC with.
Whenever you create a new recovery image, the new image will be used instead by default afterwards since it will be the latest registered (set) active recovery image.
Note Note:
To unregister this custom recovery image for refresh to have Windows 8 go back to using it's default refresh, see: How to Deregister the Current Custom Recovery Image to Refresh Windows 8
To set a previosly created CustomRefresh.wim recovery image file to be used by refresh, see: How to Set a Custom Recovery Image as Active to Use to Refresh Windows 8

How to Deregister the Current Custom Recovery Image to Refresh Windows 8
1. Open an elevated command prompt.
2. In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
recimg /deregister
3. When successfully completed, you can close the elevated command prompt if you like.
4. Windows 8 will now no longer use a custom recovery image when you refresh your PC unless you either create a new custom recovery image or set Windows 8 to use another previously created custom recovery image.

How to Set a Custom Recovery Image as Active to Use to Refresh Windows 8
1. Open an elevated command prompt.
2. In the elevated command prompt, type the command below and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Substitute Full Path of Directory in the command below with the actual directory (folder) name within quotes that the CustomRefresh.wim file from where an already created custom recovery image is saved at.
recimg /setcurrent "Full Path of Directory"
For example: If I created a custom recovery image to the E:\RefreshImage directory (folder), I would type the command below exactly and press Enter.
recimg /setcurrent "E:\RefreshImage"
3. When successfully completed, Windows 8 is now set and registered to use this current active custom recovery image when you refresh Windows 8.
4. You can now close the elevated command prompt if you like.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 64bit Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus Notebook N53SV Series
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM)i7-2630 CPU @ 2.0GHz /turbo 2.9Hz
    Motherboard
    Intel® HM65 Express Chipset
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    GT540M
    Sound Card
    realtek
    Screen Resolution
    1366/768
    Hard Drives
    Seagate 500gb 5400
    Keyboard
    microsoft wireless keyboard 3000 v2
    Mouse
    microsoft wieless mouse 5000
    Internet Speed
    13/16mbs
    Browser
    IE Firefox Chrome
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

genet

New Member
Guru
Posts
879
#4
Is there anything I can do?
How to install Windows 8/8.1 to a blank hard disk from the Windows 8/8.1 recovery USB flash drive?

OR

How to clean install Windows 8.1 if you have an OEM computer with UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8/8.1 product key?

Since I don't have a Windows 8 installation disc, I resorted to my Dell recovery USB disk. This also requires the recovery partition.
Are you getting the same error message when you boot from the recovery USB flash drive and select the Reset your PC option?
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Lenovo G580
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3230M
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, standard user account
    Other Info
    UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8 product key.
Posts
3
#6
Is there anything I can do?
How do you install Windows 8 to a blank hard disk from the Windows 8 recovery USB flash drive?

OR

How to clean install Windows 8.1 if you have an OEM computer with UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8 product key?

edit:

Since I don't have a Windows 8 installation disc, I resorted to my Dell recovery USB disk. This also requires the recovery partition.
Are you getting the same error message when you boot from the recovery USB flash drive and select the Reset your PC option?
Yes, I get the same error when I boot from my USB flash drive.

From what I understand, the second article you posted tells you to create a bootable USB from an ISO, reinstall with the generic Windows 8.1 key, then change my product key to my OEM one post-installation. Is this correct?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 x64

genet

New Member
Guru
Posts
879
#7
From what I understand, the second article you posted tells you to create a bootable USB from an ISO, reinstall with the generic Windows 8.1 key, then change my product key to my OEM one post-installation. Is this correct?
Yes.

Here is more info: http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2299-clean-install-windows-8-a.html

If you have an OEM Windows 8 product key and want to clean install Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 Update, then you would need to enter a generic key below to install unactivated with, and change the product key later on in step 22 below to activate with your OEM Windows 8 COA product key.
22. If you have an Enterprise edition or needed to use a generic key to install with from step 4 above, then you will now need to change the product key to enter your key and activate it.

If you need to first find your OEM product key that is embedded in the UEFI firmware chip, then OPTION FIVE in the tutorial below can help show you what it is to enter in step 22.

How to Find Your Windows 8 and 8.1 Product Key Number
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Lenovo G580
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3230M
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, standard user account
    Other Info
    UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8 product key.