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Purchased a Windows 8 recovery usb directly from Dell


jefray

New Member
Posts
6
#1
Here is my issue: So my hard drive failed in my Dell inspiron 660, and yes, i failed to make my backup and recovery disk. So i purchased one from Dell for $20 and bought a new hard drive. I installed the new drive, powered up went into to bios and disabled secure boot and powered down. i plugged in my new usb from Dell and powered back up and pressed f12 as instructed and the boot menu comes up. I can see the hard drive and the usb drive in the list and i choose the usb drive to boot and hit enter. All i get is this message "ERROR LOADING OPERATING SYSTEM". So what am i doing wrong?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 (8.1)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    DELL INSPIRON 660
    CPU
    CORE I3 ( I THINK)
    Memory
    8G
    Browser
    IE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER

mrjimphelps

"Phelps Helps"
Posts
142
#2
I'm not sure if this will fix things or not, but you can try it. Go into BIOS and put External Device before Hard Drive in the boot order. Then reboot with the USB recovery drive plugged in.

That may or may not fix it. I am concerned that even though you hit F12 and chose the flash drive as your boot device, it still couldn't boot from it. But the above is worth a try.

You may have a bad flash drive. If the above doesn't work, I would call Dell and ask them for a set of DVDs rather than a flash drive.

Also, you could download the Factory Restore disk from the Dell web site. Here's how to do that:
How to Download and Use the Dell OS Recovery Image in Microsoft Windows | Dell US
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell
    CPU
    Haswell
    Memory
    4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 23"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Two hard drives, 1TB each: One for Linux, one for my data.
    Keyboard
    IBM Model M
    Browser
    Firefox, Opera
    Antivirus
    Sophos (Linux), Trend Micro (Windows)
    Other Info
    I use Samba to share my data drive with the other computers at my house and with my guest session in VMWare Workstation Player.

jefray

New Member
Posts
6
#3
thanks Jim I will give that a try, One other thing I might mention, I do have a dvd that came with the computer that is labeled "Drivers and Utilities", should I put that dvd in and see if it will boot from that and load the drivers on the new hard drive first then try to load windows from the usb?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 (8.1)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    DELL INSPIRON 660
    CPU
    CORE I3 ( I THINK)
    Memory
    8G
    Browser
    IE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER

jefray

New Member
Posts
6
#4
I contacted Dell already about the possibility that the flash drive was bad, and they were not helpful at all and only wanted to charge me for out of warranty tech service. And I have already tried to get the download from the dell website but when I did try it told me that there was no DL available for my system and that I would have to purchase the flash drive from them so that's what I did.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 (8.1)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    DELL INSPIRON 660
    CPU
    CORE I3 ( I THINK)
    Memory
    8G
    Browser
    IE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER

mrjimphelps

"Phelps Helps"
Posts
142
#5
Even if they won't give you credit for what you paid for the flash drive, it would be worth paying another $20 to get a set of DVD factory recovery disks. I have found that doing a factory restore from DVD always works; but in my opinion, flash drives have some issues here and there, and flash drives sometimes go bad.

If you get a set of DVDs, make a couple of copies of the entire set, so you never have to order them again.

The Drivers and Utilities disk is just that -- it contains the drivers you need for your computer, plus some utilities. Unfortunately, it doesn't include Windows itself.

As an alternative, you could go to the following website and download their Windows and Office ISO download Tool:
Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool

You can download every currently supported version of Windows or Office with that tool. Create a DVD using the ISO file that you download, then install Windows from the DVD using your Windows 8.1 install key. I just did that with Windows 7 -- there was an OEM install key on a sticker on the computer, and I successfully activated Windows with that install key. If you do the install this way, you may need to install some Windows drivers afterward. I didn't -- amazingly everything worked, and all devices showed as error-free in Device Manager!

Once you get everything completely done, do a backup of your computer using something like Macrium Reflect Free and an external hard drive. And be sure to create a Macrium emergency boot disk, so that you can completely recover in case of a future disk crash.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell
    CPU
    Haswell
    Memory
    4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 23"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Two hard drives, 1TB each: One for Linux, one for my data.
    Keyboard
    IBM Model M
    Browser
    Firefox, Opera
    Antivirus
    Sophos (Linux), Trend Micro (Windows)
    Other Info
    I use Samba to share my data drive with the other computers at my house and with my guest session in VMWare Workstation Player.

jefray

New Member
Posts
6
#6
Ok Jim I will give those options a try, and a last resort try to purchase the DVDs from Dell. Just so fed up with Dell right now don't want to give them another penny :) Thank you for all of your help. I will post my results to let you know if and how my issue was resolved. thanks again!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 (8.1)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    DELL INSPIRON 660
    CPU
    CORE I3 ( I THINK)
    Memory
    8G
    Browser
    IE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER

jefray

New Member
Posts
6
#7
HI again Jim, on my first attempt at your first suggestion, I don't see an option in bios for an external device?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 (8.1)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    DELL INSPIRON 660
    CPU
    CORE I3 ( I THINK)
    Memory
    8G
    Browser
    IE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER

mrjimphelps

"Phelps Helps"
Posts
142
#8
HI again Jim, on my first attempt at your first suggestion, I don't see an option in bios for an external device?
It may not say "External Device"; it may be called "Flash Drive", "USB Device", or some other name. Basically, pick the device which most likely would be a USB boot drive.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell
    CPU
    Haswell
    Memory
    4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 23"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Two hard drives, 1TB each: One for Linux, one for my data.
    Keyboard
    IBM Model M
    Browser
    Firefox, Opera
    Antivirus
    Sophos (Linux), Trend Micro (Windows)
    Other Info
    I use Samba to share my data drive with the other computers at my house and with my guest session in VMWare Workstation Player.

TrustMe

Member
Member
Posts
146
#9
On my computer the flash drive has to be plugged in for it to show in the BIOS. Plug in the flash drive and then try to make the change.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro

jefray

New Member
Posts
6
#10
USB has always shown in the boot choices, and when the flash is plugged in it actually shows the name of the flash e.i. Toshiba. Ok so new development. I contacted dell yesterday and chatted with a rep about trying to get DVDs instead of flash. I was told flash was all they had. The person checked my order and told me that based on my service tag Dell had sent me the wrong usb key. The key is OS Windows 8.1. My PC was originally loaded with Windows 8. Could this be my issue ?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 (8.1)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    DELL INSPIRON 660
    CPU
    CORE I3 ( I THINK)
    Memory
    8G
    Browser
    IE
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS DEFENDER

mrjimphelps

"Phelps Helps"
Posts
142
#11
That is very likely the issue. It got to the point of loading the OS, and it tried to, but it failed. So there is no issue with your computer booting from a flash drive; it simply couldn't boot from the particular flash drive that you had.

I believe you will have success once you get the correct flash drive. And once you get Windows fully installed, look for the Dell folder. Go into it, and you should find an option to create a set of Factory Restore DVDs. Create a couple of sets, and put them in two safe places, so that you will have them in case of a future need.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell
    CPU
    Haswell
    Memory
    4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 23"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Two hard drives, 1TB each: One for Linux, one for my data.
    Keyboard
    IBM Model M
    Browser
    Firefox, Opera
    Antivirus
    Sophos (Linux), Trend Micro (Windows)
    Other Info
    I use Samba to share my data drive with the other computers at my house and with my guest session in VMWare Workstation Player.

KYHI

Well-Known Member
Pro User
Posts
2,723
#12
Download and Install Windows 8.1 From Microsoft..

If needed then you can Installed any additional or unfound drivers from your Dell Disk...

Do NOT even waste anymore time with the Dell Flash Drive....
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell XPS 8700
    CPU
    I7
    Memory
    24 GB

mrjimphelps

"Phelps Helps"
Posts
142
#13
There are two advantages to installing Windows from the Dell flash drive:
  • All drivers, etc., appropriate to your computer will be installed along with Windows. But this may not actually be an advantage; I recently downloaded Windows 7 Pro from Microsoft, then did a clean install with it. Although I installed no drivers, they were all there; there were no error markers in Device Manager. In other words, I wouldn't have gained the "driver" advantage by doing a Windows install from the Dell flash drive.
  • A recovery partition will be installed on your drive, so that you can easily do a factory restore in the future, as long as your hard drive doesn't go bad. Also, the recovery partition allows you to create a set of Factory Restore DVDs.
So I suggest that if you can, try the Dell flash drive first. If unsuccessful, then download the ISO from Microsoft, create a Windows 7 install disk from it, and install Windows that way.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell
    CPU
    Haswell
    Memory
    4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 23"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Two hard drives, 1TB each: One for Linux, one for my data.
    Keyboard
    IBM Model M
    Browser
    Firefox, Opera
    Antivirus
    Sophos (Linux), Trend Micro (Windows)
    Other Info
    I use Samba to share my data drive with the other computers at my house and with my guest session in VMWare Workstation Player.