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How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system
Published by worthing.jason
12-10-2008
Default How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

These directions will walk you through getting a copy of the dell image for your system, making a bootable flash drive, moving the image to a bootable flash drive, and making it where it will reimage your computer automatically, in similar manner to how the Dell Ubuntu image on the Dell FTP site works. For this procedure, you will need the following

Another computer, with a CD drive, from which to work
Your Dell System Restoration Disks (SRCDs)(Details will be given on how to get this)
1 - 2+ GB USB Flash Drive
around 30-60 minutes

The first thing you need is your SRCDs. To get this, call/chat in to Dell support and request them (experience says you get better results chatting here, as it is harder for them to imply they misunderstood you). They are available for the first year after purchase of your system, and cost you nothing. They contain the Dell Image for your system on bootable CDs. When doing this, when they say they are sending them to you, confirm the part number. If the part number is not 59221, then they are sending you the wrong part. Go to a supervisor if you must, but get 59221 sent to you.

The flash drive you need has to be at least 1.5 GB. I used a 4 GB as that is all I had, but as long as it hits that minimum, it will work.

First, download the Dell - Diagnostics Utility from support.dell.com.
Here is the URL:
http://support.dell.com/support/down...id=-1&impid=-1
Having done that, run it. It will give you options of installing to CD, USB drive, etc. Have it install to your 2+ GB flash drive. This will make it bootable, and get some basic dos files onto it.

Next you will need to copy files from your CDs. You will need the ghost.exe file, and any gst or ghs files from all of the CDs. After doing this, there are a few changes you will have to make on your flash drive.

First open the autoexec.bat file. Here are the changes to make:
Change
Code:
prompt=Diag $p$g  $h
to
Code:
prompt=$p$g
Then locate the line that says:
Code:
:run
Replace everything under it with:
Code:
echo Continuing from here will IRREVOCABLY ERASE all data on your drive, and re-install Windows on it, as it shipped from Dell.
echo If that is what you want to do, press enter.  If you do not want to erase EVERYTHING and reinstall windows, hit the power button NOW!.
pause
ghost.exe -clone,mode=load,src=c:\stm.gst,dst=2 -fx -sure -auto -ws- -wd- -disabledrive=B -afile=c:\ghost.err
reboot 1
And that is it! To use the USB key, start with the computer off, and the drive connected to your computer. Turn it on, and tap the 0 key until you get the boot menu, and tell it to boot off of the USB drive

If you press enter, then it will wipe the drive and reinstall. Now I must mention that after imaging, the computer will take 30-60 minutes where it will lock out the keyboard and mouse, and reinstall the programs as they came on your computer. This is normal. Once the warning box for that is gone, it will progress to the windows setup screens that you originally had when you opened the box, where you set up the security and user name, etc on the computer.

I hope this is of some help to those of you who, through no fault of your own, end up having to reinstall windows on your mini, do not want to send it to Depot,and do not have a CD/DVD drive for it, but have another computer you can borrow to get it done. Also I should mention that all steps listed here other than copying the files from the CD to the flash drive can be done on the mini, so you could do everything else, and copy the files when you can on someone elses computer.

If anyone has any further suggestions on this, please feel free to mention them, I will update this tutorial as needed.

Worthing.jason

Note:
If anyone is having trouble getting Dell to send them the SRCDs, see page 3 of this thread for a session ID and chat session where they were requested, that should help.
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  #1  
Old 12-10-2008, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

Hey, you stole my idea!....jk

Turns out the Dell Diagnostic is the easiest way of creating a DOS bootable USB or CD for the purposes of safe BIOS flashing or ghosting and anything else you would consider performing under DOS...just wish I had run across the Dell utility earlier because it is much better than using any other method.

As far as ghost command switches, depending on your version of ghost you may have to slightly edit the command switches you have as an example...
Here would be an example of slightly altered switches to use with latest DOS ghost.exe v11.5:

ghost -clone,mode=restore,src=stm.gho,dst=2 -rb -sure

-rb forces reboot after completion
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2008, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

The ghost switches I used are the ones for the version that ships on the SRCDs (11.0.1 I think), and the switches are the same ones used by the SRCDs. All I really did is say how to move it to a flash drive, and then run it. The rest is just normal SRCDs.
Worthing.jason

P.S. I did borrow the idea for the flash drive from you. Thank you for the tip, as without it, the directions would have been MUCH more ugly. The fact that it does a ramdrive, and gives you access to most all of the dos commands also helps
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2008, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

The SRCDs shipped with my mini run from CD like a typical OEM XP install, requiring the laborious task of manually installing each device driver after Windows boots first time.
Does your method install all the drivers, etc..... back to a factory fresh install, where you simply create your account ?

If this is the case, how do you start the Ghosted install from the Dell SRCDs ( I have an external CD/DVD drive) rather than the S L O W OEM Xp style install ?

Wayne.
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  #4  
Old 12-10-2008, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

This is a common misunderstanding, which is why I specified requesting the disks from dell. The disks that ship with your computer are RE INSTALLATION disks, and as you mentioned, it is just a windows reinstall. The SRCD is a completely different beast. It is a ghost image of your computer as it was during the original imaging process. If you request the SRCDs from Dell (they will not send them unless you request them, and do not be surprised if they offer resistance even then - Remember Dell P/N 59221), it will reimage your computer back to original, as opposed to having to reinstall. For my system, it is 3 CDs that say "Software Restoration Disk 1", ... . They are not guaranteed to work (sometimes there are issues with the images, but rarely), but when they do it is just like getting an imaged hard drive.

Worthing.jason

P.S. Yes, it would be windows, drivers, programs, etc. approx. as it shipped.
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Old 12-11-2008, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

Finally, a sensible answer to a question I have aske 2 different Dell support people. I will request it today, and let you know how it goes. I cant believe these arent shipped with the PCs already, It just makes restoring the system so much quicker and easier.

Thanks for the tip, much appreciated.

Wayne.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2008, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

How did it go? They get them sent out to you?

worthing.jason
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2008, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

Good Luck

Support web page states - Dell Customers can now request a set of backup discs containing the factory-installed operating system as well as the device drivers and utilities specific to your system. *
Requests are limited to one (1) set of backup discs per system purchased.
*
The backup discs requested must match the operating system that was factory installed on the original order.

Chat with Dell says :

Agent (Sup_Basha_xxxx): "Robert, there is no factory image disk for this model as the hard disk size is too small and only Windows XP SP3 and Resource DVD can be sent to reinstall the system."

Agent (Sup_Basha_xxxx): "Nope Robert. We can send the backup disks and only Windows Xp and Resource DVD can be sent."
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Old 12-13-2008, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

AzRobert,
two things to mention. The form you went to just gets your Operating system disk sent to you ( I tried it a while back to check) - and you have to be direct. Most agents do not know what SRCDs are. You have to tell them that is what you want, and then correct them when they confirm that you want your operating system disks.
Second, to get them you will have to be persistent and exact. That is part of the reason I gave the part number- it is exactly what you want. If they say it does not exist, tell them to go look in their policy tool for either SRCD or for 59221. Either one will bring up the policy that talks about it. Again, if they tell you they cannot or will not send them, get a supervisor, as they are available under the warranty. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but every time I have requested them, the chat takes an hour, excepting the most recent, and they are MUCH more likely to send the OS disk than the other, unless you confirm at the end fo the chat "Just to make sure you are sending the right part, what part numbers are you sending? - if there answer is anything other than 59221, be polite but firm in telling them that is the wrong part, and the part you need sent is 59221

Worthing.jason

Option of last resort, tell them that you know someone else who has gotten them, which is not a lie. I have the disks for my mini 9 in my possession now.
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: How to: Re-image your Mini9 from Dells image for your system

Quote:
Originally Posted by worthing.jason
AzRobert,
two things to mention. The form you went to just gets your Operating system disk sent to you ( I tried it a while back to check) - and you have to be direct. Most agents do not know what SRCDs are. You have to tell them that is what you want, and then correct them when they confirm that you want your operating system disks.
Second, to get them you will have to be persistent and exact. That is part of the reason I gave the part number, as it is constant for all systems, and is exactly what you want. If they say it does not exist, tell them to go look in their policy tool for either SRCD or for 59221. Either one will bring up the policy that talks about it. Again, if they tell you they cannot or will not send them, get a supervisor, as they are available under the warranty for the first year after purchase. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but every time I have requested them, the chat takes an hour, excepting the most recent, and they are MUCH more likely to send the OS disk than the other, unless you confirm at the end fo the chat "Just to make sure you are sending the right part, what part numbers are you sending? - if there answer is anything other than 59221, be polite but firm in telling them that is the wrong part, and the part you need sent is 59221

Worthing.jason

Option of last resort, tell them that you know someone else who has gotten them, which is not a lie. I have the disks for my mini 9 in my possession now.
they ask me for your service tag, or anyone else that got that SR DVD, so, can i get it?
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