Windows Recovery on Dell Laptop

    Loking for some advice here. I have a Dell Inspiron laptop and Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows is "playing up", Explorer won't start properly, Sidebar and Defender have disappeared completely and probably other things I haven't even noticed yet. I've already tried going back to a previous restore point with litle joy, I've even invested in extra RAM. On my wifes laptop she has a Windows recovery disc which allows her to "repair" Windows, but my Dell has a Recovery partition in the hard drive and no disc. The problem is that when I try to run the recovery program it wants to restre the laptop to factory conditions and delete all personal folders and files and programs. My idea was to use the backup function to save my personal folders and programs, then restore the laptop to factory conditions. My question is, will this fix Windows and then restore all of my personal folders and progams or will I lose my programs that have been instaled.
    Any help would be appreciated.


    You will lose all your installed programs and settings.

    The only way not to is to use the *windows repair* functionality of a Windows Vista Disc

    Or to use a 3rd party backup software before the "disaster" occurred.

    Is your wife's disk a Windows Vista repair disk or Windows XP. perhaps you could use that

    >My idea was to use the backup function to save my personal folders and programs

    Backup to what?

    If you want to backup or save your personal files you will either need to:

    1) Copy them to one or more CD or DVD if you have a CD/DVD writer

    2) Copy them to an external hard drive plugged into your USB port.

    Personally I would do BOTH before you do a Windows recovery.

    When you do the Windows "restore to factory settings" then it will be exactly as it was when you bought it.

    You would be responsible for installing any programs you have installed since, and also copying your personal files back onto your hard disk from CD/DVD or an external drive.

    Original Poster

    I've got an external hard drive to back everything up.

    Thanks for the advice. I've spoken to Dell and they will send me a Vista recovery disc. so that should sort it out.
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