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Dell OS Recovery Tool Under Linux Mini-HOWTO

This post originally appeared as a Github Gist.

Since I was unable to find a specific answer to how can one create a Dell recovery disk from within Linux, I decided to write the steps here.

If you write the CD image directly to the USB drive (or create a new partition and write it there), the laptop will not boot. You need your USB media to be in FAT32 format with the contents of the recovery ISO.

  1. Download the recovery ISO from the support section of Dell website.
  2. Insert a USB Drive with enough capacity to hold the contents of the ISO image.
  3. Format the drive and create a filesystem where $USB_DEVICE is your USB drive (check with fdisk -l, it may be something like /dev/sdb):

    # parted $USB_DEVICE
    (parted) mklabel msdos
    (parted) mkpart primary fat32 0% 100%
    (parted) quit
    # mkfs.vfat -n DellRestore ${USB_DEVICE}1
  4. Copy the contents of the ISO file to the new FAT32 partition:

    # mkdir /mnt/{source,target}
    # mount -o loop,ro ~/Downloads/2DF4FA00_W10x64ROW_pro\(DL\)_v3.iso /mnt/source
    # mount ${USB_DEVICE}1 /mnt/target
    # rsync -r /mnt/source/. /mnt/target/
    # umount /mnt/source
    # umount /mnt/target
  5. Reboot and start your machine from the USB drive.

This should have been obvious, but I've spent a few hours testing various ways to boot from that ISO (unetbootin, writing the image directlry to drive, writing to first partition), so I hope it is going to be useful to somebody else as well.