Windows Vista Be careful installing Beta 2 on Dell laptops


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Jul 22, 2005
New York, NY, United States
As an alert to people who may want to install Beta 2 on Dell laptops or computers with a emergency restore partition:

Dell laptops have a hidden partition on the hard drive to restore the original operating system that came with the computer. To activate the emergency restore, you hit CTRL-F11 at system boot-up.

If you perform a clean install of Windows Vista on Dell laptop, it will overwrite the master boot record on your partition table. This means you will not be able to use the Dell Emergency Restore / Norton Ghost feature to go back to Windows XP with CTRL-F11 at boot-up.

If you do not have a system restore CD or Windows XP CD from Dell, you will have a problem going back to Windows XP. There is a way to get CTRL-F11 working again by restoring the MBR, but it is a major operation, especially if you do not have a floppy drive on the computer.

If this is a problem for you, visit this website:

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Contains information on how to restore CTRL-F11 on your Dell system.
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