Author: philipyip

UEFI BIOS Install Guides


It took me some time to get new hardware to do the full tests for UEFI and SecureBoot. Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide is now heavily updated for these scenarios.

UEFI BIOS Settings:

Windows 8.1:

Windows 7:

Dell Backup and Recovery:

Dell Backup and Recovery has also been tested with A clean install of Windows 7 64 Bit installed in UEFI.

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UEFI BIOS Screen Recording Setup


I got a new Dell Inspiron 7347 and I upgraded my XPS 8300 to have 4 USB 3.0 ports. I also purchased a StarTech USB 3.0 HD Video Capture Device. This has allowed me to record the Dell UEFI BIOS:

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Download Windows 8.1 .iso

Testing with a UEFI BIOS with SecureBoot enabled and with the Dell UEFI BIOS SLP key.

Creation of Recovery Media with Dell Backup and Recovery:

Both these videos are very similar. They instruct in upgrading to the latest version of Dell Backup and Recovery, making the recovery media and checking that it boots in a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot enabled. They also play around a bit in Disk Management to help users understand whats going on.

This is a test from a 500 GB SHDD to a 250 GB SSD and worked incredibly well. A similar test with a Factory USB Flash Drive worked just as well. The process was identical so I won’t make a second video on that. I may however make one restoring from the factory internal partition which I tested with the SSD.

Say Goodbye to Windows Vista and 7 Digital River .isos


Microsoft have broke the Digital River .isos, there are not working download links to Windows Vista and Windows 7 now. 😦

They have been replaced the Windows 7 Digital River Download Links by a non-functional Microsoft Software Recovery Tool: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-recovery

This tool is designed to work with only Retail licenses and in my testing it doesn’t even work with these. They have deliberately forced the input of a product key deliberately blocking out the Windows 7 OEM userbase. This has done a huge disservice to the Windows 7 userbase. In particular as many people will need to Reinstall their Windows 7 OEM licenses in order to qualify for their free upgrade to Windows 10 and it takes some time to procure installation media from OEMs. The .isos should be available without entry of a product key for the first year of Windows 10 release, so the OEM userbase can safely migrate.

Windows Vista can essentially be thought of as End of Life albeit 2 years prematurely.

More details of the problems are listed here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/microsoft-software-recovery-tool/95ac28f9-bd2d-4bb3-9f70-a62fecc56316

Windows 8.1 .iso Download


I’m sure “No we don’t have any plans to make ISO images available outside of MSDN/Technet subscriptions” by Brandon LeBlanc on 18 October 2013 was amongst the worst promotional material for any Microsoft product.

I’d been arguing the case for the need for the .iso downloads since 2010 on Dell IdeaStorm. It only got worse with Windows 8.0 and with Windows 8.1 I’d never such an awful deployment of a service pack by forcing it through a buggy store. The number of issues with the update made a number of workarounds previously documented here very popular. Unsurprisingly there was a large user backlash and endless frustration over this stupid decision. I’m thankful to all users who left negative feedback here and elsewhere even if it resulted with my ban on Microsoft Answers, SevenForums and EightForums.

Finally only after a year or two (including the lack of a Windows 8.0 OEM .iso) Microsoft have looked to common sense and released a downloader which works as expected.

Their new Windows Installation Media Creation Tool is fully functional. To Download Windows 8.1 see my Download Windows 8.1 Retail and OEM .iso.

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The Windows Installation Media Creation Tool allows for selection of:

  • Language
  • Windows 8.1 Version
  • Architecture

The Windows Installation Media Creation Tool importantly does not ask for a product key, allowing you to download the .iso on any Windows computer.

The Windows Installation Media Creation Tool also checks that the downloaded .iso is okay which should reduce the errors users previously encountered when trying to install with media created from incomplete downloads.

Finally the Windows 8.1 with Update 1 .iso accepts both Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 product keys during installation regardless whether OEM or retail:

  • Windows 8.1 (Home) .iso will accept Windows 8.1 (Home) Product Keys and Windows 8.0 (Home) Product Keys.
  • Windows 8.1 Professional .iso will accept Windows 8.1 Professional Product Keys and Windows 8.0 Professional Product Keys
  • Windows 8.1 Single Language .iso will accept Windows 8.0 Single Language and Windows 8.1 Single Language Product Keys

I have multiple confirmations of the new media creation tool .isos working on the OEM license although some cases users used RWEverything and change key for product activation afterwards.

Microsoft have acknowledged the feedback left here and many other places on the many difficulties their previous deployment options (or lack of options) had on the end user. From my own guides these were:

Dell OEM System Locked Preinstallation Added for Windows Vista and Windows 7


I’d been hassled by a subset of Microsoft MVPs for providing this guide however its a corner stone of the Windows Reinstallation Guide and one of the main reasons I designate this guide as “unofficial”.

I have therefore compiled together complete information including download links to Windows Vista and Windows 7 Reinstallation media. This includes the OEM system locked preinstallation activation mechanism found in the Dell Windows Vista Reinstallation DVDs and Dell Windows 7 Reinstallation DVDs. These are now incorporated into the Windows Reinstallation Guide. For full instructions including the download links see:

Windows 7 Player 1: YouTube

Windows 7 Player 2: WordPress

Windows Vista Player 1: YouTube

Windows Vista Player 2: WordPress