Downloading a Dell Windows 7 Professional ISO Using the Dell OS Recovery Tool and Making a Bootable USB

Tutorial Video

Should I Download Windows Installation Media from Microsoft or Dell?

Windows 7 – Dell OS Recovery Tool Recommended

For Windows 7, Dell’s offering of Windows Reinstallation Media is Superior to Microsoft’s as it has been updated to incorporate Driver Support for Up to 6th Generation Intel Hardware for the Professional Edition and Automatically Applies OEM System Locked Preinstallation. Dell only offer the Professional Edition but this can be converted into other Editions by modification of two files in a text editor such as Notepad++. The Dell ISO is also multi-lingual

Windows 8.1 – Media Creation Tool Recommended

For Windows 8.1, Microsoft’s Offering is Superior to Dell’s as it covers more Editions. Both sets of installation media are Windows 8.1 with Update 2 and there is no advantage in using the Dell ISO as it has no additional Drivers.

Windows 10 – Media Creation Tool Recommended

For Windows 10, Microsoft’s Offering is Superior to Dell’s as it covers more Editions and is more up to date than Dell’s Windows 10 ISO and there is no advantage in using the Dell ISO as it has no additional Drivers.

The Media from Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool is proper Windows Installation Media allowing for all setup options. The Media from the Dell OS Recovery Tool is akin to a Recovery Drive. These in my experience have been less functional and also restrict setup options such as the ability to partition a Drive during the Windows Setup.

Windows 10 will have basic driver support inbuilt including internet connectivity and post-installation the Dell Update (Inspiron/XPS) or Dell Command (Latitude/OptiPlex) utility will check your hardware IDs and Driver Versions and Automatically Install Any Newer Versions Found on Dell’s Servers.

The Dell OS Recovery Tool

The Dell OS Recovery Tool requires Microsoft.net Framework 4.7.2 to be installed. This is inbuilt into Windows 10. For Windows 7 it is likely already installed however if you require it, it is available here:

You can Download the Dell OS Recovery Tool from here:

Select Download OS Recovery Tool.

Double click the Program:

Accept the User Account Control:

Select Install:

Select Close. You will have a Dell OS Recovery Tool icon on your Desktop and Start Menu:

Launch the Dell OS Recovery Tool:

Accept the User Account Control:

You will see the Dell logo:

Select Get Started:

Select Next:

Here if you are running on a Dell Computer, you can select “This Computer” and it will scan your system for its Service Tag:

It detects this is an OptiPlex 7040. Select Next:

In my case my OptiPlex 7040 shows a Windows 10 Pro License. This system is also eligible for OEM Downgrade Rights and has a 6th Generation Intel Processor so a Dell Windows 7 Professional OEM Reinstallation ISO will also work on it. I will select Change Device:

I will then select a Service Tag which has a Windows 7 Pro OEM Reinstallation ISO available for Download. Inputting by Service Tag allows you to run this tool on a non-Dell Computer:

Inputting the 7 digit Service Tag:

Selecting Next:

I can see the Windows 7 SP1 Professional 64 Bit ISO available to Download.

My Service Tag Doesn’t Work or No Download is Available

What happens if my Dell Service Tag Doesn’t Work, or Doesn’t Show the Correct Architecture of Windows 7 (e.g. 32 Bit instead of 64 Bit) or only shows Windows 10 instead of Windows 7? There is actually a Tool called the Windows ISO Download Tool which yields direct links to the Dell Server.

To the right hand side select Dell and then select Windows 7 64 Bit to the left hand side. To the top you’ll need to select a Model (it doesn’t matter what Model) and then select the Windows 7 64 Bit ISO. The Download Link will Display to the Right Hand Side. Select Copy Link for 64 Bit and then Paste into Google Chrome.

At the time of writing the Tool is not working as part of a protest against the Tyranny of the European Union and Article 13.

Select Download:

IF YOU WANT THE ISO DO NOT SELECT NEXT

Open up Windows Explorer. Select C:\

The folder the ISO is save in is a subfolder of ProgramData, a hidden folder.

Change the Address to

HTML

Select Dell

Select OS Recovery Tool

Select Downloads:

When you select this, you will told you need to elevate permissions to access the folder. Select Continue:

You should now see the ISO. Select Copy:

Paste it somewhere like the Desktop:

You now have the Dell Windows 7 Professional Skylake Reinstalaltion ISO:

Making the Bootable USB Using the Dell OS Recovery Tool (Not Recommended)

The Dell OS Recovery Tool makes the Bootable USB and then deletes the ISO. It makes the USB FAT32 formatted which is not recommended if you plan to slipstream drivers and updates. Slipstreaming drivers will make the install.wim > 4 GB which won’t fit on FAT32.

To make the Bootable USB you’ll need a 16 GB USB Flash Drive. Insert it and select Next:

Select the USB Flash Drive and select Burn OS:

You will be shown the Summary when done:

Press the Close Button to close the Dell OS Recovery Tool:

When it Closes it will take Several Minutes to Complete. It deletes the temporary files including the ISO you just Downloaded!

The ISO is gone:

I also noticed the following message shows regarding the Bootable USB. Select cancel (otherwise you’ll just undo the Bootable USB Creation):

The Bootable USB never showed on my system:

Until I removed it and plugged it in again:

It was FAT32 formatted:

Making the Bootable USB with Rufus

Download Rufus:

Select Rufus:

Accept the User Account Control:

Select, Select:

Load your ISO and select Open:

You can check the ISO checksums:

They should match the ones listed in Dell OS Recovery Tool Checksums. Hint press [Ctrl] and [ f ] to search the page. If they do not match your ISO is unique and likely corrupt or I do not have your ISO listed. If you get no match search for the ISO name in that case, if I list it with different checksums then your ISO is corrupt. If I do not list it, can you comment to give the name of your ISO, checksums, model and region and I will add it to the list.

Partition Scheme

If your computer has a UEFI BIOS and you are installing Windows 7 64 Bit you should use the GPT Partition Scheme. If your computer has a Legacy BIOS and/or you are installing Windows 7 32 Bit you should use the MBR Partition Scheme.

  • 2012-2015 (3rd-6th generation) computers you will have a UEFI BIOS.
  • 2011-2012 (2nd generation) computers you might have a Legacy or Early UEFI BIOS (No Secure Boot). If unsure, power off your Dell and press [F12] to get to the Boot Menu.
  • 2009-2010 (1st generation) computers you will have a Legacy BIOS.

Select GPT or MBR as required:

Change the File Format to NTFS, this will give you more flexibility should you decide to slipstream updates and drivers to the install.wim of the Windows 7 Bootable USB.

Changed the Volume Label to something more recognisable:

I am using DW7x64 meaning Dell Windows 7 64 Bit:

Select Start:

Accept the Warning to Format/Wipe your USB Flash Drive:

When done you will get a warning about Secure Boot (Windows 7 doesn’t support Secure Boot), you will need to Disable it and Enable Legacy Roms before Clean Installation. Select Close:

You can now Close Rufus:

You now have a Dell Windows 7 Professional Skylake Reinstallation USB.

Solid State Drive Upgrade

Before you use it to Clean Install Windows 7, now is an excellent time to consider upgrading your systems slow access Hard Drive to a fast access Solid State Drive. Clean installation directly onto a SSD will substantially speed up your system. See my guide below for more details:

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