How can I reinstall Windows on two Dell laptops for which I have lost the install CDs?

GrrGrrr August 15, 2012


I have two Dell laptops – a Dell 620 and a 630 with Windows XP and Vista installed. Unfortunately the CDs supplied by Dell are missing.

I tried installing XP Pro on 620 model and supplying the serial which is on the sticker on the bottom of the machine, but it didn’t accept. The same happened for Vista. I have of course tried installing same OS edition as mentioned on the sticker, but nothing works so far.

Is there a possible workaround to get those serial numbers on the sticker working?


  1. GrrGrrr
    August 21, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Thanks everyone for help. I am resolving this question.

    August 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Hello, I am afraid you only have to choices: one, get the discs shipped by Dell and install them or get a Retail version of the operating system and start brand new. Ever since recovery partitions were provided instead os discs, most big computer manufactures like Dell can only use the license attached to the system with the recovery partition or OEM disc provided.

  3. John Schmitt
    August 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I have contacted Dell in the past and for a small fee (around 20.00 with shipping) you can get the OS CD shipped to you.

  4. ha14
    August 16, 2012 at 10:41 am

    How To Restore or Reinstall Microsoft Windows on a Dell Computer

    once you start DEll perhaps + will give you access to pc restore function.
    If you do not press + at the right time, let the computer finish restarting, and then restart it again.

    • ha14
      August 16, 2012 at 10:42 am

      it is ctrl+F11

      • GrrGrrr
        August 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

        didn't work

        • ha14
          August 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm

          Inside the Dell PC Restore Partition

          CTRL-F11 will not access the Dell PC Restore by Symantec partition any longer
          [Broken Link Removed]
          scroll down to post by juniorbyron, perhaps DSRFIX zip can help?

        • GrrGrrr
          August 16, 2012 at 8:10 pm


        • GrrGrrr
          August 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

          Thanks ha14

  5. Hannes Schön
    August 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    If you're lucky, both laptops have a recovery partition installed, which will set them back to factory defaults (deleting all data stored on them...)
    This way Dell doesnt need to ship countless CD's and DVD's to the customer - although if you already HAD those CD's and lost them, its not much hope for a recovery partition :-( Maybe Dell will resend them to you if you ask kindly? ;-))

    • GrrGrrr
      August 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      yes, CDs were shipped for sure.

      While doing a reinstall of XP i saw a partition of may b 4Gb, or 400mb size. not sure what it is, and how could i access recovery partition..

  6. ferdinan Sitohang
    August 15, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Is it already the same edition? such as XP Pro SP1? if not my be it is the problem

    • GrrGrrr
      August 15, 2012 at 11:28 am

      I know on the edition as XP PRO, but not on service pack.

      i'm sure it was no sp3.

      @Bruce - thanks

      • ferdinan Sitohang
        August 16, 2012 at 2:26 am

        if it is the problem, i think you need to have an OEM version XP Pro, since it has some difference with the XP Pro OLP or FPP version.

  7. Bruce Epper
    August 15, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Those product keys on the stickers are for the OEM version of those operating systems. They will not work with a retail version of the OS. You may be able to get Dell to ship recovery discs for the machines for a nominal fee. Or you could buy retail copies and use those instead.

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