To take this project a little futher, I am happy to report that my old laptop Dell C840 now can use Ctrl+F11 with custom image. It's a bit messy but not impossible
This same procedure can be use to replace your hard drive in case you need to up grade the HD.
what you will need
Norton ghost 20003
you may need a linux boot cd, I use Ubuntu Live CD Version 5.10, the reason why I need it, because my XP OS was on the first partion and only partion I had, so when I use magic partition to create 47MB Dell Partion Utility and Dell Restore Partition the two partition I created become partition #2 and #3, which Dell Restore didn't like one bit and DSRFIX will also report it not correct.
So if you have only one partition that already have OS on, you will need to use Magic Partition to move and create Dell Utility and Dell restore partition. Before you use magic partition, I sugguest you install Notorn ghost 2003 on the current OS, make a copy of your current OS image to the another hard drive or CD-Writer, I didn't have to do this step because I didn't care if I lost the current OS image.
So here how I did my
Currrent hard drive have single partion list at partition #1
I used magic partition create 47MB Dell Utility partition, it become partition #2. I then created Dell Restore partition, this partition become partition #3. Of course you will need to shrink your current OS partition to make room for the two new partition, if you do not know how to use magic partition, I suggest you stop now
Anyway after create two new partiton, the system ask me to reboot so Magic Partition can apply the change, however, during the reboot to make change, Magic Partition crap out on me, but don't panic your data still there
. If this happen to you, it mean you will need to run "chkdsk", just put in XP installtion CD and boot it, then hit R for repair, it will give a C prompt, just run chkdsk from there.
so the step is
1) install magic partition
2) shrink current OS partition and move it the middle partition to allow Dell Utility be on the first parttion with 47MB
3) create Dell Restore partition, this partition need to be on the 3rd partition after the OS partition. Make whatever side you want anything from 4.7GB to 20GB
4) Partition magic will ask to reboot the system. If during the partition process apply, if Magic Partition crap out, boot from XP CD or whatever mean so you can run CHKDSK. Once it done, boot the system back to your current OS. This assume you didn't mess up any thing.
5) Open your magic partion, verify it look like this
If it didn't look like that, then you didn't create partition correctly. recreate it again and make sure Dell Ultility is on the 1st partion, OS image on the 2nd partition, Dell Restore on the 3rd partition.
Once this done, you will need to edit windows boot.ini file, to let it know your new partition change from partition 1 to partition 2
Go to Contral panel --> system --> advanced tab --> down to startup and recovery click on setting --> edit
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows XP" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Windows XP" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
Save the file. You can also edit this by hand the file is locate on C:\boot.ini, but you will need to tell Windows to show the hidden file.
Once all it done correctly boot it with Linux live CD, again I use Ubuntu Live CD version 5.10, but if you are a Linux Guru then use what ever flavor Linux you like as long as it can boot and allow you to run fdisk command.
Once you boot in to Linux enviroment, open a Linux command prompt. In my case with Linux Ubuntu Live CD, from Linux GUI
1) Application menu --> accessories --> Terminal
2) once the Terminal open, from # prompt do "sudo su -" (without quote)
3) this will give you root prompt, type in "fdisk /dev/hda" (again without quote). This will give you fdisk menu, if you need help type m. Also if you have SATA disk then the command is "fdisk /dev/sda"
once you are in fdisk menu
A) hit p to list the partition table, you will notice, it complaint about partition table not match up with the partition that was create. You will notice
/dev/hda1 is HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 is unallocate with 47MB
/dev/hda3 is unallocate with whatever size you had create
B) hit x this will bring you to expert menu, again type m for help. you will see f option is for "fix partition order"
C) Hit f once you in the expert fdisk mode, it will ask you confirm, hit y to confirm
D) Once you done, hit r to return to a none expert fdisk menu
E) Hit p to list the partition table again, this time, it should show
/dev/hda1 is unallocate with 47MB
/dev/hda2 is HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda3 is unallocate with whatever size you have create.
F) once that confirm correct, hit w to write it to the disk and it will exit to a root, type in halt or power off, remove Linux live cd, boot the system into a windows OS. If for some reason you Windows refuse to boot and complaints about missing DLL or HAL blah blah file, that mean you have mess up your boot.ini file. To fix this, boot from XP CD then go into repair menu, it will ask you the location of your current Windows, and administrator password. Once you get to C prompt type in "bootcfg /rebuild" confirm a few options then type in a new name for it, whatever name you type here will appear on the Windows boot menu, you can edit it later to match with what you want. If you do not have any problem with boot to OS, then it time for put on the Dell Ultility and restore image.
I must assume you know how to use the ghost program otherwise I would not go into detail how you back up or restore the ghost image.
Anyway, on the system with Dell Ultility and Dell Image Restore, use ghost 2003 back up partion for Dell Ultility, Dell Image restore, since my OS partion have so much disk space I put both on this backup on my local OS disk, just create folder call OEM_partition. Once I have this two back up image, I moved it over to the C840 and start restore the Dell Utility and Dell Restore on the two new partition, make sure Dell Ultility go on to the first partion, and Dell Restore go on to the third partion. If for some reason ghost 2003 refuse to see this two new partition, go head and use Magic partition to created the first 47MB as FAT file system and third partion as FAT32 file system.
by now you should have the two new partition fill with data from ghost restore. To verify this go to my computer, look for 3rd partition, if you can see list of folder with SRC1-SRC4 and IMG folder then your are read for the next step to put in the custom image.
1)Delete everything in the IMG folder on the Dell restore image, I said IMG folder
, not the drive
2)using ghost 2003 backup your current OS image to IMG folder on the Dell restore partion, make sure type in name call FI as a file name (in my case it C840 OS image called FI)
3) Once this done, boot to DSRFIX enviroment, then run dsrfix /f
4) Reboot the system, then hit Crtl+F11, you should see the Dell restore option menu
since this is supplement to the origional poster, I will not include the detail how to change partion from DB to 0C or how to use DSRFIX.
Also I notice when I ran the test restore, my Windows screen for ghost didn't display correctly during the restore, but it did get the jobs done. You will also get a service tag not match with your system since this partion was copy over, however you can fix this by changing the Dell Ultility partion as FAT so you can mount in Windows XP, edit the seal.ini file, look for services tag number and change it to match with your current system.....
let me know how it go if you try your