Friday, July 1, 2011

Error EC950025 or 36000 When Using Dell (Norton Ghost) System Restore

I had a Dell Inspiron E1505 laptop which I was attempting to restore to factory default to prepare it for another user. I successfully booted into the recovery partition via Ctrl+F11, but when I tried to perform the factory restore, I got "Error EC950025: Cannot find a factory recovery point on this computer." I tried to do it manually, but when I went to select the factory image (it's in the 'img' folder on the recovery partition) via Ghost's interface, I got "Internal Error 36000 - An internal inconsistency has been detected".

When I ran Dan Goodell's excellent DSRFix tool (using the '/PBR4' switch to indicate that the recovery partition was in the fourth partition, not the third), it reported that it could find nothing to fix.

I found that there were a number of Norton system restore files on a partition called 'Backup', taken back in 2006, and that I was able to access these and restore them with no trouble. After restoring the earliest of them, I went into the c:\Dell\Utilities\DSR directory and ran BOOT_DSR.exe (the icon looks like a triangle with a ! in it). It restarted the system into recovery mode, and after that the factory restore worked perfectly.

What caused the issue? I'm not sure. It seems that the recovery partition needed the C:\Dell\Utilities directory to be available to work properly, or that the boot_dsr utility was able to correct whatever issue was holding it back. It could also be that the C partition was just corrupted and that merely deleting it would have solved the issue. Once I got it to work, I did not investigate further.

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