Friday, November 15, 2013

[Rant] Still could not get rid of the Dell Latitude 10 Tablet (part 1)

delllatitude10essentials

Before I bought my Asus tablet, I checked with the shops if I would be able sell the Dell tablet. Otherwise I would be stuck in a spot of bother having an extra tablet that was not used for anything. Even though there was a chance for me to sell the tablet, there was one problem. The factory restore functionality was broken.

It all started a while back when I tried out Windows 8.1 Preview on it but I managed to fix it. However, the situation got elevated when I updated to Window 8.1. Apparently, when you update Windows 8 to 8.1, the inbuilt recovery features (Reset and Refresh) that uses an image stored in the recovery partition break. That sucks! However, the updated version of Dell Backup and Recovery software could fix it and repair the recovery functionality.
 
I launched recovery and it went on fine. When the recovery finished and rebooted to enter the OOBE where you configure the initial settings such as PC name, user accounts and Wi-Fi network, I shutdown the tablet and stored it back in the box it came in to sell on Monday. I thought nothing could go wrong hereafter. Recovery was working, right?
 
How wrong I was!!!
 
So on Monday we went to Kawasaki and I took the tablet with me to sell it. I also took my old iPhone 4S and Creative X-Fi Titanium audio card. I went to Dospara. There they said they couldn't accept the tablet because they had not decided on the pricing of the tablet. Even though I had an email from them telling me a suggested value of the tablet, they said they (people at the Kawasaki shop) couldn't do anything. They told me to go to their head office in Akihabara. I couldn’t do that on that day. But I could manage to sell the iPhone 4S though they didn't take the audio card.
 
Then we went to Sofmap. Usually Dospara values stuff higher but Sofmap is easier. They took it and said it'll take like 3hrs so we let them check it and went away saying that we would return in the evening.
 
Unfortunately, things weren't bright at Sofmap either. They said there was a problem with the tablet!!! The recovery was not working!!! They said without it recovery, they can only value it at half of the price if it is sold with recovery otherwise. I can understand there point of view. Normal people don’t have access to a Windows setup as I do and most people who use tablets are not that techy. Without recovery, the value of a tablet is pretty low. This made me thing, I probably am never going to give up on desktop PCs. Laptops are no better than tablets anymore.
 
But what I didn't understand was why it wasn't working.
 
I checked the tablet in front of them. Sure thing, the Dell Backup and Recovery was not working, nor did the Refresh and Reset features. I felt embarrassed. Well, I could leave it there and get half the money I would otherwise get or  take it back and try to fix it. Obviously I took it home.
 
I tried everything to fix it.
  1. The tablet already had Windows 8 and the old version of Back and Recovery. Neither that nor internal recovery features worked. It said it cannot find a recovery image. That's the first time I've seen that error.
  2. Updated the Backup and Recovery software to latest to see if it could detect the recovery image. It could detect it, but when I tried to reset it to factory defaults, the all crashed -every time.
  3. Maybe it needed Windows 8.1 even though Dell never mentioned anything. I updated to Windows 8.1 via the store. It took a long time. Sadly, it still didn't work. It still crashed as soon as I tried to reset to factory defaults.
  4. I had backed the image to a USB flash drive but this backup was nude after updating to Windows 8.1. I could boot into the recovery environment but it have an error after few minutes into he recovery. Of course the Windows installation was kaput. I tried it again. Same error. Something must be wrong with the image or the partition structure.
I checked to see if I could make the recovery partition and configure factory image manually. I found out that you could make a custom Refresh image quite easily and also detailed instructions on Technet on how to create a factory recovery setup manually. So I felt I could it on my own and I cleaned up the whole drive!!!!
 
And the story continues here.
 
 
 
 
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