How do you create the Dell diagnostic partition and load i..

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so when I
install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load it up
with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site has
is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that? No
harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers
43 answers Last reply
More about create dell diagnostic partition load
  1. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    On my system..2400.
    There are multiple downloads (HD and floppy)
    for the diags. They are not updates.
    Hope this helps...what system do you have.
    Dave
  2. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    The system I am working on now is a Latitude C810 notebook with a new hard
    drive. I'll also be getting a Latitude C840 notebook into shape as well as
    Precision 330, 340, 350, and 360 systems... Ben Myers

    On 11 Mar 2005 19:47:58 -0800, "David" <davids1165@gmail.com> wrote:

    >On my system..2400.
    >There are multiple downloads (HD and floppy)
    >for the diags. They are not updates.
    >Hope this helps...what system do you have.
    >Dave
    >
  3. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    The software that updates a diagnostic partition refuses to run if it does not
    find the partition. So the real problem is how to create the Dell diagnostic
    partition? ... Ben Myers

    On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 03:06:16 GMT, ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben
    Myers) wrote:

    >The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so when I
    >install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load it up
    >with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site has
    >is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that? No
    >harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers
  4. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Ben Myers wrote:
    >
    > The software that updates a diagnostic partition refuses to run if it does not
    > find the partition. So the real problem is how to create the Dell diagnostic
    > partition? ... Ben Myers

    I guess I'm missing something... Do the diagnostics *have to*
    be installed in a special partition? Can't they be run from
    anywhere?

    Notan
  5. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Ben Myers wrote:

    > The software that updates a diagnostic partition refuses to run if it does not
    > find the partition. So the real problem is how to create the Dell diagnostic
    > partition? ... Ben Myers
    >
    > On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 03:06:16 GMT, ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben
    > Myers) wrote:
    >
    >
    >>The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so when I
    >>install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load it up
    >>with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site has
    >>is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that? No
    >>harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers
    >
    >
    Well for what it's worth, the partition is simply a ~70MB FAT partition
    placed and is the first primary partition of the drive. If you have one
    machine running linux with a working partition, it'd be fairly simple to
    scp it over. In fact, you don't even need a machine running Linux, you
    just need a machine that already has the partition; then you can use a
    couple live Linux distro's like knoppix to do what you want.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to this.
    It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell provides and
    that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get access to the
    exact same utilities.

    Tom
    <ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
    news:42325b10.36472117@nntp.charter.net...
    > The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so
    > when I
    > install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load
    > it up
    > with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site
    > has
    > is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that?
    > No
    > harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers
  7. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
    news:iYzYd.134524$qB6.17525@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
    > In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to
    > this. It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell
    > provides and that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get
    > access to the exact same utilities.
    >
    > Tom


    That's pretty much my understanding as well. Recently and in the future
    there may be a problem with that.

    Since Dell is no longer including the Resource CD with new systems (the last
    3 I've seen did not have it), then the diags would have to be downloaded
    most likely. And as noted in the thread, the diag partition update download
    simply updates an existing diags partition.

    So I'm thinking that limits a user to attempting to run an older version of
    the Resource CD (if the user has one, and IF it supports the newer system).
    Or trying to download an older version of the ddiags from the website to
    create the floppies or a bootable CD/USB key - which again might be too
    dated to recognize some newer systems.

    I have (3) versions of the CD here. They have different part numbers,
    version numbers, and are dated from 1998 to 2001.

    The last possible option is this: the new systems have an option (in the
    original image) to create an image restore CD from the start/programs menu.
    I've made these CD's, but I have never used them. I don't know what, if
    any, effect that disc would have concerning the original partitions on the
    drive as configured from the factory. I also do not know if that "restore
    CD" is dependent on the original partitions being intact.


    Stew
  8. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    As delivered from the factory, Dell systems have a hidden 40MB partition
    containing the diagnostic software. Press the F10 key after the system boots
    and the system switches to the diagnostic partition and starts running the Dell
    GUI diagnostics.

    My goal in refurbishing Dell systems is to set them up like they are when they
    leave the factory, with the diagnostic partition alive and well and functional.
    The partition is a hidden FAT16 and it has the partition type flag of 222
    decimal, or 0xDE. The Dell diagnostics will only run automatically via the F10
    key if they are present on a suitably set up partition.

    Yes, if you have a CD with diagnostics that came with your system, you can boot
    and run from CD. You can also make up floppy diskettes and run non-GUI
    diagnostics that way.

    Most people want to recover the 40MB diagnostic partition and use it for
    something else. With a 20GB or larger hard drive, 40MB is not much of a loss of
    space and gives the owner the convenience of running the diagnostics. Of
    course, if the hard drive croaks, the convenience of running diagnostics is
    lost, isn't it? ... Ben Myers

    On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 23:07:47 -0700, Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:

    >Ben Myers wrote:
    >>
    >> The software that updates a diagnostic partition refuses to run if it does not
    >> find the partition. So the real problem is how to create the Dell diagnostic
    >> partition? ... Ben Myers
    >
    >I guess I'm missing something... Do the diagnostics *have to*
    >be installed in a special partition? Can't they be run from
    >anywhere?
    >
    >Notan
  9. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    It might also be noted that if the diag partition is removed with the (idea
    of using the) original OS and restore image, then neither can be booted to
    once the util. partition is gone.

    At this point in time, I'd only remove it if I were planning to perform a
    clean install of the OS.


    Stew


    <ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
    news:423300a4.3205153@nntp.charter.net...
    > As delivered from the factory, Dell systems have a hidden 40MB partition
    > containing the diagnostic software. Press the F10 key after the system
    > boots
    > and the system switches to the diagnostic partition and starts running the
    > Dell
    > GUI diagnostics.
    >
    > My goal in refurbishing Dell systems is to set them up like they are when
    > they
    > leave the factory, with the diagnostic partition alive and well and
    > functional.
    > The partition is a hidden FAT16 and it has the partition type flag of 222
    > decimal, or 0xDE. The Dell diagnostics will only run automatically via
    > the F10
    > key if they are present on a suitably set up partition.
    >
    > Yes, if you have a CD with diagnostics that came with your system, you can
    > boot
    > and run from CD. You can also make up floppy diskettes and run non-GUI
    > diagnostics that way.
    >
    > Most people want to recover the 40MB diagnostic partition and use it for
    > something else. With a 20GB or larger hard drive, 40MB is not much of a
    > loss of
    > space and gives the owner the convenience of running the diagnostics. Of
    > course, if the hard drive croaks, the convenience of running diagnostics
    > is
    > lost, isn't it? ... Ben Myers
    >
    > On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 23:07:47 -0700, Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Ben Myers wrote:
    >>>
    >>> The software that updates a diagnostic partition refuses to run if it
    >>> does not
    >>> find the partition. So the real problem is how to create the Dell
    >>> diagnostic
    >>> partition? ... Ben Myers
    >>
    >>I guess I'm missing something... Do the diagnostics *have to*
    >>be installed in a special partition? Can't they be run from
    >>anywhere?
    >>
    >>Notan
    >
  10. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Stay tuned, Tom. I may yet have a solution. I set up a Latitude C810
    yesterday, but got things a little out of order. I don't want to blow away the
    hard disk contents and start over to get it right. Most Dell models have
    software to update the diagnostics, available for download on the Dell web site.
    But the update software needs the diagnostics partition present to begin with.

    My next victim will be a Latitude C840 when the warranty replacement hard drive
    arrives here from Dell on Monday. I also have a few Dell Precisions loaded with
    Linux, and they need setting up with either XP or 2000. I do not know whether
    their previous owner blew away the diagnostic partition on the Precisions.

    My goal in refurbing these boxes is to set them up to operate the way they work
    when they leave the factory, with F10 activating the diagnostics. 40MB or so is
    a drop in the bucket on today's 20GB and larger drives, so it's not like the
    diagnostics "waste" much disk space... Ben Myers

    On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 10:59:26 GMT, "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote:

    >In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to this.
    >It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell provides and
    >that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get access to the
    >exact same utilities.
    >
    >Tom
    ><ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
    >news:42325b10.36472117@nntp.charter.net...
    >> The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so
    >> when I
    >> install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load
    >> it up
    >> with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site
    >> has
    >> is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that?
    >> No
    >> harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers
    >
    >
  11. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    This is a very interesting thread. I'm taking notes.

    I had no idea it would be so difficult to reinstate the diagnostic
    partition. I have no problem with running the diags from the CD - not that I
    ever need to; I run 'em once a year just for fun - but if the diags are no
    longer shipped with systems that means they're gone if a user ever has to do
    a clean install.

    My idea sounds too simple to be correct: Image the diagnostic partition as
    soon as the machine is set up. Of course, that won't do any good for Ben.

    Ted Zieglar

    <ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
    news:4233032c.3853497@nntp.charter.net...
    > Stay tuned, Tom. I may yet have a solution. I set up a Latitude C810
    > yesterday, but got things a little out of order. I don't want to blow
    > away the
    > hard disk contents and start over to get it right. Most Dell models have
    > software to update the diagnostics, available for download on the Dell web
    > site.
    > But the update software needs the diagnostics partition present to begin
    > with.
    >
    > My next victim will be a Latitude C840 when the warranty replacement hard
    > drive
    > arrives here from Dell on Monday. I also have a few Dell Precisions
    > loaded with
    > Linux, and they need setting up with either XP or 2000. I do not know
    > whether
    > their previous owner blew away the diagnostic partition on the Precisions.
    >
    > My goal in refurbing these boxes is to set them up to operate the way they
    > work
    > when they leave the factory, with F10 activating the diagnostics. 40MB or
    > so is
    > a drop in the bucket on today's 20GB and larger drives, so it's not like
    > the
    > diagnostics "waste" much disk space... Ben Myers
    >
    > On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 10:59:26 GMT, "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to
    >>this.
    >>It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell provides
    >>and
    >>that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get access to the
    >>exact same utilities.
    >>
    >>Tom
    >><ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote in message
    >>news:42325b10.36472117@nntp.charter.net...
    >>> The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so
    >>> when I
    >>> install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load
    >>> it up
    >>> with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web
    >>> site
    >>> has
    >>> is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try
    >>> that?
    >>> No
    >>> harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers
    >>
    >>
    >
  12. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    My goal is to set up a Dell exactly the way it was when it left the factory.
    The diagnostic partition is more than simple. It is FAT16 and hidden with a
    partition type of 222 decimal, or 0xDE... Ben Myers

    On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 08:32:13 GMT, Nicholas Andrade <sdnick484@nospam.yahoo.com>
    wrote:

    >Ben Myers wrote:
    >
    >> The software that updates a diagnostic partition refuses to run if it does not
    >> find the partition. So the real problem is how to create the Dell diagnostic
    >> partition? ... Ben Myers
    >>
    >> On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 03:06:16 GMT, ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben
    >> Myers) wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so when I
    >>>install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load it up
    >>>with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site has
    >>>is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that? No
    >>>harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers
    >>
    >>
    >Well for what it's worth, the partition is simply a ~70MB FAT partition
    >placed and is the first primary partition of the drive. If you have one
    >machine running linux with a working partition, it'd be fairly simple to
    >scp it over. In fact, you don't even need a machine running Linux, you
    >just need a machine that already has the partition; then you can use a
    >couple live Linux distro's like knoppix to do what you want.
  13. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Of course, the imaging software needs to be able to create an image of a very
    non-standard partition type, and one needs to have a way to restore that image
    back again in the event of a hard drive replacement. But, as I said earlier,
    stay tuned. I'll crack this problem yet.

    It's snowing like mad here and I'm not going out again until it is over. It
    took me 45 min just to shovel out enough space to half-park my car in the
    driveway. I'd be crazy or life-threatening desperate to have to venture out
    again.

    If I get really motivated or bored by the reading and TV material at my
    disposal, I'll grab one of the Dell Precisions with Linux on it, see whether or
    not it still has its diagnostic partition and use it as a guinea pig if its diag
    partition was blown away by the previous owner company. Otherwise, I'll wait
    until Monday and start fresh with a Latitude C840 and Dell replacement hard
    drive... Ben Myers

    On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 12:47:43 -0500, "Ted Zieglar" <teddyz@notmail.com> wrote:

    >This is a very interesting thread. I'm taking notes.
    >
    >I had no idea it would be so difficult to reinstate the diagnostic
    >partition. I have no problem with running the diags from the CD - not that I
    >ever need to; I run 'em once a year just for fun - but if the diags are no
    >longer shipped with systems that means they're gone if a user ever has to do
    >a clean install.
    >
    >My idea sounds too simple to be correct: Image the diagnostic partition as
    >soon as the machine is set up. Of course, that won't do any good for Ben.
    >
    >Ted Zieglar
    >
  14. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Tom Scales wrote:
    > In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to this.
    > It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell provides and
    > that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get access to the
    > exact same utilities.
    >
    I got a solution, it's an old unix program (often used for forensics)
    called dd (disc duplicator). It's a very low level (we're talking block
    to block, even byte to byte) copy program. Obviously you'd need a
    working drive to use it, but it ought to work. Thw way I was planing to
    suggest earlier in the thread was to simply boot to linux, run fdisk to
    create a FAT partition, and scp everything over. From there just setup
    Grub to give you the option to boot the dell utility (rootnoverify,
    chainloader +1), Windows or whatever other OS. With dd, you'll
    basically get an exact mirror of a working drive.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Nicholas Andrade" <sdnick484@nospam.yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:uRGYd.17586$Pz7.16668@newssvr13.news.prodigy.com...
    > Tom Scales wrote:
    >> In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to
    >> this. It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell
    >> provides and that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get
    >> access to the exact same utilities.
    >>
    > I got a solution, it's an old unix program (often used for forensics)
    > called dd (disc duplicator). It's a very low level (we're talking block
    > to block, even byte to byte) copy program. Obviously you'd need a working
    > drive to use it, but it ought to work. Thw way I was planing to suggest
    > earlier in the thread was to simply boot to linux, run fdisk to create a
    > FAT partition, and scp everything over. From there just setup Grub to
    > give you the option to boot the dell utility (rootnoverify, chainloader
    > +1), Windows or whatever other OS. With dd, you'll basically get an exact
    > mirror of a working drive.

    An interesting (if complex) solution if you have a working drive, but this
    is usually required when the drive dies. I'm interested in a solution that
    starts with the Resource CD and an empty drive.

    Tom
  16. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    In article <42325b10.36472117@nntp.charter.net>, ben_myers_spam_me_not @
    charter.net (Ben Myers) says...
    > The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so when I
    > install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load it up
    > with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site has
    > is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that? No
    > harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers

    Ben,

    You can't. What you can do is get ahold of a Dell system of the same
    model and use DriveImage or Ghost to copy the utility partition from one
    system to another. But there is no way to "create it".

    I should also note that if the system is under warranty and you get the
    drive replaced, the new drive will NOT have the utility partition on it.
    You can ask tech support to image the drive with the partition but it
    will add 3 to 7 business days to the amount of time it takes to get it
    out to you. I don't know very many people who are willing to wait that
    long.
  17. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Ben, I had tinkered with the DellUtil partition awhile back because I wanted
    to add my own utils to it. This thread has spurred me to go back and take a
    look at my notes, and explore a little more. BTW, I've never had any
    trouble making an image of the partition with DriveImage 2002, so it
    shouldn't be that difficult with other tools.

    A discussion of the DellUtil partition involves three basic topics: the
    environment (the partition itself), the DellDiag.exe utility, and the
    Seal.exe utility.

    TOPIC I: The environment

    The partition is simply a FAT16X partition (type 0x0E) with the
    partition-type byte in the partition table tweaked to 0xDE instead. The OS
    is an ordinary DOS OS (in the case of my 4600, MS-DOS 7.0--the version from
    a Win95 boot floppy), with a config.sys and autoexec.bat that simply
    launches the delldiag utility automatically, then reboots the computer upon
    exit from delldiag. Edit the autoexec.bat file and you can prevent it from
    automatically launching delldiag, or from automatically rebooting after
    delldiag. The DellUtil partition size is not material (yours is 40MB, mine
    is 32MB), and it does not need to be first on the disk nor first in the
    partition table. When booting into DellUtil from the bios (you press F10,
    it's F12 on my 4600), the bios looks for the 0xDE marker, active partition
    or not, and if it doesn't find one among the four partition table entries,
    it boots the active partition instead.

    TOPIC II: The DellDiag utility

    This is the same utility found on the Resource CD and downloadable from the
    Dell website. Nothing new here--we all know about that. BTW, the "update"
    software is simply a zipfile of the latest files, so just unzip the files
    from the update package and replace the existing delldiag files. The update
    for my 4600 did not keep any of the old files.

    TOPIC III: The Seal.exe utility

    For the end user, this is an optional component. It's a one-trick pony--all
    it does is force the user to accept the Dell EULA when you get a new
    computer, display the service tag and express service code, change the
    active partition, and reboot into the active (Windows) partition. After
    seal.exe has been run once, it replaces config.sys and autoexec.bat so that
    thereafter booting into the DellUtil partition launches delldiag.exe instead
    of seal.exe, and seal.exe is not used again. (BTW, an interesting aside:
    the service tag is read from a text file, seal.ini, and not by accessing the
    actual bios, so is only as accurate as the text file. The express service
    code is *calculated* from the service tag by some algorithm, not by reading
    it from anywhere. Fiddle with the service tag in seal.ini and you get all
    sorts of different express service codes. Oh, and you'll love the
    rube-goldberg way seal.exe uses to draw those giant letters and numbers
    onscreen!)

    RESTORING THE DELLUTIL PARTITION

    Create an ordinary FAT16 partition, make it active, boot from a Win9x boot
    floppy and "sys c:" to install an operating system to it. Copy all the
    DellDiag files (either from the Resource CD or extract them from the update
    package) into the partition. Create a config.sys and autoexec.bat file that
    launches "delldiag" automatically, and runs a reboot utility when delldiag
    returns. Config.sys, autoexec.bat, and the reboot utility are not included
    as part of the package downloadable from Dell, but they're nothing special.
    There are plenty of DOS reboot utilities around--I use one called reset.com,
    the one Dell uses on my 4600 is called dellboot.exe. After the DellUtil
    partition is loaded up, change the partition type to 0xDE and change the
    active partition back to your Windows partition.

    Note this does not get you the seal.exe utility. I'd question whether
    there's any point in trying to restore this, but if you want it, the only
    way to get it seems to be to copy the files from another system's DellUtil
    partition (and don't forget to edit the seal.ini file with your own service
    tag code). Change the config.sys file and you can put the computer back in
    its virgin state, where turning it on the first time displays the Dell EULA.

    The stimulus for this project was to see if I could use the DellUtil
    partition for my own purposes. I expanded the partition size, replaced the
    DOS 7.0 (Win95) system files with DOS7.1 (Win98), added my own utils (the
    DOS version of DriveImage and PartitionMagic, plus more), and changed the
    autoexec.bat to show a menu from which I could run any of the utils, not
    just the delldiag util. It all works fine-- I press F12, boot into the
    utility partition, and I get a menu of my custom utilities.
  18. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Tom Scales wrote:
    > "Nicholas Andrade" <sdnick484@nospam.yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > news:uRGYd.17586$Pz7.16668@newssvr13.news.prodigy.com...
    >
    >>Tom Scales wrote:
    >>
    >>>In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to
    >>>this. It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell
    >>>provides and that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get
    >>>access to the exact same utilities.
    >>>
    >>
    >>I got a solution, it's an old unix program (often used for forensics)
    >>called dd (disc duplicator). It's a very low level (we're talking block
    >>to block, even byte to byte) copy program. Obviously you'd need a working
    >>drive to use it, but it ought to work. Thw way I was planing to suggest
    >>earlier in the thread was to simply boot to linux, run fdisk to create a
    >>FAT partition, and scp everything over. From there just setup Grub to
    >>give you the option to boot the dell utility (rootnoverify, chainloader
    >>+1), Windows or whatever other OS. With dd, you'll basically get an exact
    >>mirror of a working drive.
    >
    >
    > An interesting (if complex) solution if you have a working drive, but this
    > is usually required when the drive dies. I'm interested in a solution that
    > starts with the Resource CD and an empty drive.
    >
    > Tom
    >
    >
    Have you tried simply specifying the partition type as DE in fdisk? I'm
    not sure about the DOS version, but the unix version requires you to
    give the partition type (normally 83 for Linux ext2, or 82 for Linux Swap).
  19. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Thanks for the info. I'll follow the recipe for the next Dell I get needing a
    utility/diagnostic partition. It's pretty much as I had surmised after my
    recent not-quite-successful attempt at it. The diagnostic partition needs to be
    the first partition on the drive, i.e. created and loaded up before the main
    operating system partition (2000, XP, Linux or whatever) is created and
    loaded??? ... Ben

    On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 00:52:43 GMT, "dg1261" <dgREMOVE-THIS1261@cs.com> wrote:

    >Ben, I had tinkered with the DellUtil partition awhile back because I wanted
    >to add my own utils to it. This thread has spurred me to go back and take a
    >look at my notes, and explore a little more. BTW, I've never had any
    >trouble making an image of the partition with DriveImage 2002, so it
    >shouldn't be that difficult with other tools.
    >
    >A discussion of the DellUtil partition involves three basic topics: the
    >environment (the partition itself), the DellDiag.exe utility, and the
    >Seal.exe utility.
    >
    >TOPIC I: The environment
    >
    >The partition is simply a FAT16X partition (type 0x0E) with the
    >partition-type byte in the partition table tweaked to 0xDE instead. The OS
    >is an ordinary DOS OS (in the case of my 4600, MS-DOS 7.0--the version from
    >a Win95 boot floppy), with a config.sys and autoexec.bat that simply
    >launches the delldiag utility automatically, then reboots the computer upon
    >exit from delldiag. Edit the autoexec.bat file and you can prevent it from
    >automatically launching delldiag, or from automatically rebooting after
    >delldiag. The DellUtil partition size is not material (yours is 40MB, mine
    >is 32MB), and it does not need to be first on the disk nor first in the
    >partition table. When booting into DellUtil from the bios (you press F10,
    >it's F12 on my 4600), the bios looks for the 0xDE marker, active partition
    >or not, and if it doesn't find one among the four partition table entries,
    >it boots the active partition instead.
    >
    >TOPIC II: The DellDiag utility
    >
    >This is the same utility found on the Resource CD and downloadable from the
    >Dell website. Nothing new here--we all know about that. BTW, the "update"
    >software is simply a zipfile of the latest files, so just unzip the files
    >from the update package and replace the existing delldiag files. The update
    >for my 4600 did not keep any of the old files.
    >
    >TOPIC III: The Seal.exe utility
    >
    >For the end user, this is an optional component. It's a one-trick pony--all
    >it does is force the user to accept the Dell EULA when you get a new
    >computer, display the service tag and express service code, change the
    >active partition, and reboot into the active (Windows) partition. After
    >seal.exe has been run once, it replaces config.sys and autoexec.bat so that
    >thereafter booting into the DellUtil partition launches delldiag.exe instead
    >of seal.exe, and seal.exe is not used again. (BTW, an interesting aside:
    >the service tag is read from a text file, seal.ini, and not by accessing the
    >actual bios, so is only as accurate as the text file. The express service
    >code is *calculated* from the service tag by some algorithm, not by reading
    >it from anywhere. Fiddle with the service tag in seal.ini and you get all
    >sorts of different express service codes. Oh, and you'll love the
    >rube-goldberg way seal.exe uses to draw those giant letters and numbers
    >onscreen!)
    >
    >RESTORING THE DELLUTIL PARTITION
    >
    >Create an ordinary FAT16 partition, make it active, boot from a Win9x boot
    >floppy and "sys c:" to install an operating system to it. Copy all the
    >DellDiag files (either from the Resource CD or extract them from the update
    >package) into the partition. Create a config.sys and autoexec.bat file that
    >launches "delldiag" automatically, and runs a reboot utility when delldiag
    >returns. Config.sys, autoexec.bat, and the reboot utility are not included
    >as part of the package downloadable from Dell, but they're nothing special.
    >There are plenty of DOS reboot utilities around--I use one called reset.com,
    >the one Dell uses on my 4600 is called dellboot.exe. After the DellUtil
    >partition is loaded up, change the partition type to 0xDE and change the
    >active partition back to your Windows partition.
    >
    >Note this does not get you the seal.exe utility. I'd question whether
    >there's any point in trying to restore this, but if you want it, the only
    >way to get it seems to be to copy the files from another system's DellUtil
    >partition (and don't forget to edit the seal.ini file with your own service
    >tag code). Change the config.sys file and you can put the computer back in
    >its virgin state, where turning it on the first time displays the Dell EULA.
    >
    >The stimulus for this project was to see if I could use the DellUtil
    >partition for my own purposes. I expanded the partition size, replaced the
    >DOS 7.0 (Win95) system files with DOS7.1 (Win98), added my own utils (the
    >DOS version of DriveImage and PartitionMagic, plus more), and changed the
    >autoexec.bat to show a menu from which I could run any of the utils, not
    >just the delldiag util. It all works fine-- I press F12, boot into the
    >utility partition, and I get a menu of my custom utilities.
    >
    >
    >
  20. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Nope. The DOS FDISK program (any version, but preferably Win 98 or Win ME) is
    simply brain-dead, as Microsoft would want it. DOS FDISK doesn't even tell you
    what the partition number is, just that it is FAT16, FAT32, NTFS or Non-DOS.

    I used the Ranish partition editor to change the partition type, make one or the
    other partition bootable, etc... Ben Myers

    On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 01:23:36 GMT, Nicholas Andrade <sdnick484@nospam.yahoo.com>
    wrote:

    >Tom Scales wrote:
    >> "Nicholas Andrade" <sdnick484@nospam.yahoo.com> wrote in message
    >> news:uRGYd.17586$Pz7.16668@newssvr13.news.prodigy.com...
    >>
    >>>Tom Scales wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to
    >>>>this. It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell
    >>>>provides and that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get
    >>>>access to the exact same utilities.
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>>I got a solution, it's an old unix program (often used for forensics)
    >>>called dd (disc duplicator). It's a very low level (we're talking block
    >>>to block, even byte to byte) copy program. Obviously you'd need a working
    >>>drive to use it, but it ought to work. Thw way I was planing to suggest
    >>>earlier in the thread was to simply boot to linux, run fdisk to create a
    >>>FAT partition, and scp everything over. From there just setup Grub to
    >>>give you the option to boot the dell utility (rootnoverify, chainloader
    >>>+1), Windows or whatever other OS. With dd, you'll basically get an exact
    >>>mirror of a working drive.
    >>
    >>
    >> An interesting (if complex) solution if you have a working drive, but this
    >> is usually required when the drive dies. I'm interested in a solution that
    >> starts with the Resource CD and an empty drive.
    >>
    >> Tom
    >>
    >>
    >Have you tried simply specifying the partition type as DE in fdisk? I'm
    >not sure about the DOS version, but the unix version requires you to
    >give the partition type (normally 83 for Linux ext2, or 82 for Linux Swap).
  21. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    S.Lewis wrote:
    > "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
    > news:iYzYd.134524$qB6.17525@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
    >
    >>In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to
    >>this. It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell
    >>provides and that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get
    >>access to the exact same utilities.
    >>
    >>Tom
    >
    > That's pretty much my understanding as well. Recently and in the future
    > there may be a problem with that.
    >
    > Since Dell is no longer including the Resource CD with new systems

    Not true across the board, however, my refurb 8400 delivered 03/03/05
    includes one, along with an XP install CD, plus the application CD's.
  22. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Sparky Singer" <Sparky@moon.sun.org> wrote in message
    news:48UYd.14095$PQ1.9973@fe12.lga...
    > S.Lewis wrote:
    >> "Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
    >> news:iYzYd.134524$qB6.17525@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
    >>
    >>>In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to
    >>>this. It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell
    >>>provides and that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get
    >>>access to the exact same utilities.
    >>>
    >>>Tom
    >>
    >> That's pretty much my understanding as well. Recently and in the future
    >> there may be a problem with that.
    >>
    >> Since Dell is no longer including the Resource CD with new systems
    >
    > Not true across the board, however, my refurb 8400 delivered 03/03/05
    > includes one, along with an XP install CD, plus the application CD's.


    I won't dispute that at all. However, I've got a new 8400 coming in here
    tomorrow, and I'd bet it doesn't have one ;-) I have no idea what the
    factory outlet is doing......

    The next "new" Resource CD I get my hands on I plan to make a copy for
    myself since it may be the last one I see ( since it would have support for
    the latest Dell systems).


    Stew
  23. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:

    >(Ben Myers) says...

    >> The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so when I
    >> install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load it up
    >> with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site has
    >> is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that? No
    >> harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers

    >You can't.

    Message-ID: <v9MYd.9191$C47.6251@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>

    Who is correct, Brad?
    --
    OJ III
    [Email to Yahoo address may be burned before reading.
    Lower and crunch the sig and you'll net me at comcast.]
  24. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    <ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote:
    > Thanks for the info. I'll follow the recipe for the next Dell I get
    > needing a utility/diagnostic partition. It's pretty much as I had
    > surmised after my recent not-quite-successful attempt at it.
    > The diagnostic partition needs to be the first partition on the
    > drive, i.e. created and loaded up before the main operating
    > system partition (2000, XP, Linux or whatever) is created
    > and loaded??? ... Ben

    It depends on whether or not you intend to try restoring that silly seal.exe
    function. I don't know why anyone would want to restore seal.exe (all it
    does is show the Dell EULA and service tag one time only and never again),
    but if you do, then it seems to place additional requirements on the diag
    partition: it must be the first partition on the disk, must be the first
    listed in the partition table, and seems to be restricted to a particular OS
    (though I haven't yet determined if it's an ordinary Win95 version of DOS or
    includes custom Dell changes).

    If you don't need seal.exe, then it doesn't matter whether the diag
    partition is created first or not. It can be done before or after loading
    the main OS, and be anywhere on the disk. For anyone interested, here's a
    quick step-by-step of how I did it; if you're familiar working in DOS, you
    should be able to read between the lines and figure out how you'd do it:

    (1) Use PartitionMagic to create a FAT16 partition anywhere on the disk,
    any desired size. It doesn't seem to matter what FAT16 flavor it is (0x04,
    0x06, or 0x0E). I made the partition active so I could get at it as drive
    C: in the next steps.

    (2) Reboot from a Win98 boot floppy (DOS 7.1), then format c:, then sys c:.

    (3) Copy all the diagnostic files from the resource CD (the A1236 directory
    on my Dimension 4600 CD), or get them from the download file from the Dell
    site, or get them from the A1246 'update' download. Dell dumps them all in
    the root directory, but I preferred to group them together in a c:\delldiag
    directory.

    (4) Find any common reboot utility (reboot.com, reset.com, warmboot.exe,
    dellboot.exe, to name a few) and copy it to c:.

    (5) Create a config.sys and autoexec.bat that launches
    c:\delldiag\delldiag.exe, and finishes with reboot.com. (For the purists, I
    can tell you what Dell puts in those files, though it really isn't that
    critical.)

    (6) Use the freeware ptedit.exe or similar partition table editor, change
    partition type to 0xDE, and switch the active partition flag to the main OS
    partition.

    That's it. The diagnostic partition now works just like it was designed to.
    The only glitch I ran into was in step 2, where 'sys c:' installed a mostly
    blank msdos.sys file. This resulted in squirrely screen colors until I
    padded it out.

    I subsequently went back in and customized step 5, adding my own utilities
    and creating a DOS text menu to choose among them. Now I can also run my
    own utilities from the Dell utility partition.
  25. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    S.Lewis wrote:
    > "Sparky Singer" <Sparky@moon.sun.org> wrote in message
    > news:48UYd.14095$PQ1.9973@fe12.lga...
    >
    >>S.Lewis wrote:
    >>
    >>>"Tom Scales" <tomtoo@softhome.net> wrote in message
    >>>news:iYzYd.134524$qB6.17525@tornado.tampabay.rr.com...
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>In five years of being on this list, no one has posted the solution to
    >>>>this. It is generally accepted that it cannot be done with what Dell
    >>>>provides and that in this situation, you just boot the Resource CD to get
    >>>>access to the exact same utilities.
    >>>>
    >>>>Tom
    >>>
    >>>That's pretty much my understanding as well. Recently and in the future
    >>>there may be a problem with that.
    >>>
    >>>Since Dell is no longer including the Resource CD with new systems
    >>
    >>Not true across the board, however, my refurb 8400 delivered 03/03/05
    >>includes one, along with an XP install CD, plus the application CD's.
    >
    > I won't dispute that at all. However, I've got a new 8400 coming in here
    > tomorrow, and I'd bet it doesn't have one ;-) I have no idea what the
    > factory outlet is doing......

    Please post back & let us know.
  26. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "dg1261" <dgREMOVE-THIS1261@cs.com> wrote in message
    news:DNXYd.9300$C47.8059@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com...
    >
    > <ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers)> wrote:
    > > Thanks for the info. I'll follow the recipe for the next Dell I get
    > > needing a utility/diagnostic partition. It's pretty much as I had
    > > surmised after my recent not-quite-successful attempt at it.
    > > The diagnostic partition needs to be the first partition on the
    > > drive, i.e. created and loaded up before the main operating
    > > system partition (2000, XP, Linux or whatever) is created
    > > and loaded??? ... Ben
    >
    > It depends on whether or not you intend to try restoring that silly
    seal.exe
    > function. I don't know why anyone would want to restore seal.exe (all it
    > does is show the Dell EULA and service tag one time only and never again),
    > but if you do, then it seems to place additional requirements on the diag
    > partition: it must be the first partition on the disk, must be the first
    > listed in the partition table, and seems to be restricted to a particular
    OS
    > (though I haven't yet determined if it's an ordinary Win95 version of DOS
    or
    > includes custom Dell changes).
    >
    > If you don't need seal.exe, then it doesn't matter whether the diag
    > partition is created first or not. It can be done before or after loading
    > the main OS, and be anywhere on the disk. For anyone interested, here's a
    > quick step-by-step of how I did it; if you're familiar working in DOS, you
    > should be able to read between the lines and figure out how you'd do it:
    >
    > (1) Use PartitionMagic to create a FAT16 partition anywhere on the disk,
    > any desired size. It doesn't seem to matter what FAT16 flavor it is
    (0x04,
    > 0x06, or 0x0E). I made the partition active so I could get at it as drive
    > C: in the next steps.
    >
    > (2) Reboot from a Win98 boot floppy (DOS 7.1), then format c:, then sys
    c:.
    >
    > (3) Copy all the diagnostic files from the resource CD (the A1236
    directory
    > on my Dimension 4600 CD), or get them from the download file from the Dell
    > site, or get them from the A1246 'update' download. Dell dumps them all
    in
    > the root directory, but I preferred to group them together in a
    c:\delldiag
    > directory.
    >
    > (4) Find any common reboot utility (reboot.com, reset.com, warmboot.exe,
    > dellboot.exe, to name a few) and copy it to c:.
    >
    > (5) Create a config.sys and autoexec.bat that launches
    > c:\delldiag\delldiag.exe, and finishes with reboot.com. (For the purists,
    I
    > can tell you what Dell puts in those files, though it really isn't that
    > critical.)
    >
    > (6) Use the freeware ptedit.exe or similar partition table editor, change
    > partition type to 0xDE, and switch the active partition flag to the main
    OS
    > partition.
    >
    > That's it. The diagnostic partition now works just like it was designed
    to.
    > The only glitch I ran into was in step 2, where 'sys c:' installed a
    mostly
    > blank msdos.sys file. This resulted in squirrely screen colors until I
    > padded it out.
    >
    > I subsequently went back in and customized step 5, adding my own utilities
    > and creating a DOS text menu to choose among them. Now I can also run my
    > own utilities from the Dell utility partition.

    Out of curiousity which utilities did you load? Would you be willing to
    share your menus, etc. here? I'd like to try doing this with some systems I
    support. Sounds like you've put a lot of time into this!
  27. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "dg1261" <dgREMOVE-THIS1261@cs.com> wrote:
    >The partition is simply a FAT16X partition (type 0x0E) with the
    >partition-type byte in the partition table tweaked to 0xDE instead.

    >After the DellUtil
    >partition is loaded up, change the partition type to 0xDE and change the
    >active partition back to your Windows partition.

    How does one change the partition type?

    Excellent writeup, BTW, many thanks!
  28. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Dogface" <DogFace@doghouse.com> wrote:
    > > I subsequently went back in and customized step 5, adding my own
    > > utilities and creating a DOS text menu to choose among them.
    > > Now I can also run my own utilities from the Dell utility partition.
    >
    > Out of curiousity which utilities did you load? Would you be willing
    > to share your menus, etc. here? I'd like to try doing this with some
    > systems I support. Sounds like you've put a lot of time into this!

    My menu includes the DOS utilities I use most often:

    Aida diagnostics
    Dell diagnostics
    load drivers:
    load CD driver, drive R:
    load ramdisk, drive N:
    load tcp/ip network driver
    PartitionMagic
    DriveImage
    ptedit
    editbini
    diskedit
    reboot (restart the computer)
    exit without any action (to DOS prompt)

    When I exit to DOS, I have a number of less frequently used utilities I can
    run from the command line, such as: findpart.exe, mbrwork.exe, rawrite.exe,
    readntfs.exe, fm.com (a file byte-editor), dec2hex.com, hex2dec.com,
    lha.exe, pkzip.exe, pkunzip.exe.

    I use DOS 7.1 (the Win98se version) instead of DOS 7.0 (the Win95 version
    Dell put on my diagnostic partition) so I have access to FAT32 partitions
    from DOS. I also copied all the DOS system files from a Win98se
    installation (c:\windows\command\*.*), so I have a fully functional DOS
    system.

    I don't mind sharing my menu batch files, but I'm not sure the newsgroup
    would be interested in an extended discussion about DOS. Contact me
    off-group (dg1261 at cs.com) and I can send you email attachments.

    BTW, I made a bootable CDR with the same scheme, except on that I included
    the Dell diagnostics for scores of different machines that I support.
  29. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    I verified that the software to update the diagnostic partition does not attempt
    to create the partition if it is not present. But other posters have indicated
    that they have been successful in building the diagnostic partition out of
    software from the Dell site plus commonly available software, a hammer, some
    nails, bubble gum and paper clips... Ben Myers

    On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 13:26:26 -0500, Ogden Johnson III <oj3usmc@yahoo.com> wrote:

    >Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:
    >
    >>(Ben Myers) says...
    >
    >>> The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so when I
    >>> install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load it up
    >>> with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site has
    >>> is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that? No
    >>> harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers
    >
    >>You can't.
    >
    >Message-ID: <v9MYd.9191$C47.6251@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>
    >
    >Who is correct, Brad?
    >--
    >OJ III
    >[Email to Yahoo address may be burned before reading.
    >Lower and crunch the sig and you'll net me at comcast.]
  30. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    In article <4234d5ab.21093620@nntp.charter.net>, ben_myers_spam_me_not @
    charter.net (Ben Myers) says...
    > I verified that the software to update the diagnostic partition does not attempt
    > to create the partition if it is not present. But other posters have indicated
    > that they have been successful in building the diagnostic partition out of
    > software from the Dell site plus commonly available software, a hammer, some
    > nails, bubble gum and paper clips... Ben Myers
    >
    > On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 13:26:26 -0500, Ogden Johnson III <oj3usmc@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    > >Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:
    > >
    > >>(Ben Myers) says...
    > >
    > >>> The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so when I
    > >>> install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load it up
    > >>> with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site has
    > >>> is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that? No
    > >>> harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers
    > >
    > >>You can't.
    > >
    > >Message-ID: <v9MYd.9191$C47.6251@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>
    > >
    > >Who is correct, Brad?

    To the best of my knowledge there is NO WAY to build the partition
    yourself. The only way I have been successful is to back it up using
    Norton Ghost and then restoring it.
  31. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Ranish Partition Manager, a free download, does just fine. Some commercial
    products with DOS level components also allow changing of partition type.

    .... Ben Myers

    On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 20:17:25 -0500, William P.N. Smith wrote:

    >"dg1261" <dgREMOVE-THIS1261@cs.com> wrote:
    >>The partition is simply a FAT16X partition (type 0x0E) with the
    >>partition-type byte in the partition table tweaked to 0xDE instead.
    >
    >>After the DellUtil
    >>partition is loaded up, change the partition type to 0xDE and change the
    >>active partition back to your Windows partition.
    >
    >How does one change the partition type?
    >
    >Excellent writeup, BTW, many thanks!
    >
  32. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Ben Myers wrote:
    > Ranish Partition Manager, a free download, does just fine. Some commercial
    > products with DOS level components also allow changing of partition type.
    >
    > ... Ben Myers
    >
    The *nix version of fdisk will do this as well. Also mandrake Linux
    comes with a free program to non-destructively resize an NTFS partition.
  33. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    <William P.N. Smith> wrote:
    > > The partition is simply a FAT16X partition (type 0x0E) with the
    > > partition-type byte in the partition table tweaked to 0xDE instead.
    >
    > > After the DellUtil partition is loaded up, change the partition
    > > type to 0xDE and change the active partition back to your
    > > Windows partition.
    >
    > How does one change the partition type?

    By far, the easiest way I've seen is with ptedit. This is a tiny, free
    utility you can download from
    ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/ptedit.zip.
    Note this is a DOS utility (with a GUI), so boot from a DOS floppy (a Win98
    boot floppy works fine) and run the program. BTW, I have a tutorial on
    using ptedit on my webpage at www.goodells.net/multiboot/ptedit.
  34. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:

    >> On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 13:26:26 -0500, Ogden Johnson III <oj3usmc@yahoo.com> wrote:

    >> >Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:

    >> >>(Ben Myers) says...

    >> >>> The subject says it all. I have a Dell system with a hosed up drive, so when I
    >> >>> install the new drive I want to create the diagnostic partition and load it up
    >> >>> with the diagnostics for the model of Dell machine. All that the web site has
    >> >>> is software to UPDATE the diagnostic partition. Maybe I oughta try that? No
    >> >>> harm if the drive is clean and has no partitions yet... Ben Myers

    >> >>You can't.
    >> >
    >> >Message-ID: <v9MYd.9191$C47.6251@newssvr14.news.prodigy.com>

    >> >Who is correct, Brad?

    >To the best of my knowledge there is NO WAY to build the partition
    >yourself. The only way I have been successful is to back it up using
    >Norton Ghost and then restoring it.

    Ah, so instead of a flat "You can't," now we have a "To the best
    of my knowledge there is no way." But my question was, "Who is
    correct, Brad?, after providing a message ID for a post made
    several hours before your flat "You Can't." Did you actually
    read that post?

    Particularly the:

    >RESTORING THE DELLUTIL PARTITION
    >
    >Create an ordinary FAT16 partition, make it active, boot from a Win9x boot
    >floppy and "sys c:" to install an operating system to it. Copy all the
    >DellDiag files (either from the Resource CD or extract them from the update
    >package) into the partition. Create a config.sys and autoexec.bat file that
    >launches "delldiag" automatically, and runs a reboot utility when delldiag
    >returns. Config.sys, autoexec.bat, and the reboot utility are not included
    >as part of the package downloadable from Dell, but they're nothing special.
    >There are plenty of DOS reboot utilities around--I use one called reset.com,
    >the one Dell uses on my 4600 is called dellboot.exe. After the DellUtil
    >partition is loaded up, change the partition type to 0xDE and change the
    >active partition back to your Windows partition.
    >
    >Note this does not get you the seal.exe utility. I'd question whether
    >there's any point in trying to restore this, but if you want it, the only
    >way to get it seems to be to copy the files from another system's DellUtil
    >partition (and don't forget to edit the seal.ini file with your own service
    >tag code). Change the config.sys file and you can put the computer back in
    >its virgin state, where turning it on the first time displays the Dell EULA.
    >
    >The stimulus for this project was to see if I could use the DellUtil
    >partition for my own purposes. I expanded the partition size, replaced the
    >DOS 7.0 (Win95) system files with DOS7.1 (Win98), added my own utils (the
    >DOS version of DriveImage and PartitionMagic, plus more), and changed the
    >autoexec.bat to show a menu from which I could run any of the utils, not
    >just the delldiag util. It all works fine-- I press F12, boot into the
    >utility partition, and I get a menu of my custom utilities.

    Which dg1261 amplified in further posts. This seems to entirely
    contradict that "You can't," of yours, and if you'd read the
    thread before posting, might have changed the level of "the best
    of [your] knowledge."

    I'm a long ways from my old DOS days and ways, and the days when
    I regularly played with partitioning, but even without that
    recent experience I knew that if Dell can create that partition,
    there sure as hell is a way I can do it, given the tools
    available [e.g., Partition Magic, along with several of the ones
    dg1261 has mentioned]. Back in those BADD, I would have been the
    one pooking around my computer like dg1261 did in this instance,
    trying to find out how things tick, and how I can put that
    ticking to work doing things I want done. Alas, aging and other
    interests have turned me away from that in the past decade, but I
    know a lot of someones like dg1261 exist, and that at least one
    of them would post here to tell Ben how to do what he wants to
    do.
    --
    OJ III
    [Email to Yahoo address may be burned before reading.
    Lower and crunch the sig and you'll net me at comcast.]
  35. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 18:15:47 GMT, ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net
    (Ben Myers) wrote:

    >Of course, the imaging software needs to be able to create an image of a very
    >non-standard partition type, and one needs to have a way to restore that image
    >back again in the event of a hard drive replacement. But, as I said earlier,
    >stay tuned. I'll crack this problem yet.

    This is kinda of topic but wouldn't a Ghost image do- that is a full
    disk image, not partition image? Haven't tried to restore though...
  36. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 10:42:33 -0500, Ogden Johnson III
    <oj3usmc@yahoo.com> wrote:

    >Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:
    >
    >>> On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 13:26:26 -0500, Ogden Johnson III <oj3usmc@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    >>> >Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:
    >


    Ogden, I'm not trying to disprove you and actually I agree with you
    99.9% but I wouldn't tell this guy the procedure given earlier in this
    thread disproves this guy. We (you or I) don't really know that the
    procedure has a flaw if we didn't actually try it first hand. On the
    other hand, I agree with you that this guy shouldn't make a statement
    that it can't be done and that he is backing off that statement now.
    Obviously if Dell can do it, there is a way whether based on the
    procedure given or some other way. I believe we collectively are just
    as smart as Dell in setting up the pc. Further I believe after
    reading the procedure that it may work but I won't use it to disprove
    someone unless I've seen it done first hand.
  37. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    In article <osab31tp4dlsv8g7acaoe9b5gr1fjl95rd@4ax.com>,
    oj3usmc@yahoo.com says...
    > Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:
    > >To the best of my knowledge there is NO WAY to build the partition
    > >yourself. The only way I have been successful is to back it up using
    > >Norton Ghost and then restoring it.
    >
    > Ah, so instead of a flat "You can't," now we have a "To the best
    > of my knowledge there is no way." But my question was, "Who is
    > correct, Brad?, after providing a message ID for a post made
    > several hours before your flat "You Can't." Did you actually
    > read that post?

    If I said "You can't", then I apologize for my brain fart. Nothing is
    impossible on PCs these days. And I'm sure that somebody here could
    figure out how to do it if they really wanted to.

    I don't know how to do it. And Dell's official policy is that the end
    user "can not" do it.

    However, as I mentioned, I HAVE successfully backed up the partition
    using Norton Ghost to a Ghost image file and then restored it on a
    different drive. And it worked perfectly when tested.

    I'm not gonna pass judgement on anyone else's claims, I'll just leave it
    at what I have been able to do myself.
  38. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    It all depends on where you are starting from. If you have a collection of Dell
    boxes of the same model, you probably could Ghost the diagnostic partition and
    save it somewhere to put onto another system.

    I am starting from scratch with a bare hard drive and I need to install a
    diagnostic partition. In short, Ghost won't help solve the problem I have here.
    Actually, 3 problems, with 3 systems. Anyway, I solved the problem which will
    be another message thread... Ben Myers

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 15:57:49 -0800, Dingus <notvalid@null.com> wrote:

    >On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 18:15:47 GMT, ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net
    >(Ben Myers) wrote:
    >
    >>Of course, the imaging software needs to be able to create an image of a very
    >>non-standard partition type, and one needs to have a way to restore that image
    >>back again in the event of a hard drive replacement. But, as I said earlier,
    >>stay tuned. I'll crack this problem yet.
    >
    >This is kinda of topic but wouldn't a Ghost image do- that is a full
    >disk image, not partition image? Haven't tried to restore though...
  39. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    I followed more or less the same procedure outlined by dg1261 and I'll testify
    under oath to the Congressional Committee wasting its time on steroids that the
    procedure works and I was not on steroids when I did it... Ben Myers

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 18:17:35 -0600, Jim Greene wrote:

    >On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 10:42:33 -0500, Ogden Johnson III
    ><oj3usmc@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:
    >>
    >>>> On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 13:26:26 -0500, Ogden Johnson III <oj3usmc@yahoo.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>>> >Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:
    >>
    >
    >
    >Ogden, I'm not trying to disprove you and actually I agree with you
    >99.9% but I wouldn't tell this guy the procedure given earlier in this
    >thread disproves this guy. We (you or I) don't really know that the
    >procedure has a flaw if we didn't actually try it first hand. On the
    >other hand, I agree with you that this guy shouldn't make a statement
    >that it can't be done and that he is backing off that statement now.
    >Obviously if Dell can do it, there is a way whether based on the
    >procedure given or some other way. I believe we collectively are just
    >as smart as Dell in setting up the pc. Further I believe after
    >reading the procedure that it may work but I won't use it to disprove
    >someone unless I've seen it done first hand.
  40. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 23:48:09 -0600, Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:

    <SNIP>
    >
    >If I said "You can't", then I apologize for my brain fart. Nothing is
    >impossible on PCs these days. And I'm sure that somebody here could
    >figure out how to do it if they really wanted to.
    >
    >I don't know how to do it. And Dell's official policy is that the end
    >user "can not" do it.
    >
    >However, as I mentioned, I HAVE successfully backed up the partition
    >using Norton Ghost to a Ghost image file and then restored it on a
    >different drive. And it worked perfectly when tested.
    >
    >I'm not gonna pass judgement on anyone else's claims, I'll just leave it
    >at what I have been able to do myself.

    Dell's official policy, like that of many other name brand companies, is to
    discourage the naive man or women in the street from hosing up their own
    computer. Many people look beyond official policies to find solutions. The
    more experience one has, the more one is likely to do so.

    You state that you can't create and load up a diagnostic partition yourself.
    This newsgroup now has two written descriptions of how to do it, mine and the
    one posted by dg1261. If and when you have a Dell computer to tinker with, give
    it a try... Ben Myers
  41. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    ben_myers_spam_me_not @ charter.net (Ben Myers) wrote:

    >Brad Licatesi <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:

    ><SNIP>

    >>If I said "You can't", then I apologize for my brain fart. Nothing is
    >>impossible on PCs these days. And I'm sure that somebody here could
    >>figure out how to do it if they really wanted to.
    >>
    >>I don't know how to do it. And Dell's official policy is that the end
    >>user "can not" do it.
    >>
    >>However, as I mentioned, I HAVE successfully backed up the partition
    >>using Norton Ghost to a Ghost image file and then restored it on a
    >>different drive. And it worked perfectly when tested.
    >>
    >>I'm not gonna pass judgement on anyone else's claims, I'll just leave it
    >>at what I have been able to do myself.

    >Dell's official policy, like that of many other name brand companies, is to
    >discourage the naive man or women in the street from hosing up their own
    >computer. Many people look beyond official policies to find solutions. The
    >more experience one has, the more one is likely to do so.
    >
    >You state that you can't create and load up a diagnostic partition yourself.
    >This newsgroup now has two written descriptions of how to do it, mine and the
    >one posted by dg1261. If and when you have a Dell computer to tinker with, give
    >it a try... Ben Myers

    Heh. Back in the Bad Old DOS Days, any computer-literate user
    had [bootable] floppys and floppys full of leetle diagnostic and
    utility programs to allow one to do things with one's computer
    that MS, IBM et al wouldn't appreciate - it was a matter of
    survival if you wanted to do any real work in an age when MS and
    IBM were in the habit of deciding what they'd allow you to do and
    not do with your computer. Gee, what is it they say? "Plus ca
    change ..."? Same major player, M$, but a lot of minor major
    players have replaced IBM.
    --
    OJ III
    [Email to Yahoo address may be burned before reading.
    Lower and crunch the sig and you'll net me at comcast.]
  42. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    In article <4236dbdc.1049636@nntp.charter.net>, ben_myers_spam_me_not @
    charter.net (Ben Myers) says...
    > You state that you can't create and load up a diagnostic partition yourself.
    > This newsgroup now has two written descriptions of how to do it, mine and the
    > one posted by dg1261. If and when you have a Dell computer to tinker with, give
    > it a try... Ben Myers

    I have forwarded your instructions to my email account and to my Dell
    account for review. And I just bought an old dimension for $60 at a
    thrift store that I'm putting together for a relative. I am certainly
    going to experiment with your instructions.
  43. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    "Brad Licatesi" <brad@pitt.jennifer> wrote:
    > > This newsgroup now has two written descriptions of how to do it,
    > > mine and the one posted by dg1261. If and when you have a Dell
    > > computer to tinker with, give it a try... Ben Myers
    >
    > I have forwarded your instructions to my email account and to
    > my Dell account for review. And I just bought an old dimension
    > for $60 at a thrift store that I'm putting together for a relative.
    > I am certainly going to experiment with your instructions.

    Don't forget that the Dell has to be new enough to have the bios option to
    boot a Dell Utility partition. My 600m laptop and Dim4600 desktop do, but
    my C600 laptop and Dim4400 desktop don't.
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