• Dell recovery and restore usb drive

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    I did the Dell Support Assist OS recovery. There is an option to save files to an external HDD/Flash Drive before the restore starts and all files are wiped. So I did that. 214 GB of data. It’s on a flash drive. Now how do I restore the files back to the PC? It’s labeled 2021-07-09_13.10.26. Here is an example of what the file looks like on the Flash Drive. Archive.z01.They go from z01 to z211. File type Z01 file. Size 1,000,576. All the files have the same size. At the end there is a zip file labeled archive. Size 381,025kb. And below that there is a file named backup history XML document 12,428 kb. How do I get these files off the drive onto the PC? I tried using winzip and got the error message must be a .zip file. And my files are .z01 etc.

    Viewing 3 reply threads
    • #2377069

      Try usig 7-zip (freeware). There is option to “Combine files” from the “File” menu, or rightclick the .z01 file and select extract. It should automatically continue to next files .z02, .z03, …

      That should give you one archive you will be able to extract. Im not sure, what will be the content of that archive, you can post the result here and we can give you next steps, what to do. HTH.

      Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

      HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      PRUSA i3 MK3S+

      • #2377471


        The above is what appears in the 7-zip . Along with the folders for Documents, Music, Videos and Pictures. If I open one I see what should be in the folder. But how do i get them to where they should be. Before the repair there was a folder on C\Users\XXXXXX. Where XXXX is my first initial last name.Along with My first name and public. I used the open function of the 7-zip. Where do I go from here. Thank You for your help.

      • #2377468

        OK, So I used 7-zip on one of the archive .z01. There are 211 of those. Each one of them has  1,048,576 kb. I used the open option. It opened to My folders for Documents, Music, Pictures and Video. When I opened the Documents one I saw all my documents there. It is in what looks like E:\SupportAssist_Backups\2021-07-09_13.10.26\archive.z01\C\Users\xxxxx\ . Where xxxxx is my user name. But in C\Users that name does not appear. So if I can see them in the 7-zip where are they? In the above link they’re there. Can I copy and paste. Or is there a better way to do it? I’d love to find the \xxxxx\ folder. Which is where they were before all of this. What should I do next. It looks like I’m so close. And don’t want to mess it up. Thanks for your help.

        • #2377824

          C\Users that name does not appear

          The thing is, that your new user is named differently than teh old one, but that doesnt meant you cant put your old documents where they belong.

          Can I copy and paste. Or is there a better way to do it?

          Copy and paste is good solution. But You could also do it by extracting desired folder and then dragging the extracted folder onto parent folder where it belongs. It will merge those two folders.

          Example: You want to restore Pictures folder.
          ++ you extract the Pictures folder from the backup
          ++ open the folder C:\Users\
          ++ Drag and drop the extracted folder on your current user

          This will merge your current Pictures with the restored Pictures

          Its a few steps to go, but nothing serious. Hope this will help you make it easier.

          Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          PRUSA i3 MK3S+

          • #2377838

            So the Z-7 shows E:\SupportAssist_Backups\2021-07-09_13.10.26\ in the extract to place which is the flash drive. Is that where I want it to go? The drive only has 19,5 GB left. Is there a way I can extact it to another place? Also ,when I open archive.z01 get this E:\SupportAssist_Backups\2021-07-09_13.10.26\archive.z01\. Opening that shows just C. Opening C shows files like fix firexox, Apps, downloads , users etc. The Apps file contains .net files for example. Archive.z02 has the same files. And so on. I guess I have to open all of them to see whats there. Since Windows is working fire all I really need are the Pictures,music etc. Can I ignore the other folders?

            • #2377846

              I think you can ignore other folders. Focus on Pictures, Music, Documents and Desktop. Those are your personal data.

              The others should be application data and other files, that are not nescessary, just application settings and other settings from you old computer.

              In 7-z, you can extract files and folders to your local harddrive. When extracting, you should be able to set, where files are unpacked. For example like this (click three dots and select folder, where to extract files):


              My experience is, that if you open the .z01, it shows all contents (from .z01 to .z99 or further) of the archive.
              7-z should automatically select the desired files from .z02, .z03, ..

              All you need to do is open the .z01, all other are connected automatically.

              I hope you understand what I mean.
              ++ Open .z01
              ++ Extract Pictures where you have enough storage space
              ++ Drag and drop extracted folder as described in post above

              Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

              HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

              PRUSA i3 MK3S+

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2378514

              So I now have my docs,my music,my pictures and my videos. All I’d like to find is my contacts, and my firefox and thunderbird profiles.

              So thank you so very much for your help with this problem. It is very much appreciated.

            • #2378517

              If you can find this path, the data is there.
              Firefox profile:

              Thunderbird profile:

              The ones under Roaming contain Firefox settings and Thunderbird settings and Mail.
              But I have found the ones under Local can also be important.

            • #2378668

              If I can’t find them can I use one of the older profiles I’ve saved? Also how would I get it into the new profile ?

            • #2380345

              Hi, it’s me again. I was wondering. On the flash drive at the very bottom of the 210 file list of .7 is a zip folder called archive. It’s smaller than the other files. If I do a right click and open I see other folders that were on the desktop that I’d love to have. Next to that is an extract all icon. Is there any danger in extracting all? And if not where might it extract to ? Sorry for the new questions but I just saw this.

            • #2380414

              Thank you for your question. You could extract any folder you want. If you recognize it, go for it. Danger only is, if you have not enough free space on the destination harddrive.
              Avoid extracting system folders like Program Files, Windows and rewriting your current system folders.

              Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

              HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

              PRUSA i3 MK3S+

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2377469


    • #2377134

      From the Dell Support Assist OS recovery instructions:

      Once Windows boots for the first time, the SupportAssist Recovery Assistant will come up to help you install the latest Windows and Dell updates. Additionally, it will install additional factory-installed software and recover your back up if you created one using Dell SupportAssist OS Recover back up option.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2378950

      Hi valleygreen22:

      This for future reference since it sounds like you already found a way to recovery your files manually.

      Further to alejr’s post #2377134, if you reset your computer to factory state see Restore Data After Resetting Your Computer to Factory State in the Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery User’s Guide.

      If you reset your computer using the Reset and Update option see Restore Data by Using SupportAssist Recovery Assistant. The SupportAssist Recovery Assistant should be launched automatically when you restart your computer if you reset your computer using the Reset and Update option.

      If the SupportAssist Recovery Assistant didn’t launch automatically at boot-up see the Dell Tech Support video Dell SupportAssist OS Recovery at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cVIuJAUCNU. At ~ 3:45 in that video there is a section on Restoring Data. According to that video your external USB drive where you backed up your personal data should have a folder called SupportAssist_Backups (note : you confirmed in post # 2377471 you can see this folder at E:\SupportAssist_Backups\…) that contains a file called File_Restore.exe When you double-click File_Restore.exe it should launch the SupportAssist Recovery Assistant and guide you through the process of restoring your files.
      Dell Inspiron 15 5584 * 64-bit Win 10 Pro v20H2 build 19042.1110 * Dell SupportAssist v3.10.0.47 * Dell SupportAssist Remediation v5.4.1.14954 * Dell Update v4.2.1

    • #2569797

      So what if I did backup but I do not have the File_Restore.exe file? The folder with files is there but no exe file. How can I restore? Unpack it with 7z?

      • #2569818

        The discussion suggests you can open 7-zip, right click on the first backup file and select 7-Zip > Open Archive.
        This will let you view the files in the backup and you can then extract them. (I have not tried this.)

        cheers, Paul

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