Inside the Dell PC Restore Partition

An Exploration by Dan Goodell
Fixing PBR Label Alerts

Opening a partition (logical volume)
Use PTS Disk Editor (de.exe) or a similar utility to edit the partition boot record of the first and third partitions. Boot from a DOS boot disk and launch de.exe. On the left side of the opening screen, choose to select from Partitions, then on the right side select which partition.

If the first partition is still marked 'DE', it will probably show as "Unknown" here, but you should be able to identify it by its size, which is usually around 30-60 MB.

The third partition should show as "FAT32" (if descriptor type is '0C') or "CTOS" (if descriptor type is 'DB').
DellUtility partition boot record
Open sector 1 of the first partition. This is PBR 1. The partition label consists of 11 bytes from offset 002B-0035h (shown highlighted in this figure), right before a 'FAT16' string of characters.

Pressing the Tab key allows you to alternate between editing the raw bytes on the left side, or the ASCII translations on the right side.

Press Tab so the cursor is on the right-side part of the display, then move the cursor to the area where the label is supposed to be. Type 'DellUtility', using both uppercase and lowercase letters.

When leaving the sector, you will be prompted to save the changes.
DellRestore partition boot record
Open sector 1 of the third partition. This is PBR 3. The partition label consists of 11 bytes from offset 0047-0051h (shown highlighted in this figure), right before a 'FAT32' string of characters.

Press Tab so the cursor is on the right-side part of the display, then move the cursor to the area where the label is supposed to be. Type 'DellRestore', using both uppercase and lowercase letters.

When leaving the sector, you will be prompted to save the changes.

author: Dan Goodell

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