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Create a Bootable Diagnostic CD

You have either lost your Dell Diganostic CD or you want to create one that has the newest diagnostic programs. This procedure will help you do just that.

This procedure assumes that you first have CDR/DVDR burner and that you have the appropriate software to burn your CD.

NOTE: The following instructions refer to Version 6.6 of Nero Burning ROM. Earlier or later versions may be slightly different. Other burning software programs will be similar. It is up to you to know how to use the program that you own. You can download a trial version of Nero Burning ROM to try it out.

Step 1: Download this zip file and save it to a temporary folder. This file contains the boot image file, the necessary files and directory structure that you will need to create the bootable Dell diagnostic CD. Extract this contents of this file and make sure that you retain the folder structure. Once you have it extracted, you should see these files with a sub folder called DIAGS.
Step 2: Go to download section of Dell's web site and download the appropriate version of the diagnostic software. On the download page, enter your service tag number or your computer's model number. Select your Operating System and Language. Then click on the "Find Downloads" link.
Step 3: Then click on the Diagnostic Utilities link to expand the selects and then click on the Graphical User Interface (GUI) version link. If what you see is not exactly the same as shown, don't worry. Each model may have a slightly different offerings.

Step 4: Select the Hard drive version. There may be two hard drive versions. Make sure that you select the one that looks like the picture to the right. Download this file to a folder of your choosing. Remember where this folder is.

NOTE: For some models, Dell is offering an ISO image file for the diagnostics. If this is your case, just download that file and create your diagnostic CD. There is no need to go any further with these instructions. You just need to create your CD. I have instructions on how to do this HERE.

Step 5: Navigate to the folder where you just saved the Hard Drive version of the diaganostics. This is a self extracting file. Run this file and extract the files into the DIAGS folder that was created in Step 1. This is important to perform correctly.
Step 6: Start the Nero Burning ROM program. You should now see this window. Scroll down the left pane until you see CD-ROM (Boot). Click on it.

Step 7: The "Boot" tab should now be visible. In the "Source of boot image data" section, select "Image file". Use the "Browse" button to navigate to and select the "Boot.img" file that you extracted from the zip file in Step 1.

Under the "Expert Settings" section, make sure everything is identical to this example. This is critical to creating a working bootable CD. The "Floppy Emulation" will make your computer think that your CDROM is your A:\ drive.

Step 8: Click on the ISO tab and duplicate the settings in this example.

Step 9: Click on the "Label" tab and enter RESOURCE_CD into the Disc name section.

Now click on the "New" button.


Step 10: In the File Browser section (right side), naviagate to the folder that you have the BOOT.img and DIAGS folder that you created in Step 1. Drag and drop all of the files and the DIAGS folder to the Left Pane.

Make sure that your burning CDRW or DVDRW is selected. (BLUE arrow)

Insert a blank CDR disk into your burner and click the button to burn your CD (RED arrow)

Step 11: Make sure that "Write" and "Finalize CD" are checked and then click on the "Burn" button.

Congratulations. You have just created your bootable Dell Diagnostic CD.

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