I have a friend with a laptop identical to mine, and given that I've had so many issues recently, I've decided that when I get around to replacing my RAM/bad battery in a week or 2, I'm probably better off just restoring from the official Dell recovery media, to have the most chance of a relatively issue-free PC. I have ripped his 2 restore discs, which I presume can be used on my hardware. But......It reinstalls the OS with a Recovery partition, and a main Windows partition. I wont need a recovery since I plan to do all my future restores/repairs from external media. And the recovery discs install the OS (Win7 Home Premium x64) in BIOS/MBR mode rather than my preferred UEFI/GPT.
I'm thinking that after the restore to my SSD is finished, I can simply resize the Recovery partition, format it as FAT32, mark it as active/bootable (necessary on my hardware, I think, from my experiences with UEFI DUET) then install the UEFI boot files there from any generic Win7 install DVD. As for the Windows partition, it might suffice to make a byte for byte clone of it, with CloneZilla or Drive Snapshot or whatever, then restore it into an empty Microsoft GPT data partition.
Would this work? Or is there some other easier way to directly convert the OEM discs into a format which can be placed on USB, which can then be used to restore Dell's machine-customized Win7 onto my hardware in UEFI mode?
I notice there are some WIM files on the discs, and various other file types, most EXEs and DLLs, so I figure a direct conversion is feasible.
Thanks for any advice!