In playing with my Dell desktop machine's partitions I ended up deleting the various reserved system recovery partitions. I don't really understand how they are organized or what pieces are required. But there seemed to be 3 or 4 of these reserved partitions when I decided to clean them up.
The only symptom I have now... is that the Dell Backup and Recovery app won't run (or even install) without the "Windows Recovery Environment" which resided in one of these partitions.
I probably wouldn't care about not having this except that this system came with some software that I would like to be able to reinstall if necessary (namely Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop Elements).
The answer, is to restore the system to “factory” using restore discs that I’ve already made. That should put back all those special partitions. Then I’ll use Acronis True Image to replace my OS and Data partitions. At that point I’ll be back to where I am now with the system partitions restored. In theory.
The main motivation for attempting a full restore of the entire system is to give my new version of Acronis True Image a good workout. I want to see how it works. And even the worst-case scenario isn’t that bad. If it fails I could always do it the hard way by building from a fresh install. But I don’t expect that will happen.