I was working on a Dell XP computer that had the system recovery functionality damaged. It happens easily (e.g. when a user initiates FIXMBR or uses disk software).
There is a utility that will look for all of the partition entries and check to see that the restore partition is in tact that is (was) very helpful. The author offers bootable disk and disc images in addition to the small D.O.S. files, although he mentions it should be run from pure D.O.S. only.
It should be added to UBCD.
The website is http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/fixes.htm
. Tell me your opinion.