but I'm not clear if this can be restored to a non partitioned or differently partitioned drive....
Yes, it can.
I had to do it last year on a Server 2008 R2 Domain controller. The OS was on a (Dell OEM Install much like yours) single disk, and needed to be moved to a mirrored RAID array. I took a backup on the OS, and restored it to a newly created partition on the Array. Then ran through the below commands which I pasted here from a .doc file I made for myself to use in the future.
MS Boot Configuration Data Editor
For When Boot Fails Because the OS is Missing!
The following procedure is used to completely rebuild the Windows Vista, 7, 2008 boot configuration when it has either been badly damaged, or when restoring the OS to different hardware with a different disk/partition configuration (however it doesn't hurt to run all of them...as long as it's done in this order).
1. Boot from appropriate OS media.
2. Select the current Windows installation if available.
3. Choose Command Prompt and run the below commands (some may be optional):bootrec.exe /fixmbrbootrec.exe /fixboot bootsect.exe /nt60 all /forceattrib -s -h -r C:\boot\BDC
(this one can be skipped if it's gone)del C:\boot\BCD
(this can obviously be skipped if it's gone)bootrec.exe /RebuildBcdbcdboot.exe C:\Windows /S C: /L en-us
(this one is very critical - Specifically the language switch - adjust accordingly if you're not using English)
(This part is here only for reference)
Diskpart can also be used to mark a partition as active from the Windows RE.
SELECT DISK (followed by the number of the disk – most likely 0)
SELECT PARTITION (followed by the partition number – most likely 0)
(end of just for reference.
Windows startup recovery should now work ... If it doesn't, boot to the OS install disk and run:
Startup repair launched this way is a bit more aggressive about getting the deal closed than the other GUI launched startup repair - I have no idea why...I just know that it is. I have however - recently with a (virus devastated) Win7 laptop - had some success with using the GUI based startup repair, but only after the above commands were run.