"I don't have an i386 under C" Neither does the Optiplex 210 that is in my office, so you're right the Dell recovery won't work with this model. But is was supplied with a full XP cd (not a recovery disc) and other cd's for drivers etc. You should have these somewhere and they have to be passed on with the machine. If you've lost them all I can suggest is something like Acronis. You can take an image to CD/DVD and also make a separate boot disc.
But you will have to pay for it.