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Performing an HP System Recovery (Windows Vista)

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This document only pertains to HP and Compaq desktop computers that came with Windows Vista. It is NOT for HP notebook computers.
This document explains how to reset the computer to its original factory shipped state. This document is divided into sections based on the different ways of performing a System Recovery. Use one of the sections that best fits your needs. Please read ALL Caution statements before attempting a System Recovery!
NOTE:It is important that you back up important files before recovering your computer. This HP recovery process also contains a backup feature you can use to backup your important data.
If your computer originally came with Windows XP and was upgraded to Vista, see Performing an HP System Recovery in Windows XP .
Performing a System Recovery completely erases and reformats the hard disk drive - this includes deleting all data files you have created and stored on the hard drive. System Recovery reinstalls the operating system, programs, and drivers. Software that was not installed on the computer at the factory must be reinstalled. Be prepared to reinstall software that was not originally included with the computer. When recovery has finished, you will need to configure an Internet connection, set up antivirus software, obtain all critical Windows updates, virus definition updates, and anti-spyware updates.
CAUTION:If the computer was upgraded to Windows Vista from Windows XP, a System Recovery replaces Vista back to XP. Windows Vista will need to be reinstalled after a System Recovery.
NOTE:HP computers that ship with Microsoft Windows Vista do not come with recovery CDs. Instead, they use a space (partition) on the hard disk drive to store the recovery information. The use of a hidden partition provides a convenient process that eliminates the use of recovery discs that may be lost or scratched. Recovery discs for Windows Vista can be created by using the Recovery Manager.

View a video on performing a system recovery in Windows Vista

If Windows Vista cannot open and if the Recovery partition on the hard disk drive is functioning properly, you can perform a System Recovery by performing the following procedure:
NOTE:If the RECOVERY or FACTORY_IMAGE partitions on the hard drive have been deleted OR the files in these partitions have been deleted, these steps will not work. You must use recovery discs.
  1. Turn off the computer if it is not already off.
  2. Disconnect all connected devices and cables such as the Personal Media Drive, USB drives, printer, and fax. Remove media from drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power cord.
  3. Turn on the computer and immediately press the F11 key repeatedly, about once every second, until Recovery Manager opens.
    Figure 1: Recovery Manager: Welcome to the Recovery Manager
     Welcome to the Recovery Manager
  4. Click Next.
    A Microsoft System Restore screen opens.
    Figure 2: Recovery Manager: Microsoft System Restore
    Microsoft System Restore
  5. Select No, I would like to see other options, and then click Next.
    A System recovery screen opens.
  6. Click Yes, and Next to continue the recovery process.
    Figure 3: Recovery Manager: System recovery
     System recovery screen
  7. The Recovery Manager gives you the option of backing up your data files. To do so, read Backing up your files .
    To continue recovery, select No, and then click Next.
    Figure 4: Recovery Manager: Screen with backup option
     Screen showing option for backing up files
  8. A recovery progress screen opens. Wait while files are restored.
    Figure 5: Recovery Manager: Factory image recovery
     Screen showing progress
  9. When System Recovery is complete, click Finish.
    Figure 6: Recovery Manager: Recovery is complete
    Complete
  10. The computer restarts and continues into Windows setup. Complete the setup screens and wait until the computer finishes the setup. Then, turn off the computer, reconnect all peripheral devices, and turn on the computer.
  11. Before using the computer, update and protect it by reinstalling any virus and security software that was installed before the System Recovery.
  12. Reinstall any software applications that were added after purchasing the computer, and replace any files that were backed up.
Use the following steps to recover the computer starting from the Windows Vista desktop:
  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Disconnect all connected devices and cables such as the Personal Media Drive, USB drives, printer, and fax. Remove media from drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power cord.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. From the Windows desktop click Start , and then All Programs.
  5. Click PC Help & Tools.
  6. Click Recovery Manager.
    The Recovery Manager Welcome screen appears.
  7. Click Next.
  8. On the Software Program Re-installation screen select No, and then click Next.
  9. On the Hardware Re-installation screen select No, and then click Next.
  10. On the screen that prompts for Microsoft System Restore select No, and then click Next.
  11. The Recovery Manager prompts if you want to restore the computer to its original factory shipped condition. Click Yes, and then click Next.
    The computer restarts and opens the Recovery Manager program.
    If the recovery partition on the hard disk drive is functioning properly the Welcome to the Recovery Manager screen appears. If the hard disk drive is damaged, a set of recovery discs is needed to run a System Recovery. Follow the instructions listed in the section, Starting the recovery from recovery discs .
  12. Click Next.
  13. On the Microsoft System Restore screen select No, and then click Next.
  14. Confirm that you want to run a System Recovery by selecting Yes, and then click Next.
  15. The Recovery Manager gives you the option of backing up your data files. To do so, read Backing up your files .
    If you do not want to backup your files, select No, and then click Next.
  16. After the System Recovery is complete, the computer restarts and continues into Windows setup. Complete the setup screens and wait until the computer finishes the setup. Then, turn off the computer, reconnect all peripheral devices, and turn on the computer.
  17. Before using the computer, update and protect your computer. Reinstall any virus and security software that was installed before the System Recovery.
  18. Reinstall any software applications that were added after purchasing the computer, and any files that were backed up.
Use the following steps to recover the computer from a set of recovery discs (either CDs or DVDs):
  1. Turn on the computer, if it is not already on, and insert the first recovery disc labeled #1.
  2. After the first disc is in the drive and the drive is closed, turn off the computer by pressing and holding the power button.
  3. With the computer off, disconnect all connected devices and cables such as the Personal Media Drive, USB drives, printer, and fax. Remove media from drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power cord.
  4. Turn on the computer. The computer opens the Recovery Manager program.
  5. By default the Recovery Manager will be set to run a System Recovery from the inserted recovery disc. Click Next.
  6. On the screen that prompts for Microsoft System Restore select No, and then click Next.
  7. The Recovery Manager gives you the option of backing up your data files. To do so, read Backing up your files .
    If you do not want to backup your files, select No, and then click Next.
  8. Read and respond to the screens as they appear. If a screen prompts for a disc, insert the next disc. In some cases, you may have to repeatedly insert the same disc several times before the screen allows you to continue.
  9. After the System Recovery is complete, the computer restarts and continues into Windows setup. Complete the setup screens and wait until the computer finishes the setup. Then, turn off the computer, reconnect all peripheral devices, and turn on the computer.
  10. Before using the computer, update and protect your computer. Reinstall any virus and security software that was installed before the System Recovery.
  11. Reinstall any software applications that were after purchasing the computer, and any files that were backed up.
During the recovery process, you have the opportunity to back up your files to a disc or other removable drive. Once you have started one of the previous recovery methods and have come to an option to backup your files you can use the following steps to complete the backup and recovery process:
  1. Start one of the recovery methods described in the other sections of this document and continue reading and responding to the screens until you come to the question "Do you want to back up your data before recovery begins?"
  2. Select Back up your files, and click Next.
    Figure 7: Recovery Manager: Back up your files first selection
    Back up your files first selection
  3. Select the types of files that you would like to save. De-select the file types that you know you do not want. Click Next when done.
    Figure 8: Recovery Manager: Which file types do you want to backup?
    Which file types do you want to backup?
  4. A Scanning screen opens. Wait for Recovery Manager to scan for files that can be backed up.
    Figure 9: Recovery Manager: Scanning
    Scanning with progress indicator?
  5. Select a storage device from the list.
    Figure 10: Recovery Manager: Where do you want to save your backup?
    Where do you want to save your backup?
  6. Click Next.
  7. The next screens vary, depending on what type of storage device was selected. Read and respond to the screens that open to transfer the files from the hard drive to the device. If you selected a CD or DVD drive, you will be prompted to insert a blank disc.
    NOTE: If the process fails, make sure the storage device is large enough to accept the files. You can also try de-selecting the file types to reduce the amount of files that are copied. Other reasons for failed backups might be caused by file corruption. In some cases, it is not be possible to save files using this backup method.
  8. When Recovery Manager is finished backing up files, you can remove the backup disc or storage device and continue with the recovery process (by clicking Next).
    Figure 11: Recovery Manager: Your Backup was created successfully
    Success

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