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Using the Downloadable USB Recovery Flash Disk Creation Utility

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This document pertains to HP Notebook computers that came with Windows 7 and Vista.
Most notebook computers have the ability to create removable recovery media using HP Recovery Manager software. If this option is not available from Recovery Manager and your computer still has the hard drive recovery partition, then you can still create a recovery solution onto a removable USB flash device by using a downloadable USB Recovery Flash Disk creation utility. Use this document to create a USB recovery solution when the option is not available from Recovery Manager.
Creating a recovery solution on a USB flash device is helpful for notebooks that do not have an internal optical disc drive. The requirements for creating a Vista or Windows 7 recovery solution on a USB Flash device include:
  • Only one copy of a recovery solution can be created.
    If you have already created or attempted to create recovery discs, do not use the Flash Disk Utility. If the first creation process failed, you can get a replacement recovery discs from HP.
  • The computer must have the original HP Vista or Windows 7 configuration, including the recovery partition.
    A USB Recovery solution cannot be created if the original operating system has been changed, or if the Recovery partition has been erased or removed.
  • Your USB storage device should have at least 8 GB of available free space. Verify the exact amount of free space on the flash drive before creating the recovery solution. Use a 16 GB flash disc for best results.
  • Connect the USB flash drive to a USB 2.0 connector. The USB Recovery Flash Disk creation utility does not recognize USB 3.0 ports.
  • USB external hard drives cannot be used.

Create a USB Recovery Solution using the Flash Disk Creation Utility

Use the following steps to download and run the HP Flash Disk Creation Utility:
  1. Download USB Recovery Flash Disk creation utility
    1. Click one of the following links to download the utility based on the operating system that came with your Notebook computer:
    2. Select the Download button.
    3. On the File Download - Security Warning dialog box, select the Save button.
      Figure 1: Save file download
      Image of File Download - Security Warning dialog box
      NOTE:Do not select Run during the download. If you select Run, the disc creation process will start immediately and you cannot use the computer while the recovery disc on the USB flash disc is being created.
    4. Save the file to a location on your hard drive where you can easily open it, such as the Windows desktop or My Documents folder.
  2. Run USB Recovery Flash Disk creation utility
    CAUTION: All data on the USB storage device will be deleted when using this process. Be sure to save any important information from the device before creating the recovery solution.
    Connect the AC power supply.
    Close all software.
    Insert your USB storage device in the USB 2.0 connector.
    Double-click the Flash disc USB Recovery Flash Disk Utility file that was downloaded and saved earlier.
    When prompted, accept the software user agreement.
    When prompted, select name of the USB flash storage device that you want to use for the recovery solution.
    Wait while the utility creates the solution on the storage device.
    CAUTION:During the creation process, the computer pauses periodically and there are no signs of action for long periods of time. Do not interrupt the disc creation process or remove the USB storage device. When the creation process is complete, the computer will restart and prompt you to log in to the computer.
    When finished, remove the USB storage device and store it in a safe location. You can use this recovery solution to return the computer's software back to the way it was when the computer was first purchased.

Common issues that can occur during recovery solution creation

The following are common error messages and problems that can occur when creating a recovery solution on a USB 2.0 flash drive. Select an error message for more information.
When the USB Recovery Flash Disk Creation Utility does not detect a removable USB drive, you will receive a "No removable (USB) drive detected" error.
Figure 2: No removable (USB) drive detected error
Image of No recoverable (USB) drive detected error message
To resolve an issue when the utility does not recognize the USB, do the following:
  • Exit Recovery disc creator utility, unplug and then re-plug the USB storage device in a USB 2.0 connector. Windows should recognize the device. If so, restart the utility.
  • Open Windows Explorer to verify Windows recognizes the USB flash drive. If the USB drive is not detected, perform standard USB device troubleshooting tasks.
  • Perform a hard reset on the computer. See Use Hard Reset to Resolve Hardware and Software Issues for more information.
  • Use a 16 GB USB storage device.
  • Format the USB storage device in Windows and try again.
Read errors are most likely occurring from the hard drive when reading the recovery data from the hard drive to transfer to the USB storage device. Try the following steps to try and fix problems that might be on the hard drive:
  1. Restart the computer and press the F2 key to open hard drive diagnostics.
  2. If the hard drive test returns a good result, re-attempt the image creation. Contact HP if the issue persists.
  3. If a hard drive failure message is returned, contact HP about the need for a replacement hard drive.
If a message similar to "Drive is write protected", or "Cannot access drive" is displayed, write protection on the flash drive has been enabled.
  • The write protection feature on most flash storage devices is a small lever near the connector. The protection can be disabled by moving the lever to a different position.
  • The Windows operating system can set file attributes to hide a file or make a file read-only. Open Windows Explorer, right-click the flash disc to view the properties of any files on the device. Remove any read-only tags.
  • As the steps to troubleshoot flash discs may vary between device manufacturers, please refer to the specific manufacturer's web site for additional support.
Since the recovery disk creation process is CPU and read/write intensive, the computer must be connected to an AC power supply at all times. If your computer is not plugged in, you will receive a caution message.
Figure 3: Running on battery power caution
Image of the running on battery power caution.
To resolve this issue, connect the AC adapter to the notebook computer, and view the power LED lights to verify that power is available at the computer. If the error persists, troubleshoot or replace the AC Adapter.
This message indicates the recovery media has already been created for your system.
Due to licensing restrictions, only one recovery solution can be created.
Figure 4: Recovery media already created message
Image of message indicating recovery media has already been created.
If you no longer have that Recovery disc, you can purchase a replacement Recovery discs from HP. See HP PCs - Looking for Recovery Discs?

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