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Read this before ordering your Recovery Discs! (US and Canada Only)

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This document pertains to recovery discs for HP and Compaq desktop and notebook computers.
This document provides information about ordering recovery discs.
NOTE:Your computer can be recovered only by using the exact recovery discs specified for your HP or Compaq computer model. Follow the steps in this article to ensure that you order the correct Recovery Kit for your computer.
HP stopped shipping the Windows XP operating system recovery discs in 2005, and did not ship recovery discs with computers that had Vista or Windows 7 operating systems. The HP Recovery Manager program is part of the original hard drive image on HP computers. It can be used to recover the operating system from files stored in a partition on the hard drive without needing recovery discs. It can also be used to create a personalized recovery disc for a specific notebook computer. For instructions to create a set of recovery discs see Step 3: Create a set of recover discs . To continue to the ordering option, see Step 1: Determining if a recover kit is available from HP .
In many situations doing a hard reset or a system restore will resolve your computer's issues and might be a better option than performing a full system recovery. The following is information about, and instructions for, doing a hard reset or a Windows system restore.
A hard reset clears all temporary settings and forces Windows to do a complete scan of the system to recognize hardware components like the hard disc or optical disc drive. Follow the steps below to perform a hard reset.

Notebook hard reset

  1. Unplug the AC power adapter from the computer.
  2. Remove the battery from the battery compartment.
  3. Remove the computer from any port replicator or docking station.
  4. Disconnect cables to printers, external monitors, USB memory sticks or SD cards, headset or external speakers, mouse or auxiliary keyboard.
  5. Turn off WIFI and Bluetooth wireless devices.
  6. Press and hold the power button for about 15 seconds to drain any residual electrical charge from the capacitors that protect the memory.
  7. Insert the battery and plug the AC adapter back into the notebook computer. Do not connect any of the peripheral devices.
  8. Press the power button to turn the computer back on.
  9. If prompted to boot into Safe Mode or select a special type of startup, use the arrow keys to highlight Start Windows Normally, and then press the Enter.

Desktop hard reset

  1. Disconnect all peripheral devices and remove all USB devices and media cards. You want to test the computer not the accessories.
  2. Disconnect the AC power adapter, remove the battery, and then press and hold the power button for at least 15 seconds
  3. Reconnect the AC power and press the Power button. Look for glowing LEDs near caps lock and num lock keys, and listen for sounds of a disk drive and fan turning.
If your computer suddenly develops a problem, perform a Windows System Restore. The Microsoft Windows System Restore function returns the computer to a previously chosen restore point, which resets all of the settings for the operating system to those settings that existed at the time the restore point was created. No personal data files, such as email, documents, or pictures are lost. Windows System Restore is a Microsoft program and should not be confused with HP Recovery Manager.
See the one of the following documents for more information specific to your operating system and computer:

Step 1: Determining if a recovery kit is available from HP

If you know that a recovery kit is available from your computer's Software and Driver download page, then skip this step. Otherwise, read each item below to find out if recovery discs are available for your computer model.
  • If you arrived at this document by clicking a link from your product's Software and Driver page, click the Back button on your Internet browser and click the Order Recovery Media - CD/DVD/USB link to open the Recovery Media section. Look for a link in the section that has a 10 character alphanumeric code for a recovery kit (see the following image for an example). If a kit is available, click Read this before ordering your Recovery Discs! to return to this document and finish reading.
  • If you arrived at this document from an HP support page that did not match your computer model or from a link outside HP, then search HP's Web site to find and open the Software and Driver Download page for your computer model. Click the Order Recovery Media - CD/DVD/USB link to open the Recovery Media section. Look for a link in the section that has a 10-character alphanumeric code for a recovery kit. If a kit is available, click Read this before ordering your Recovery Discs! to return to this document and finish reading.
  • If a Recovery Media link does not exist on the Software and Driver download page that matches your HP computer model number, then a kit is not available because HP no longer has any kits in stock. HP has a limited supply of recovery kits to release to the public. You might be able to create recovery discs using software on the computer (Step 3), or you might be able to find recovery discs for sale outside HP by searching the Internet using your computer model number and the words "recovery discs."
NOTE:Finding recovery discs or a USB device from other Web sites: Popular online auction sites and computer part suppliers might have an original HP recovery kit (discs or a USB device) in stock. However, be careful and understand there are risks when purchasing recovery discs from any source outside of HP. Beware of sites that offer recovery solutions when they are not affiliated with HP. Check the identification label on your computer to make sure that that recovery solution will work with the exact product/model number of your computer before making your purchase. On some notebooks, this might be in the battery compartment or etched in the case.
Figure 1: Software and Download page with recovery discs available
Example of a Software and Download page that has recovery discs

Step 2: Know important information before ordering recovery discs

You should know the following before ordering recovery discs:
  • A credit card is required to order a recovery disc set from HP.
  • Before ordering, you will need to know the serial number for your computer. This is described in the following steps.
  • If you own a configure-to-order computer (CTO), you will also need to know the version of Windows that came with the computer. This is described in the following steps.
  • You might be able to burn a set of discs. Most HP and Compaq desktop computers have a software utility that allows you to create a set of recovery discs.
    The benefits of creating your own set of recovery discs are listed below:
    • You can create a recovery disc set even if the computer cannot open to the Windows desktop.
    • Creating discs takes much less time than ordering and receiving them in the mail.
    • Creating discs is less expensive because there are no shipping costs.
NOTE:Before trying to restore the operating system, you should back up any files that you want to save, because the recovery process will delete all the files on the hard drive. To remind you, the Recovery Manager prompts you to make a backup copy of your files before proceeding.
To use the HP Recovery Manager to back up your files see one of the following support documents:

Step 3: Create a set of recovery discs

Try to create a set of recovery discs. If your computer can open to the Windows desktop, you can determine whether the computer has Recovery Creator software installed.
NOTE:Only one set of recovery discs can be created for the computer.
  1. Use one of the following methods, depending on your Windows version:
    • In Windows 8, at the Start screen, type Recovery Media Creation, and then select it in the search results.
    • For previous versions of Windows, click Start , click All Programs, and then click PC Help & Tools. Look for and select HP (or Compaq) PC Recovery CD-DVD Creator.
  2. To create the recovery disc set, open the software and follow the on-screen directions.
  3. If PC Help & Tools is missing from the Start menu, look for any of the following:
    • Hewlett Packard
    • HP Pavilion PC Tools
    • HP PC Recovery CD Creator
    • PC Recovery Tools
    • Compaq Recovery CD-DVD Creator
  4. If you still cannot find the recovery utility, try browsing. If your computer came with Recovery disc software, you can browse to the file that opens the CD/DVD Creator software. Using Windows Explorer, browse to C:\Windows\Creator\CD Creator.exe and double-click CD Creator.exe. The CD/DVD Creator application opens. To create the recovery disc set, follow the on-screen directions.
For more information, read the HP support document Creating Recovery CDs and DVDs Using Recovery Creator Software .

Step 4: Finding the serial number

If you already know the serial number for your computer, skip to the next step.
If your computer can open the Windows desktop, press the CTRL+ALT+S keys to open a support information window. The serial number is shown next to Serial #.
Figure 2: Serial number in support information
If the computer cannot open to the Windows desktop, find the serial number on a label adhered to the computer. The information label might be on the back, top, or side of the computer.
Figure 3: Serial number on label

Step 5: Choosing the correct Recovery Disc set if multiple sets are available for Configure-to-Order computers

If you do not know what operating system came with your configure-to-order (CTO) computer, you can find the Build Identification (BID number) on an information label that is on the bottom of computer. Write this exact number down. This BID number is case sensitive, so make sure you write the number exactly as it appears on the sticker. You will need the BID number to find the specific recovery set for your CTO computer from the list of recovery disc sets shown on the order page.
Figure 4: BID number

Step 6: Ordering discs

Now that you have read this important information, click the Back button on your Internet browser to go back to the Software and Driver Download page. To continue the ordering process, click the Recovery Disc link and follow the instructions on the page. The ordering pages use a secure connection to protect your privacy.

Step 7: Contact Support

If you could not create or order discs, Contact HP (in English) for assistance. HP Customer Care might be able to replace defective versions or help in the ordering process.

Additional resources

For further information about recovering or reinstalling the operating system of your notebook computer see: Overview of Recovering the OS or Reinstalling the Operating System

HP Support forums

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