HP Recovery in Windows Vista

HP revocery in Vista

Hewlett Packard has made it convenient to recovery your original factory settings. We recommend you follow the instructions below if trying to recover with the disks that came with your PC when you first opened the package. If your HP computer did NOT come with disks, it’s quite possible the recovery files are on a hidden partition on the drive. In this case, you should follow the START menu to restore your PC to factory condition. If you need help recovering your HP Vista machine, please join our free forums.

How To Start HP Recovery in Vista

HP revocery in VistaWhen trying to recover an HP machine (in Vista or any other Operating System), always shut down the computer and disconnect any USB devices and remove any CDs, DVDs or floppies. Leave the keyboard and mouse connected. Next, power up the computer and navigate to Start, All Programs, and then click PC Help and Tools. Click the Recovery Manager.

You will need to proceed through a few Windows before getting to the actual System Recovery option. Click Next, then on the “Software Program Re-installation” screen, click No. Click “No” on the “Hardware Re-installation” screen and then “No” on the “Microsoft Re-installation Screen.”

You will then see the Recovery Manager screen. You will be asked if you want to do a factory system recovery. Click Yes and then Next. The PC will need to reboot itself to run the recovery.

Click through the Microsoft System Restore screen and you will get to the HP System Recovery screen. Click Next to begin. You may be asked if you want to backup any files. The System Recovery to factory defaults will then begin. All data will be lost, as the computer reformats the hard drive, so be sure you have any important data backed-up.

The PC will restart and the Vista HP System Recovery will be complete.

If you need more help with your HP computer, be sure to sign up for our free message boards or visit our live computer chat room.

72 thoughts on “HP Recovery in Windows Vista”

  1. So when my pc is booting up again, will my OS still be there, or do I have to install it again?

  2. My problem is i do have the recoverey disk. Tried to install it will take the first disk but the second stalls out at about 12 to 14% every time what am i doing wrong.

    1. You’re probably not doing anything wrong. I would just make sure you do not have any USB deviced plugged in or any addition hardware attached with the computer that wasn’t part of the original configuration. It might be looking for drivers. If you need more help, please join our forums.

  3. I have problems when it comes to the validation stage after the cd is burnt and i am unable to make a copy.

  4. I have a computer that is 3 years old, the other day it would not allow me to get into any programs and now it will not allow me on what can I do to get this resolved.
    Please help me ASAP

  5. The factory OS of my HP is Vista, but i don’t like it. so I have deleted C partitioning to install XP, and I keep the recover partition. the letter partition change also. C is recovery partition, and F is new OS. then I just found out it runs very slow, so i want to recovery to Vista. the problem is I cannot boot from recover partition. Please help.


  7. Gday, I have a copy of windows 7 on a new hard drive in my box , but i previously had vista home premium and a recovery partition on the original hard drive.The original hard drive died in a big way, but i had made a set of hp recovery discs….Do you know if it is possible to use these discs to reinstall vista home premium back on my new drive on a 2nd partition? or do i risk losing my windows 7 partition??
    The mind boggles!

    1. I’m pretty sure you’ll lose Windows 7, sorry. There’s really no advantage of having Vista and 7 as they are pretty much the same, anyway. Was there an application that is not compatible with 7?

  8. I have all of my files after the recovery… they’re in a file system recovery > D but how do I get the computer to use them?

  9. Hi,
    I installed two operating system one is Linux and Windows vista. now i deleted linux and unfortunately i formated my windows vista recovery file folder E drive. so i need all my data because all are very important and i need to recover my recovery file because there is no back file for windows vista. Now i m facing the problem is i m not able to open windows and just it showing while running in the begining it showing “GRUB_” the underscore just blinking can you pls give me suggestion how to recover the file and how open the windows vista operating system without failuring of my data’s.


    Prasanna D L

  10. I’m having trouble with the system recovery on my hp pavilion 513n it follows threw but I get lost at then end process where it says
    “Copy files from”
    Please help me ASAP
    Thanks alot

  11. having problems with vista rocovery. the system disks ran all night and still standing at please wait. what do i do.

    1. Is everything unplugged from the computer? It might be stuck on trying to load a driver from a printer, camera or scanner. Unplug any external devices, then restart the computer.

  12. i have a hp pavilion a6419th pc and when i push to start the hp invent comes on with esc-boot menu f10setup,f11recovery but it go to blank black sceen with a short blanking line at the upper left coner thank you if you can help or if you can’t heip

    1. Sometimes a BIOS will go stupid. Try removing the hard drive and then rebooting until you get the error NO OPERATING SYSTEM FOUND. Plug the hard drive back in and try booting again.

  13. How to make more partitions than just having C. I know one can divide the memory in a few partions. For example F for movies and G for documents besides C. Thank you

    1. Right-click Computer, select manage. Under disk management you can partition a drive that has free space there. There are also free partitioning tools on the Internet. Make sure you backup your data prior.

  14. Click Yes factory system recovery and the PC has done the reboot, nothing happens. It just restarts…
    Help what an i doing wrong???

  15. I put some data on the recovery partition, when i recoverd my laptop i couldn’t find the data but i see its space on the hard drive avillable which mean its on the hard allready !! can anybody help me to get this data back from the recovery partition ? ( my laptop hp dv6000 vista home )

  16. Help pls.. Will I need the Recovery Disks for the restoration of factory settings on my HPdv2401 (Vista). I have the CDs but my CD Drive is not working.

  17. My computer started having problems about a year ago. It would just go blank and I would have to shut it off for about an hour and restart. I ran a free virus scan and it started running a bit better but I have completely lost my sound. When I sign on I get a message saying bluetooth device not found in the middle of my screen. I have also lost WORD. I’m affraid theses were not factory installed items and were lost when I returned my computer back to factory settings. Is there any way to atleast get my audio back? I’m very computer illiterate and desperate for some help here.

  18. Hi David,

    I have HP machine using Vista, due to viruses I tried restoring factory settings (this is 2nd time i did it) and now it says “Windows could not complete the installation. To Install Windows on this computer, restart the installation”. What do I do now I dont have any Vista CD or anything I bought this laptop in2009 september.

    1. Did you make sure you have removed any external devices, such as printers, scanners? The instalation could be getting snagged on new hardware you added since the install. Otherwise, you can try ordering a set of recovery disks from HP.

  19. What if you have to replace a hard drive though? I replaced a bad hard drive on my HP Pavilion and tried to use the recovery disks on new drive but it just stalls, won’t install anything. I even partitioned the new drive to match the old drive but it still won’t install on the new drive. Any ideas are appreciated.

  20. How do I fix my HP Compaq 6510b copmuter ? It get to a screen it say non-system disk or disk error replace and strike any key when ready. How do I get past this if I do not have a cd that cam with the computer

    1. Unfortunately, that error could mean a bad hard drive. First, make sure there are no CDs or floppy drives in the computer. Next, try booting the computer and look for something on the screen that says Press “?” key to enter setup. Sometimes this key will be f11, f2, or whatever. Once you get into the BIOS setup, look for the primary drive and see if your hard drive is listed. If it’s not listed, it’s probably dead and the drive will need replacement.

      If it is there, I recommend ordering the disks you need through HP–they’re not expensive.

  21. Hey thanks for the tutorial. When my Laptop boots it says to press F11 and apparently that key isn’t really bound to anything so I was having the hardest time finding how to actually utilize the recovery disk. Thanks again!

  22. trying to dump and put back to factory settings (I have no disk) H.P computer came loaded Windows Vista home premium Any way some how or another i deleted or can not find the recovery manager Help

    1. What is the model? Have you looked for the manual on the HP website? They have a support section and the manual should describe the recovery process for your particular model.

  23. I started the System Restore in Vista. It’s been going for about 7 hours now, and it’s just stuck on the boot-up screen, where that little green line goes back and forth, and it says Microsoft Corporation underneath with the Copyright symbol. Should I wait longer? Would it be OK to hit the power button to stop, or even just unplug the computer?


  24. stuart russell

    My disk drive has been divided into 3 partitions viz C: with the system and programs, D: Factory Image, and E: containing mainly data. If I do a system recovery, will it damage drive E:?

  25. Gabriel Rivers-Rivet


  26. I asked for help because my Windows Defender was stuck, so I went on to the Hewlett Packard chat line support, and the person told me to do a system restore. The person didn’t tell me that not only would it wipe out the pre-installed Windows Vista on my laptop but it also wiped out all my browsers, all my personal files, all my photos, and downloads. It also wiped out my sound, and I have uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers for my sound system.
    I could kill someone. I don’t have the money to take it in to a computer expert, and I really would like the sound back on my computer, I can’t listen to music, see videos or watch movies anymore.
    Please could you not print this, just email me with some advice how I can get my sound back.
    I would really appreciate it. Thank-you
    Barb Lodermeier

  27. my computer had a problem and i did a factory restore and now i lost all my pictures and files, how can i get it back? please help!!!.

  28. I started to do a factory reset on my CQ60, at first it was running well the first hour then it froze at 37% and for the last four hours it has not done anything.. Is it working? how long does it take for a factory reset? if my system was infected since I just found out my home network was, and my other computer is quarantined, could it be an issue? how long should I wait before I turn it off.. its going five hours now, I am still waiting.

    1. A reset should take less than an hour. Make sure you have everything unplugged from the computer, such as printers, cameras, etc. It might be hanging on a driver issue.

  29. My Hp printer office jet 4500 was working good for two months, now when I try to turn it on, all it say is ” shutting down” can’t get it started again.

  30. My computer restarts when i start the recovery process but it doesn’t continue on the reboot so it remains in the same condition, is there anyway to reinstall the recovery manager?

  31. i m using hp pavilion dv6000 i have 4 partitions in my laptop my window is crash if i start hp system recovery will it delete data on my other partitions ?

    1. Yes, it will revert everything back to factory default. It will NOT if those partitions are on a secondary hard drive, however. If they are on a secondary hard drive, I would disconnect that second drive just to be safe.

  32. My computer doesn’t do updates, i think it will soon collapse if i dont do something about it :), I tried everything it doesnt work, I wanna do system recovery, I have HP windows vista, but I’m not sure what doses it mean it will return to factory setting and erase all that was installed after, doses that mean it will erase Microsoft Word/ office? and i have to purchase it again and install??? Im very concerned about that, pls help :(((

    1. Did your HP computer come with disks? If not, you can make them. Look through the menu for the HP link and make the necessary disks. Did Office come pre-installed? If so, you should either have the disks or be able to make an applications disk. At the very least I would find the serial key for your office installation.

      If you’re looking for something less evasive, you can do a system restore (Start>Programs>Applications>System Tools>System Recovery) and go back to a date when the computer was running better. This does NOT erase anything, just reverts system files and drivers back. I would do this first. You may find it fixes whatever your problem is.

  33. I ran Windows Vista system recovery from hp disks for a pavilion a6242n. They sent two recovery disks and one supplemental disk. The first two disks seemed to run properly and ejected. It did not ask for the supplemental disk at that time. Following the instructions, I touched nothing after the last click. I went out for the afternoon and when I returned four hours later, the computer was still running, the drive bays were still closed, and the screen was black with a small, blinking white cursor bar in the upper left corner. I left it like that all night and part of the next day, no change. Is it time to turn it off and try booting up? Or maybe try inserting the supplemental disk first? Not sure what to do, could it possibly need any more time?

  34. hi, i was trying reinstall my windows xp, before i had 2 partitions on my lap top (C; D) and then i deleted now.
    how can i return it back course main memory was on D (80gb)
    and C has only 30gb

    (((( please help

    1. I’m not sure I completely understand. Are you saying you deleted your d partition and you want to get that space back? If so, go to the control panel, then administrative tools, and then click on the disk management section. You should see the small C drive partition and a large blank space, which was the D drive. You can either format that blank space and have a D drive again or expand the C drive to take up the whole space. If I misunderstood the question, please join our forums and ask your question there.

  35. Hello.
    I am planning to use recovery manager to format the computer.
    When it asks if I want to create a back up, what files does it back up?
    Is it the document folders like Document, Video, Music, and etc?
    Or is it something else or more?
    Please reply this as soon as possible.
    Thank you.

    1. I’m not sure. I would make your own backup, then have HP make a backup as well. I would not trust it to do anything with your data, as they typically do not have that feature.

  36. My HP DV6 running vista completely crashed. I could get nothing but the boot screen even pressing F11. I had not made recovery disk so I ordered from HP. I started the recovery and about 2 hours later it asked for disk 2 of 2. At 11pm last night it said it had 400+ minutes remaing. 8am this morning 800+. An hour ago it said 1587 minutes remaining. The ‘reformating windows partition..’ box is checked, and the ‘reinstalling original…’ is checked and it says it is at 35% with 2000 minutes remaining. The percentage continually increases but with it so does the remaining time. It has been running for over 20 hours now. There is nothing attached or plugged into it except the charger. Is this normal? Also, if I shut it down and restart the recovery, can I use the disk again?
    Thanks for any help!

    1. Yes you can use the disk again, but it really sounds like you may have a problem with the hard drive, which might be the source of the original problem.

  37. Hello,

    I’m trying to run a recovery on my HP m8000 (Windows Vista Home Premium x64). When I get into recovery and choose Complete System Recovery, it gives me some error related to not being able to find the backup location (I know for a fact that the recovery partition is there and intact. Sorry i don’t have the error message writen down and I’m at work atm.
    I tried running recovery from a vista repair disk, and when I choose Complete System Recovery, it at least gives me a box to choose the backup location but it isn’t able to show me the hard disks to choose the recovery partition.
    I had a similar problem a while back with a dell and I had to load drivers at this screen for the hard disks to show up and then I could browse to the recover partition. (there is a button to load drivers in this window)
    Any idea where I could locate the driver it needs? I think this will be my solution.
    At this time I don’t have any of the original CD/DVDs that came with PC. I did some extensive digging to find the drivers on the HP website and around the web but no luck.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  38. I keep getting this message every time my HP laptop shutsdown or restarts

    Your user profile was not loaded correctly! You have been logged on with a temporary profile.

    Changes you make to this profile will be lost when you log off. Please see the event log for details or contact your administrator.

    Then all my saved pictures and documents are gone and I have to re-download everything ( Google Chrome, Skype well pretty much everything that did not come on it) and everything that did come on it is brand new again. Please help me figure this out I have already lost so many pictures that are not replaceable. Thank You

      1. Well I have been on that but it doesnt seem like it would stop this issue I dont have a disk to save everything on and cannot risk losing the pics again
        Is there any other way that you know of?

  39. hi,
    help,help help,i have a dell computer running on vista im not really technically minded at all.i think i need to do a factory reset but somewhat apprehensive about doing it.how can i do this without loseing my desktop,running system,and service provider.really scared i will totally mess my comp up and loose everything.can you help please?

    thanks in advance

    1. I would get an external hard drive. They are USB and will plug into your computer’s USB port. There is nothing you need to do to make it work, as it will appear in Computer under a different drive letter. You can then go to Start>Computer and click the C: drive. Under Users, you will see all of your information is located there. Computer the entire user folder for your account to the external hard drive, as you WILL lose all of your data when you do the recovery. When the recovery is complete, copy everything back over. Just be sure to unplug the USB drive before doing the restore so you don’t accidentally delete your data. If you need more help, please join our forums.

  40. Iv gone through the recovery stages, my computer restarts then it says ‘other user’ and asks for a user name and password. I have only ever had two users on this computer and neither of those work. Please help

    1. Tap f8 at boot. You should see an option to enter Safe Mode. From there you will see the administrator login. Use the admin password to enter Windows. Create a new acct of change the password to a current acct.

  41. Hello,

    Can you please help. My wife turned the computer on the other day as usual but this time we get a black screen that says “A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart”. When we do that it acts like it’s gonna boot up and goes to the blue HP Invent screen but then after it automatically goes to the Recovery Manager screen. When I’m at the Recovery Manager screen and click on cancel, it does the same thing. It acts like it’s going to boot up, goes throught the blue HP invent screen, then a black screen that says “Windows is loading files” then it goes right back to the Recovery Manager screen.

    If I click next and use the program to recover my computer to its factory condition on the Recovery Manager screen, will I lose all my files like music, pictures and reports? I have an HP Pavilion Elite m9152p running Vista. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.


    1. Unless the utility gives you the option to restore without erasing the data, then yes, you will lose everything. A second option will be to burn what is call a LIVE CD. Ubuntu.com has the option to create a bootable version of Linux right on a DVD. They do this so you can try the Linux before you actually install it on a computer. The benefit of this is you will likely be able to see the C: drive and all of its data so you can either move it to an external hard drive or to a USB thumbdrive. Of course, you will need to make the ubuntu disk on a different computer that has a DVD burner. Follow the instructions on the website–it’s not difficult–and make the disk. http://www.ubuntu.com/download

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