Print | Rate this content

HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Performing an HP System Recovery (Windows 7)

This document pertains only to HP and Compaq DESKTOP and ALL-IN-ONE computers that came with Windows 7 installed. It cannot be used for HP NOTEBOOK computers.

This document explains how to reset the computer to its original factory shipped state and is divided into sections based on the different ways of performing a system recovery.

Back up all personal files and read all caution statements before performing a system recovery.

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 originally came with Windows Vista or Windows XP and the computer was upgraded to Windows 7, the recovery process will reinstall the original operating system. You must upgrade to Windows 7 (again) after the system recovery is completed.

If the computer originally came with Windows XP and was upgraded to Windows 7, see Performing an HP System Recovery in Windows XP .

If the computer originally came with Windows Vista and was upgraded to Windows 7, see Performing an HP System Recovery in Windows Vista .

To start a recovery, use one of the following methods:

Click the heading or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.

View a video on performing an HP System Recovery in Windows 7

Performing an HP System Recovery in Windows 7

Starting a system recovery from Windows 7

If Windows 7 opens properly, perform the following steps to start a system recovery from the Windows 7 start menu:

  1. Turn off the computer.

  2. Disconnect all connected devices and cables such as Personal Media Drives, USB drives, printers, and faxes. Remove media from internal drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, or power cord .

  3. Turn on the computer.

  4. Click Start , All Programs , Recovery Manager , and then click Recovery Manager again.

    If you are prompted for an Administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    Figure 1: Recovery Manager

    Recovery Manager
  5. Under I need help immediately, click System Recovery .

  6. The Recovery Manager prompts if you want to restore the computer to its original factory shipped condition. Click Yes , and then click Next .

    Figure 2: Recovery Manager confirmation screen

    Recovery Manager confirmation screen
  7. The computer restarts. If the recovery partition on the hard disk drive is functioning properly, the Recovery Manager window appears.

    NOTE: If the recovery partition on the hard disk drive is not functioning properly, 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 .

    Figure 3: Recovery Manager after restart

    Recovery Manager after restart
  8. Click System Recovery .

  9. Select a backup option:

    • If you have already backed up personal files or you do not want to back up personal files, select Recover without backing up your files , and then click Next . Continue to the next step.

    • If you have not backed up personal files, select Back up your files first (recommended) , and then click Next .

      Figure 4: Recovery Manager: Back up your files first

      Do you want to back up your files first?

      To back up your personal files, complete the following:

      1. Select the file types to back up, and then click Next .

        Figure 5: File Backup window

        File Backup window
      2. Recovery Manager scans the computer for storage devices. Select the storage device to save the backup, and then click Next .

        NOTE: If you selected a CD or DVD drive, you are prompted to insert a blank disc.

        Figure 6: Choose backup location

        File backup window, choose backup location
      3. When Recovery Manager is finished backing up files, remove the backup disc or storage device, and then click Next to continue with the recovery process.

        NOTE: If the backup process fails, make sure the capacity of the storage device is large enough to store the files, or try de-selecting some 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 may not be possible to save files using this backup method.
  10. Click OK in the warning that appears.

  11. After the system recovery is complete, click Finish to restart the computer. Complete the setup screens and wait until the computer finishes the setup.

  12. Once the setup is complete, turn off the computer, reconnect all devices and cables, and then turn on the computer.

  13. Before using the computer, update and protect your computer. Reinstall any virus and security software that was installed before the system recovery.

  14. Reinstall any software programs that were added after purchasing the computer, as well as any files that were backed up.

Starting a recovery from the startup logo screen (during system boot)

If Windows 7 does not open properly, but the recovery partition (labeled RECOVERY or FACTORY_IMAGE) on the hard disk drive is functioning properly, perform the following steps to recover the computer:

NOTE: If the recovery partition on the hard disk drive is not functioning properly, a set of recovery discs is needed to perform a system recovery. Follow the instructions listed in the section Starting the recovery from recovery discs .
  1. Turn off the computer.

  2. Disconnect all connected devices and cables such as Personal Media Drives, USB drives, printers, and faxes. Remove media from internal drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, or power cord .

  3. Turn on the computer and repeatedly press the F11 key, about once every second, until Recovery Manager opens.

    Figure 7: Recovery Manager

    Recovery Manager
  4. Under I need help immediately, click System Recovery .

  5. Select a backup option:

    • If you have already backed up personal files and do not want to back up your important files, select Recover without backing up your files , and then click Next . Continue to the next step.

    • If you want to back up your important files, select Back up your files first (recommended) , and click Next .

      Figure 8: Back up your files first

      Do you want to back up your files first?

      To back up your personal files, complete the following:

      1. Select the file types to back up, and then click Next .

        Figure 9: File Backup window

        File Backup window
      2. Recovery Manager scans the computer for storage devices. Select the storage device to save the backup, and then click Next .

        NOTE: If you selected a CD or DVD drive, you are prompted to insert a blank disc.

        Figure 10: Choose backup location

        File backup window, choose backup location
      3. When Recovery Manager is finished backing up files, remove the backup disc or storage device, and then click Next to continue with the recovery process.

        NOTE: If the backup process fails, make sure the capacity of the storage device is large enough to store the files, or try de-selecting some 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 may not be possible to save files using this backup method.
  6. Click OK in the warning that appears.

  7. After the system recovery is complete, click Finish to restart the computer. Complete the setup screens and wait until the computer finishes the setup.

  8. Once the setup is complete, turn off the computer, reconnect all devices and cables, and then turn on the computer.

  9. Before using the computer, update and protect your computer. Reinstall any virus and security software that was installed before the system recovery.

  10. Reinstall any software programs that were added after purchasing the computer, as well as any files that were backed up.

Starting a recovery from recovery discs

Perform the following steps to recover the computer using a set of recovery discs (either CDs or DVDs).

NOTE: Support Sent Recovery Discs can take considerably longer to complete system recovery. HP recommends creating a set of recovery discs and storing them in a safe place. For more information about creating a set of recovery discs, see Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive in Windows 7 .
NOTE: For more information about creating a set of recovery discs, see Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive in Windows 7 .
  1. Turn on the computer, and insert the first recovery disc into the drive.

  2. Turn off the computer by pressing and holding the power button.

  3. Disconnect all connected devices and cables such as Personal Media Drives, USB drives, printers, and faxes. Remove media from internal drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, or power cord .

  4. Turn on the computer.

  5. If the Recovery Manager loads, proceed to the next step. If a Recovery Manager screen does not load or the computer tries to start up normally, then restart the computer and immediately press the Escape key repeatedly, about once every second, until the Startup Menu or the Boot Menu opens.

    If a Select Boot Device screen displays, use the up or down arrow key to select the CD/DVD drive, and then press Enter .

    If the Startup Menu opens, press F9 to open the Boot Menu. Use the up or down arrow key to select the CD/DVD drive, listed under Legacy Boot Sources. Then press Enter .

    Figure 11: Startup Menu

    Image of Startup Menu
  6. A window might appear and prompt whether to run Recovery Manager from the hard disk or from the disc inserted. If this window displays, select the Run program from disc , and then click Next .

  7. Select an option based on the type of recovery discs you have.

    • Recovery discs created from your computer.

      Click Factory Reset under I need help immediately. On the next screen, select Yes and then click Next .

      Figure 12: Recovery Manager using user-created recovery discs

      Recovery Manager with user created recovery discs
    • Recovery discs received from HP support:

      Select one of the following selections, depending on which selection is shown on your screen, and then click Next .

      • Factory Reset - Reset the computer by erasing the entire drive and restoring to the factory setup

      • Reset the computer by erasing the entire drive and restoring to the factory setup

      Figure 13: Recovery Manager using HP-sent recovery discs

      Recovery Manager with HP-sent recovery discs
  8. Select a backup option:

    • If you have already backed up personal files or you do not want to back up personal files, select Recover without backing up your files , and then click Next . Continue to the next step.

    • If you have not backed up personal files, select Back up your files first (recommended) , and then click Next .

      Figure 14: Back up your files first

      Do you want to back up your files first?

      To back up your personal files, complete the following:

      1. Select the file types to back up, and then click Next .

        Figure 15: File Backup window

        File Backup window
      2. Recovery Manager scans the computer for storage devices. Select the storage device to save the backup, and then click Next .

        NOTE: If you selected a CD or DVD drive, you are prompted to insert a blank disc.

        Figure 16: Choose backup location

        File backup window, choose backup location
      3. When Recovery Manager is finished backing up files, remove the backup disc or storage device, and then click Next to continue with the recovery process.

        NOTE: If the backup process fails, make sure the capacity of the storage device is large enough to store the files, or try de-selecting some 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 may not be possible to save files using this backup method.
  9. Click OK in the warning that appears.

  10. 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.

  11. After system recovery is complete, remove the disc. If the tray does not eject the disc, press the eject button on the PC case to eject the disc.

  12. If you are presented with a “Restoration complete” screen, click Finish .

    If you are presented with a “File copy is complete” screen, click Next .

  13. Depending on which model of computer you have, the computer will either shut off or restart. If the computer shuts off, wait 5 seconds and turn on the computer.

    NOTE: If you are using Support Sent Recovery discs sent from HP, it can take more than an hour to complete the recovery process. Do not interrupt the recovery process. The recovery process is complete when you are presented with the Windows Setup screens.
  14. Complete Windows setup when the screens appear.

  15. Once Windows setup has been completed, turn off the computer, reconnect all devices and cables, and then turn on the computer.

  16. Before using the computer, update and protect your computer. Reinstall any virus and security software that was installed before the system recovery.

  17. Reinstall any software programs that were added after purchasing the computer, as well as any files that were backed up.

Starting a recovery from a USB flash drive

Perform the following steps to recover the computer using a USB flash drive.

NOTE: For more information about saving a recovery image to a USB flash drive, see Creating Recovery Discs or Saving a Recovery Image to a USB Flash Drive in Windows 7 .
  1. Turn on the computer, and insert the USB flash drive into a USB port.

  2. Turn off the computer by pressing and holding the power button.

  3. Disconnect all connected devices and cables such as Personal Media Drives, printers, and faxes. Remove media from internal drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, USB recovery flash drive, or power cord .

  4. Turn on the computer, and repeatedly press the F11 key, about once every second, until the Recovery Manager opens.

    Figure 17: Recovery Manager welcome

    Recovery Manager welcome
  5. A window might display and prompt whether to run Recovery Manager from the hard disk or from the media inserted. If this window displays, select the USB flash drive option, and then click Next .

  6. Click System Recovery under I need help immediately . On the next screen, select Yes to verify that you want to restore your computer to its original factory condition, and then click Next to continue.

    Figure 18: Restore computer verification

    Restore computer verification
  7. Select a backup option:

    • If you have already backed up personal files or you do not want to back up personal files, select Recover without backing up your files , and then click Next . Continue to the next step.

    • If you have not backed up personal files, select Back up your files first (recommended) , and then click Next .

      Figure 19: Back up your files first

      Do you want to back up your files first?

      To back up your personal files, complete the following:

      1. Select the file types to back up, and then click Next .

        Figure 20: File Backup window

        File Backup window
      2. Recovery Manager scans the computer for storage devices. Select the storage device to save the backup, and then click Next .

        NOTE: If you selected a CD or DVD drive, you are prompted to insert a blank disc.

        Figure 21: Choose backup location

        File backup window, choose backup location
      3. When Recovery Manager is finished backing up files, remove the backup disc or storage device, and then click Next to continue with the recovery process.

        NOTE: If the backup process fails, make sure the capacity of the storage device is large enough to store the files, or try de-selecting some 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 may not be possible to save files using this backup method.
      4. Click OK in the warning that appears.

  8. Click Next . A message displays warning you that all devices should be disconnected from the PC. Be sure all devices, except the recovery flash drive, are disconnected, and then click OK .

  9. Read and respond to the screens as they appear. After system recovery is complete, a “Restoration complete” screen displays.

  10. Remove the USB flash drive from the USB port.

  11. Click Finish to restart your computer.

  12. Depending on the model of your computer, the computer will either shut off or restart. If the computer shuts off, wait 5 seconds and turn on the computer.

  13. Complete Windows setup when the screens appear.

  14. Once Windows setup has been completed, turn off the computer, reconnect all devices and cables, and then turn on the computer.

  15. Before using the computer, update and protect your computer. Reinstall any virus and security software that was installed before the system recovery.

  16. Reinstall any software programs that were added after purchasing the computer, as well as any files that were backed up.

Provide feedback

Please rate the information on this page to help us improve our content. Thank you!