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HP Notebook PCs - Using System Recovery, Factory Reset and Minimized Image Recovery Options

The HP Recovery Manager application, installed on the hard drive of HP Notebook PCs, can be used to recover the computer to its original operating condition, and can create a set of personalized Recovery discs. In the event of a system failure, you can use either the Recovery Manager or the Recovery discs to re-install your notebook's original operating system and software.

Figure 1: Recovery Manager Options

Depending on when the model was released, the Recovery Manager installed on your notebook was developed by either SoftThink or CyberLink, or by an HP team. The screens may be slightly different, and there may be up to three very different types of recovery options available for your model.

System Recovery

The System Recovery option does the following:

  • Reformats the system drive. The system drive is the hard drive where the current operating is installed (such as the C: drive).

  • Re-installs the original operating system on the system drive.

  • Re-installs all original hardware drivers.

  • Re-installs all original trial software.

  • Does not remove or disrupt any user created partitions.

In some cases, the System Recovery process may require more hard drive space that the system drive actually has. If the system drive is part of a partitioned hard drive, one or more partitions may be de-partitioned to give the System Recovery process the space it requires. Otherwise, user-created partitions will remain intact.

Factory Reset

The Factory Reset option does the following:

  • Removes all partitions.

  • Reformats all hard drives.

  • Re-installs the original operating system on the default system drive (usually the C: drive).

  • Re-installs all original hardware drivers.

  • Re-installs all original trial software.

This recovery option returns all of the notebook's software to the condition it was in at the time of purchase. Any programs you installed after purchase and any files you created will be removed entirely.

Minimized Image Recovery

Minimized Image Recovery does the following:

  • Re-installs the original operating system.

  • Re-installs all original hardware drivers.

  • Re-installs HP essential software (i.e., HP Support Assistant, HP Recovery Manager, etc.).

  • Does not install trial applications or trial games.

If there are user-created partitions on the hard drive, the HP Recovery Manager prompts you for permission to remove them or leave them intact.

Different ways to launch Recovery Manager

Depending on how you launch the Recovery Manager, a different number of recovery options are available. The recovery process can take from 30 minutes to two or more hours to complete. The computer will appear to stop working for long periods of time and will then restart several times. Do not interupt the process, nor attempt to use the computer, until you are prompted to logon to the computer with a specifc user name and password.

To launch the HP Recovery Manager, do any of the following:

WARNING: Because there are several recovery options available, some of which automatically delete files and programs, HP recommends that before you select any recovery option you should back up all important files. Once the recovery process begins deleting files there is no way to pause or stop the action.
  • Click Start , type recovery in the search field, and select HP Recovery Manager to run recovery from the D drive.

  • Turn on power and press F11 key to run recovery without booting onto Windows (on some models esc key and then F11 key ).

  • Insert user-created Recovery disc in disc drive and turn on power to boot from the DVD disc.

  • Insert replacement Recovery disc purchased from HP, and turn on power to boot from the DVD disc.

Tasks to do after performing a Recovery

After you perform any one of the recovery options, you will need to:

  • Run Windows Update , multiple times if necessary, to bring your operating system up-to-date. This ensures you have the latest security patches and Windows Defender updates to protect your computer.

  • Update your anti-virus software virus definitions, to further protect your computer. If you selected the Minimized Image Recovery option, you will need to re-install the anti-virus software from the HP Recovery Manager then update its virus definitions.

  • Download and run the HP Support Assistant to install the latest HP BIOS and updated drivers. Or you can search for updates on the HP Drivers and Downloads support page.

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