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A real newbie type question here

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A real newbie type question here

Hi All

My Wifes laptop has become a complete shambles, and I think the time has come to perhaps think about re-installing the operating system which is Windows XP Home Edition.

But to be quite frank I am not sure how to go about it.It is a HP Pavilion, but not sure if that makes any difference as I am sure the method is common among computers bought with OS pre-installed.

Along with the computer came 2 envelopes contianing CD's.The one contains a single CD marked "Operating System CD", and the other envelope contains 3 CD's all marked "hp QuickRestore System Recovery CD"

I am just guessing here but because I do not want to get into a situation I cannot recover from........I thought I would ask here: am I right in thinking that if I want to format the hard disc etc and start from scratch I use the pack of 3, and is it like the old days where I have to make a system floppy first.

In other words how does using supplied recovery discs work?

Any help to prevent myself getting into a mess will certainly be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Ian & Linda Jordan
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

A real newbie type question here

Did you not get any info included on how to use the recovery CD's? There would normally be a booklet etc describing the process.

Usually with recovery CD's you boot off the CD (you may need to change the BIOS boot sequence to boot from CD first) then you just follow the on-screen instructions. Most recovery CD's I have used do everything for you - reformat & restore OS etc. Some allow just the OS to be reinstalled and still keep user data and there may be a warning about this.

I have not used HP recovery CDs before so the above may be completely wrong!
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A real newbie type question here

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Did you not get any info included on how to use the recovery CD's? There would normally be a booklet etc describing the process.


Hi Peter

The manual devotes about 1.75 lines to restoring the OS, and apart from saying it reverts the HD back to its factory contents, has no information as to if this achieved by a format or not.

So I "I bit the bullet" and put the first of the 3 discs into the drive (with fingers crossed) and it does format the drive etc.All in all it seems a simple process.

Basically just wanted to make sure that nothing irreversable would happen when the CD-Rom went in.

Now all I have to do is track down all her files that are everywhere on the HD and back them up as my life will be a misery if I lose something :-(

Thanks again

Ian & Linda Jordan
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A real newbie type question here

Can you obtain phone support from HP?

You may find this easiest.
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A real newbie type question here

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Can you obtain phone support from HP?


Probably if I got myself in a real jam.But I found in the past that re-installing my Win 98SE was'nt a big chore,but not being familiar with XP I just needed to check that it did not do anything drastically different, and from what I have discovered that the only difference is the lack of a floppy with system files on it :-) so it should be pretty straight forward (says he hopefully) But do have HP's support phone number on standby :-)

As I said to Peter the hardest part is going to be searching her hard drive for her files and documents that are literally scattered every where.

Thanks for the reply

Ian & Linda Jordan

Moderators note (John) Full quote of previous post reduced to just text needed to have it make sense.
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A real newbie type question here

find all the files you want to keep
back these up to CD / Network drive etc
get a proper installation disk of XP home (not the "backup" one)
insert the CD into the CD drive
reboot PC
hit F2 / Del / Ins or what ever key you use to get into the bios
set the boot priority to 1: CD Drive 2: Hard Drive
save
reboot
wait for the disk to boot (you may need to hit a key to boot from CD)
then just follow the onscreen instructions, make sure you format the drive to NTFS (nicer than FAT32) and then carry on the install (fast format is easiest.. does not check for bad sectors)
wait about an hour
your PC will be running again


Notes : this process will remove all data from your hard drive so make sure you have it backed up, also it will not install any of the blaot ware that you got when you bought the PC (i would assume there are install files on one of those disks if you wish to install them)

Buzzons
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

A real newbie type question here

I would not recommend that method because it would mean you have to have a licence key to install it and will need to register Windows with Microsoft, whereas the restore CD set will not need either a licence key or to register it.

Use the CD's supplied to restore your system as they will also contain all the necessary drivers for your HP system.
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A real newbie type question here

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also it will not install any of the blaot ware that you got when you bought the PC (i would assume there are install files on one of those disks if you wish to install them)


Actually if the supplied disc restores it to factory contents that would not be a bad thing in this instance,as not much bloatware came on the computer.Now if they was a method of completly removing Nortons that gets installed it would be OK.

Of course this could be a good opportunity to introduce her to "Linux" if I there was a version that was easy to install detected and set up everything including the ethernet conection to our router that would be great: but after dabbling with "Suse Linux Pro" I discovered I am not savvy enough to help much in the installation process :-(
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A real newbie type question here

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Of course this could be a good opportunity to introduce her to "Linux" if I there was a version that was easy to install detected and set up everything including the ethernet conection to our router that would be great.


Why not try Knoppix (http://www.knoppix.org/)? It is a LiveCD, which means you don't need to install it, it just boots of the CD. I've tried it on two different laptops and it works fine, including auto-detection and setup of networking. It's a good way to try Linux without worrying about breaking your current setup as it runs entirely off the CD.

(It's also a good way to access your work laptop at home if you accidentally lock yourself out and can't wait until Monday when you have to speak sheepishly to IT.)
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A real newbie type question here

All sorted thanks folks.One more question if I may.

What have I forgotten to do in Outlook Express...... she has to enter her password each time she opens it even though "remember password" is ticked but greyed out?

Ian & Linda Jordan