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Windows Xp - Restore To Like New - Out Of The Box


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#1 Gail_1965

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 08:42 PM

I need to restore my computer with Windows XP to the way it was when it was new out of the box. XP doesn't come with a disk for this purpose. How can I do this?

Edited by Gail_1965, 01 March 2008 - 08:54 PM.


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#2 Juha

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 09:07 PM

See if this helps: http://www.theeldergeek.com/clean_installa..._windows_xp.htm

#3 Queen-Evie

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 09:48 PM

Hello Gail, welcome to Bleeping Computer.

A lot of systems today do not include cd's for restoring a computer.
Instead, they have the recovery partition on the hard drive.

Open up My Computer from your desktop.
You will see Drive C listed, do you also see a Drive D? On mine it says PRESARIO_RP (D:) which is the recovery partition.

That's what you'll need to access in order to restore your computer.

Make sure to back up any files and folders you don't want to lose. This includes favorites and if you use an email client, any mail in the client and the address book.

Have more questions or concerns?
Post back here and we'll help guide you through the process.

edited to remove something I realized may be wrong info.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 01 March 2008 - 10:14 PM.


#4 Gail_1965

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 10:02 PM

I have HP_RECOVERY(D:)

I don't know where I would be asked if I have a partition to boot to - I don't understand what to do next.

#5 Queen-Evie

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 10:33 PM

Ignore what I said about the partition. I rebooted my computer and realized all you need to do is hit F10.

Before you do anything, make sure you have the XP key written down-you'll need it during install.
It should be on a sticker on the outside of your case (if it's a desktop system).
If you don't find the key run Belarc Advisor. The key will be under Software Licenses.
Look for Microsoft - Windows XP (Home Edition or Pro). (Key: a series of 25 letters/numbers)
http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

After you have the key, reboot your computer. At the first screen, hit the F10 key.
This will open up Recovery/Restore.

I think the best thing you can do is go to HP's website, and search for a "how to" for your computer model.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 01 March 2008 - 10:37 PM.


#6 Animal

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 10:38 PM

As Queen-Evie has said, if you have anything you do not want to lose. Make a backup copy prior to taking the following steps: HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Performing an HP System Recovery in Windows XP This document explains how to reset the computer software to its original state.

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#7 garmanma

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 11:05 PM

Also make sure you have your product keys. You will need to enter them again
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#8 Gail_1965

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 11:18 PM

I have run the Belarc Software. I can't determine what the XP Key is.

I have checked the HP site Animal suggested. Should I perform a Destructive Recovery? I have backed up everything I need (with the possible exception of the XP Key).

#9 usasma

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 08:51 AM

The XP key should be on a sticker attached to your system. On laptops it's on the bottom, with desktops it's usually on the side, but can be on the back. If you've run Belarc, the key will be listed in the Software Licenses section down near the bottom of the page.

A destructive recovery will reset your system to the way it was the day that it left the factory. If you're sure that you have all the data backed up, then this would be the best way to ensure that all the system works as it did when it was new.

Edited by usasma, 02 March 2008 - 08:52 AM.
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#10 rf6647

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 05:47 PM

HP computers should also offer the option to make your own set of Recovery CDs. Somewhere from the Start Menu would be a way to some of their imbedded help. It may take 6 or more CDs. Essentially this is a duplicate of the Recovery Partition. Exercising this option now, may validate the integrity of the Recovery Partition. This is a one time offer. Once exercised, it is not available again.

Of course. if your current situation is unstable, then do not waste the effort.

#11 usasma

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 07:56 PM

HP has changed their procedures for recovery over the years. Basically, if you're offered a chance at recovery as the BIOS POST's - then you can recover directly from the recovery partition. If the option isn't available, then it takes the recovery CD's to access the recovery partition to do a restore.

I haven't been able to figure a way around the recovery CD requirement - but will post back if I do figure it out.

Edited by usasma, 02 March 2008 - 07:57 PM.
spell check headspace and timing :0)

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