Posted 17 September 2006 - 08:25 AM
It depends on the make and model of the laptop. You can usually order replacement CD's from the manufacturer for a small charge (Compaq charges about $15 US including shipping).
The laptop may have come with CD's, or it may have a second partition on the hard drive that contains the restoration data. Read the manual and look for terms like recovery or restore.
Also, before starting the restore - see if there's anything that you can do to backup the data (such as a Live Linux distro) - you may have to use an external (USB) drive to save the data to.
Then, when you attempt to restore - first look for a Repair or a non-destructive restore or recovery option. This will repair the system files without hosing the programs and data. If you have to do a full (or destructive) restore - this'll put the laptop back into the condition that it left the factory in.
In short, if you're not sure just post back and someone will be able to answer the questions.
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