Backpacker: Perhaps the following will help you, and I'll give you some info about the "codes or keys" you asked about near the end of this post, but first some caveats:
- What little I know about this subject was mostly gleaned from this forum and pestering the heck out of HP/Compaq. If anyone else @ BC provides different information, it's likely better than mine
- I just finished what seems to be a successful Full System Restore on a 5 year-old Compaq Presario model 7465 using the two-disc set of Quick Restore CD's that came with my computer. If you are not doing a full restore or have a different model or are not using the QR discs, my information is likely not valid for you.
- It took me 5 attempts to get it right. My own ineptitute accounts for part of that, but the information provided by Compaq was less than complete.
- When you're ready to do the SR, budget lots of "quiet" time as it is a fairly long process and you have decisions/actions to take along the way. At least four hours, likely more.
- And of course, back up all of your personal data, favorites/bookmarks, etc. before you start the SR as all will be gone when the SR completes.
Here's what I suggest you do before starting:
- Find the two recent threads in this BC forum where I got most of my help. The first is titled: Starting in Safe Mode, the second: Compaq System Restore. (sorry I'm not good at linking, but they should be easy to find). Study both of those and you probably should print them out. Be especially attentive to the tips about what to do first after the restore (AV, firewall, Windows updates, etc.), otherwise you'll be buck-naked when you first go back on-line.
- You then should go to the HP/Compaq site that Grinler linked and print out everything that seems appropriate.
- I would then go here: http://ipgweb.cce.hp.com/psgna/caller/chat.asp which is HP/Compaq's on-line chat center where you will be connected to a technician who will provide you with other links and actually answer any questions you may have. It was there that I learned about the keys/codes that you may need. It did not seem to matter to them that I was far out of warranty and that I bombarded them with questions. They were friendly, patient, and helpful.Unfortunately, they did not tell me about one critical step that I'll warn you about later. This is an on-line chat session so you need to stay on-line until completed, I'd budget at least an hour for this. Print out everything.
OK. (1) You've saved everything important to you (and I would recommend using Windows Explorer to "read" those saved CD's just to be certain they contain what you hope they do). (2) You've printed out everything about the subject (unless you have a second computer, you won't be on-line for help until the restore is completed). Here's some final thoughts:
- If your intent is to do a full restore, it apparently is very important to go into BIOS (using F10 key at start) to be sure you are starting from the QR disc #1. Read about that in the other threads and ask HP/Compaq about that during your on-line chat as I do not know if that is peculiar to my particular model and it may not apply at all if you are doing something other than a full restore.
- The one seeming critical thing that the published Compaq full restore instructions and my on-line chat technician failed to tell me was that near the end of my SR, a screen appeared that instructed me in big red letters to: POWER CYCLE YOUR COMPUTER. I did not have a clue about what that meant and with no way to ask questions, I assumed it to mean shut the system down with the power switch and then restart with the same switch. I have since learned that what that term apparently means is to kill the power (pull the plug) and leave it unpowered for perhaps several minutes before reconnecting the AC and restarting. I don't know if my failure to do that operation properly during my first several SR's caused me any problems, but that could account for them. I also can't say why Compaq fails to instruct people about that.
- Now to your inquiry about the codes. During my on-line chat session, I was given three sets of gibberish-appearing codes and was told that one set or the other would need to be typed into a window near the end of the SR process. Don't know why 3 sets were provided, I typed in the first set and it worked. I have those codes and would be happy to provide them here, but I'm concerned they may be model-number specific and could screw someone else up. Respond back if you want them and I will post them, but I don't want to cause anyone else grief.
I wish you the best with this adventure. It was very scary for me, but after many missteps, I seem to have a "new" machine. The folks here at BC gave me most of my knowledge and all of my courage to do it. Good luck. If you have any further questions, post them here but I likely won't be able to respond until early evening California time.