How to Restore a Hard Drive to Original Factory Settings on Compaq Notebooks

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How to Restore a Hard Drive to Original Factory Settings on Compaq Notebooks
Restoring a hard drive to its factory settings resolves many technical issues. (computer help image by Kelly Kane from

Downloading files from untrustworthy sources or accessing Web pages without the proper antivirus and firewall tools can lead to major problems with your Compaq notebook. If your notebook is experiencing frequent operating system crashes or won't load at all, you can restore the hard drive to its original factory settings. If the operating system still loads, you can use the Compaq recovery manager, or, you can access the hidden recovery partition.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Memory storage device

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    Recovery Manager Software

  1. 1

    Disconnect each of the peripheral devices connected to the Compaq laptop, but leave the AC power cable plugged in. Open the Windows "Start" menu.

  2. 2

    Choose "All Programs," and then click the "System Recovery" icon. Scroll down and click "PC Recovery."

  3. 3

    Click "Next," and then choose "OK." Click the "Advanced Options" button, and then choose "Windows System Restore."

  4. 4

    Click "Next" to restore the Compaq notebook's hard drive back to the original factory settings.

    Recovery Partition

  1. 1

    Leave the AC power cable plugged in, but disconnect any other cables connected to the Compaq notebook. Restart the notebook's operating system.

  2. 2

    Press the "F11" key when the Compaq logo appears. Click "Next," and then choose "No" when the "Microsoft System Restore" option pops up on the screen.

  3. 3

    Select "Next," and then click "Yes" underneath the "System Recovery" heading. Choose "Recover your computer to original factory condition," and then click "Next."

Tips and warnings

  • Restoring the Compaq notebook's hard drive will permanently erase all of the files and folders you have saved. Before restoring the hard drive, you should save any data you want to keep to an external memory device.
  • Some Compaq notebook models have a problem where the recovery process will fail if you turn off the wireless adaptor. Before starting the recovery process, check to make sure the wireless LED light on the panel above the keyboard is lit. If the light is off, press the wireless button on the side of the laptop's case.
  • Do not connect your Compaq notebook to a local area network or an Internet connection without first either configuring the Windows firewall or installing a third-party firewall program.

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