Compaq Laptops: How to Perform an HP System Recovery in Windows XP

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Compaq Laptops: How to Perform an HP System Recovery in Windows XP
Compaq computers use the recovery partition to perform the system recovery without the need for special discs. (laptop image by Albo from

The system recovery feature available on Compaq laptops with Windows XP installed is designed to completely reset the computer to its original factory settings. Most computers make use of a partition on the hard drive that stores the required files to perform the system recovery without the need for additional recovery discs. Users may choose to do a normal system recovery, which attempts to fix minor problems without completely erasing the hard drive and reinstalling XP from scratch. A destructive recovery option is also available, which wipes the hard drive clean to reinstall the original factory software.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Make backup copies of any desired files created in the My Documents folder or other folders created after the initial purchase.

  2. 2

    Disconnect all external hard drives and storage devices from the laptop.

  3. 3

    Open the "Start" menu and choose the "All Programs" link.

  4. 4

    Scroll through the list and click on "Compaq Tools," "Compaq" or "PC Help and Tools." Choose "Compaq PC System Recovery."

  5. 5

    Click "Yes" or "OK" when prompted to continue. Press "OK" again to continue the recovery process after the computer restarts to the recovery program.

  6. 6

    Decide which type of system recovery is appropriate; normal or destructive. Click next to proceed with a normal recovery or choose destructive from the "Advanced" menu and click "Next." If in doubt, choose to perform the normal system recovery.

  7. 7

    Follow the on-screen instructions to work through the recovery process.

  8. 8

    Wait for the recovery process to finish and complete the Windows set-up process by responding to the on-screen prompts.

  9. 9

    Complete the recommended computer update and protection procedures before continuing (see Resources).

  10. 10

    Reinstall any desired programs and replace the backed up files in their proper locations.

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