Restoring Your HP Laptop to Factory Settings

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When your HP laptop begins acting up — due to viruses, software errors, etc. — restoring it to factory settings is a good way to rectify the situation. You may do so using either your computer's recovery manager or the recovery CDs that came with your PC.

How To Reset HP Laptop Back to Factory Settings

Creating Recovery Disks

Before restoring your PC to factory settings, you should create a set of recovery disks, especially for a new device. Depending on the type of disk drive, multiple blank CD-R, DVD-R, or DVD+R disks will be needed for the process.

N.B. Use of -RW media will cause the process to fail.

Begin by connecting the computer to the AC power adapter. Click Start > All Programs > System Recovery > Create Recovery Disks.

The PC Recovery Disk Creator utility will, then, display a message indicating the type and number of media disks required.

Next, verify that the required number of media disks is available, and click Next to begin the actual copying process. When prompted, remove each written disk and insert a blank disk.

Label each disk in the sequence that it was created, as prompted, and store the newly created set of recovery disks in a safe place.

Restoring Using the Recovery Disks

The Windows operating system (OS) can be reinstalled using recovery disks without destroying any existing programs or customer data. This action is normally only performed if the computer does not start properly or does not boot into the Windows operating system.

To preserve your data, copy it or back it up to an external storage device before performing this task.

Next, connect the computer to the AC power adapter. Open the disk drive, insert the first disk in the set of recovery disks, and close the disk drive. Turn off the computer. Then, press the Power button to start the computer, and immediately press the F11 key.

The computer will begin to operate from the disk and will perform tests on the hard drive. After a few moments, a black screen with a message will be displayed. If the C:\ drive and the special recovery partition are intact, you will be able to choose between two options: Press 'R' for standard System Recovery options and Press 'F' to format the hard drive and reinstall the original factory settings. All data will be lost!

Restoring to Factory Setting Using the Recovery Manager

You may access the HP Recovery Manager at any time by restarting the computer and pressing F11 repeatedly before the Windows logo screen appears.

In the System Recovery panel, click Next. PC Recovery will display a message reading, "Backing up user data and settings."

Upon completion of the backup, PC Recovery will display a message reading, "The PC Recovery was successfully completed." Click Restart to restart your PC or click Turn Off to turn it off.

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Jean-François Pillou

Jean-François Pillou - Founder of CCM
Better known as Jeff, Jean-François Pillou is the founder of He is also CEO of CCM Benchmark and digital director at the Figaro Group.

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