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I recently attempted to re-install Windows Vista on an HP Pavillion DV6500 using the factory recovery DVD's, but encountered a strange problem. When the recovery disk attempted to reformat the hard disk, it failed at 22%. The error message provided was not very informative, just the error code "0x400110020000 1005". A google search turned up some people with a similar problem who asserted that HP has been know to ship corrupted recovery DVDs.

The recovery disk did manage to reformat the the recovery partition before failing though, so recovering from the partition is no longer an option.

It would be possible to reinstall from an off-the-shelf retail copy of Vista and then pull the drivers from HP's website, but I don't have access to a copy of Vista, and it would really be outrageous to have to purchase a new OS when I have a perfectly valid license already. Thought about biting the bullet and upgrading to Windows 7, but my understanding is that without Vista installed I'd be unable to use the upgrade version, and be forced to purchase the more expensive non-upgrade retail copy (!).

Can anyone suggest a possible solution to this Catch-22? I've run out of ideas.

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i don't know how you can do it without any sort of functional computer, but i would download a version of Vista off the internet.

You have a valid key (presumably the sticker stuck to your case), you just need the media. The trick would be to finding the version that matches your keys version (Vista RTM, OEM, SP1, etc).

At the very least it will be enough to let you get online and harass HP for replacement recovery DVDs - an unlicensed version of Windows will run for 2 weeks before shutting down.

But your trick is to get ahold of an operating system in the first place. You can't really download Ubuntu when you don't have a computer to get on the internet with.

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Thanks Ian. I do have another machine with internet access & a DVD burner. The problem is that I haven't been able to locate the Vista install image download on Microsoft's site, only service packs and other updates. I do have the OEM key, and can probably figure out the correct version, but I can't even find a trial version of Vista to download. I'm also going to try to get replacement DVDs from HP, but with the pristine originals disks having failed, I don't have much confidence in HP getting it right the second time around either. –  Scott W Jan 4 '11 at 19:10
    
Find a torrent from piratebay or many of the other sites. –  Ian Boyd Jan 8 '11 at 1:52
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