Currently attempting to restore a backup. I'm left wondering whether HP intends for me to just overwrite my whole C: drive with the contents from the backup. Overwriting the Users folder, Application Data and Program Files won't be a problem. What I don't know is what to do with my Windows folder. That prolly contains all my Windows Updates, drivers and stuff necessary for the apps in my Program Files to work. I don't know the details and instinct tells me that this is stupid but I'd like to know the implications of doing so anyway.
Just retrieve the files from your documents folder - leave everything else alone. You will have to re-run the updates and re-install applications.
Just replacing those folders with the backup wouldn't getting you up and running again... it would break the install.
The OS files are protected anyway, you would have to boot into a Windows PE disc of some sort or a life Linux disc...
It reads as if you backed-up with windows backup and then restored your machine to factory settings with HP System Recovery, this will leave you out of date with the hp and windows updates and any programs installed after the factory install.
Some Basic Recovery info
Windows System Image Backup – Control Panel to System and Security to Backup and Restore Then create a System Repair disc or a System Image.
Hope all works out ok.