I have an HP Pavilion box running Vista and the HD failed this morning. Safe Mode will not boot, and when I try to boot regularly, it hangs with a cursor on a black background at the point where it should show the desktop.
I have run some diagnostics from my handy bootable diagnostic disk, and that confirmed that it is a bad HD, however, the HP Pavilion line comes with a recovery partition and some recovery tools on that partition. I was able to run the recovery/diagnostic tool, so I think that partition is not damaged.
My question is, is there a way to extract a bootable Vista image from the recovery partition, or get HP System Restore to write to a removable drive or a new HD so I don't have to buy a new Windows license?