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About two years ago I created HP Recovery Discs (3 of them). Now my hard drive has crashed and new one is still a week from delivery. I was reading up on how to reinstall the genuine OS using the Recovery Discs as i was not given any Windows 7 installation discs.

I did my bit of research after getting answers from the community on what these discs do and found out on other sites that people experience issues when recovering their OS from the disc. Especially when they change the make or capacity of the harddrive.

Unfortunately I had to change the make as the hard drive that came built in has gone out of production.

This question is just a part of my checklist to avoid problems when recovering the OS.
I have:

  • HP DV4-2126TX (available only in India I guess)
  • I had: Seagate Momentus 320 GB
  • I ordered: Western Digital Scorpio Black 500 GB
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit

Is there a possibility to encounter any problems due to the changed capacity and make? I only want my genuine OS and drivers – not my data.

I was told that Disc 1 contained the OS and drivers, and the rest of the discs contained data. I couldn't verify that.

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You should stop worrying, as you'll likely to have no issues restoring to the new drive. The one time I had a problem with HP recovery discs was replacing a 120GB with a 640GB; the program refused to install, but eventually went smoothly with a 400GB drive. The "Recovery Partition" is about 7 GB, so with the additional recovery & restore program, three discs are needed to put a HDD back to "out of the box" state. Even if the Recovery discs fail, there are means of installing a legitimate copy of Win7 and HP drivers. Stop worrying. – sawdust Oct 13 '12 at 8:42
Legitimate means? Please tell me. I was contemplating walking in the feet steps of Captain Jack Sparrow, if you know what i mean ;) – Fasih Khatib Oct 13 '12 at 8:53
You can download an OEM iso, and use that to install the OS. Use the key from the MS Win7 sticker on the laptop to register; you might be told to go through the automated phone system to complete the validation. The HP drivers can be downloaded from their site. You will lose some HP utilities and other bonus apps plus all the bloat-ware. – sawdust Oct 13 '12 at 19:43
up vote 0 down vote accepted

HP recovery discs/software vary, depending on the date of manufacture for the laptop.

Here is what I do know for Vista and Windows 7 HP recovery discs.

  1. Most HP Vista and W7 recovery discs have serious issues when installing on a smaller hard drive

  2. Most HP recovery discs do not like any size "Advanced Format" hard drives and recovery will fail near the end of the process, No solution other than buy a Non AF drive. HP fixed this issue late in 2011 or early 2012 on newer models of laptops and the recovery process.

  3. Most all HP W7 recovery discs will work on larger hard drives if it is a Non AF drive.

  4. Some early Windows 7 HP branded recovery discs have an issue when recovering to a blank or new hard drive. This only applies to HP branded recovery discs, Not ones you made on the laptop.

Tips for HP recovery process:

  1. Disconnect all external devices from the PC during the recovery process, power cord and battery only.

  2. Enable wireless at the beginning of recovery process. Some W7 models and all Vista recoveries would fail at the end if wireless is not enabled during recovery, wasting a lot of time, this was solved on later versions.

  3. Once recovery begins and wireless is enabled do not touch the keyboard or mouse, recovery is a long process with many automatic reboots. Only insert discs when asked. It may show the desktop at some point, do not click or hit any keys You will know when recovery is done when it asks you to set up your PC and user account.

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Re #4 blank or new HDD - If the full restore aborts because the HDD is already partitioned and the program wants to try a repair, then I've used WD or Seagate utilities to zero out the MBR. – sawdust Oct 13 '12 at 19:37
Depends on the type of HP recovery you choose, a Factory reset wipes all partitions as the first step. Issue is when there are no partitions on a new or blanked hard drive, recovery will fail with some HP discs as explained in the article. – Moab Oct 13 '12 at 21:42
Ok now that order has been placed, i can not cancel it. It is an AF drive. So my only option is to download OEM and then use the key on the sticker? – Fasih Khatib Oct 17 '12 at 14:35
I would first try the discs when they arrive, if they do not work due to AF, then you have 2 options, use a non AF drive or use an alternate Windows 7 install disc as you suggested. – Moab Oct 17 '12 at 16:44
No, its not piracy if you have a legal key and it will activate. – Moab Oct 18 '12 at 1:49

So I've had to wipe a hard drive because of viruses and I'm using the System Recovery discs that I ordered from HP as they were not created before the drive was wiped.

I went through the tedious process of running the System Recovery discs more than 4 times because each time, I would get an error. So after calling and speaking with HP tech support (non-US), they said I would have to pay to run diagnostics because they think it's a hardware issue.

I ran diagnostics on my own prior to this and everything passed but they wouldn't get away from the idea. I did try a regular Windows 7 install disc but it failed because it wouldn't take the OEM product key on the bottom of the computer (this is pretty standard and exactly what I experienced when I worked for Dell).

Finally, I decided to run my Windows 7 repair disc after I ran the System Recovery discs and I was able to get the system to completely load Windows.

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