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Performing an HP system recovery (Windows 8)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq computers that came with Windows 8 installed.
This document explains how to reset the computer to its original factory state and is divided into sections based on the different ways of performing a system recovery.
In Windows 8, the instructions for resetting a desktop computer to its original state differ from the steps for resetting a notebook computer to its original state. These instructions also differ based on when the computer was manufactured. Make sure you use the instructions for your computer. If you are not sure when your computer was manufactured, you can select your instructions based on the look of the system recovery windows pictured in the following tables.
Back up all personal files and read all caution statements before performing a system recovery.
The complete recovery process can take 4 to 6 hours or more to complete. For best results, the computer should not be connected to the Internet. The computer will restart several times during the process. Do not turn off the power or interrupt the recovery process until the prompt to log in to Windows displays.
If you are not using the latest version of Windows 8, some graphics and information in this document may vary. You can get the latest version from the Microsoft Store.
Types of system recovery (Windows 8)
Your computer might have three types of System Recovery available, or it might have only two. Use the recovery type that resolves your issue without making more changes than necessary.
  • System Recovery: This option reformats the system drive (usually C:), reinstalls the original operating system, and reinstalls all the original hardware drivers and software.
    If the size of the OS partition (usually C:) was reduced below a minimum size requirement, other user-created partitions will be removed and stored data will be destroyed.
  • Factory Reset: Factory Reset removes all partitions, reformats the entire hard drive, reinstalls the original operating system, and reinstalls all the original hardware drivers and software. This option also recreates the required Recovery partition (usually D:) and and reinstalls the required software. The factory reset recreates the required Recover Partition (usually D:) and all other required partitions.
    The Factory Reset option returns all of the computer's software to the condition it was in at the time of purchase. All user changes or additions are removed.
  • Minimized Image Recovery: Available on many of HP's notebook computers, the Minimized Image Recovery reinstalls the original operating system and hardware drivers, and reinstalls essential HP software such as HP Support Assistant and HP Recovery Manager.


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