|"..... bought a new hard drive only to find out that her restore disk no. 1 is damaged .."|
If it's a burned disk, sometimes they don't read properly in a drive they were not made in. You could try reading it in another drive - if it reads properly in another burner drive, if you use "Disk at Once" or similar to copy the entire CD to a CD-R disk, there's a very good chance the new burned CD-R will work fine.
If you're not sure whether it's a burned disk , examine the data side of the disk - if you can see visually where the data is on the disk, it's a burned CD - if you can't, it's a factory ("pressed" ) CD.
Another thing is, some optical drives are better than others regarding reading scratched or damaged disks - e.g. LG drives are not good regarding that - Plextor drives are.
"H P will no longer give the restore disks. its too old (5years)"
There are a few web sites on the web that specialize in collecting and making available copies of Recovery or Restore disk sets for brand name system computers. They are either copies of the original disk sets that came with a compter when new, or copies of sets the user had to make by using a brand name supplied program to make them while Windows and the computer was still working properly.
Use the HP model and the name HP gave to the set to search with, or similar, and be aware that many of the "hits" are for CDs that will restore drivers and/or help you repair Windows but they DO NOT include the operating system - read the info ! You may need to look at as many as several pages of "hits" before you find one or more of the sites that has the actual brand name sets.
If you can find a proper set, it will probably cost you a lot less than buying just an XP CD.
If just installing Windows is okay, if you have or can borrow an XP CD that is an OEM CD - it says " For Distribution with a new PC Only" or similar on it, that is the same version, Home or Pro, that the computer came with, then you can legally, as far as Microsoft is concerned, use that OEM CD, or a bootable copy of it, along with the Product Key that's on the official Microsoft sticker on the the outside of the brand name computer case to install XP.