|Your information is confusing. |
When you first got the computer the original hard drive probably had the typical partitions brand name computers have on them - C, and the much smaller Recovery partition, which you may have seen as D, or you may have not have seen at all, depending on what HP wanted you to see in Windows.
When you reverted to XP, did you do anything to the contents of the original Recovery partition, or delete that partition??
"So i bought the recovery CD from HP"
A CD or a DVD (which is also a CD)?
Or - a CD set or a DVD set?
XP or Vista?
Why did you feel you needed to use the Recovery CD? (or DVD?, or CD set?, or DVD?, or DVD set?) on such a recent system.
What problems were you having?
Did you boot the computer using the Recovery CD(or DVD?, or CD set?, or DVD?, or DVD set?) - you MUST - you cannot use it from Windows.
"...run the recovery (destructive)..."
Did you erase the data on the whole drive (both partitions, if it still had them) or just the data on the C partition??
"...the recovery completes in approx. 30 mins (which i thought was a little fast)..."
I ran a full recovery procedure from a set of 6? Recovery CDs for a HP system and it took about 5 hours! Mind you, that system is about 5 years old now.
I have not used Vista yet, but that sounds to me like something went wrong.
E.g. it takes about at least 30 minutes to install just XP alone, even on a really fast system.