XP Clean Install HP System Recovery Problem

February 26, 2010 at 06:32:23
Specs: Windows XP
Hi everyone.

Since a few days, my PC (HP DV5296EA) won't boot because of a BSOD, so, using a XP installation CD, e deleted the existing XP partition and created a new one NTFS formated.

I began the installation on the newly created partition and everything went good. After installing the files the system asked to reboot.

After the reboot, instead of appearing the usual screens to complete the installation, the HP System Recovery automatically appears asking for some repairs CDs I don't have. I can't go through there and WinXp won't install.

I've already made lots of XP clean installations and this never occurred.

Will formating the HP System Recovery partition solve the problem?

Sorry for my English and thank you for your time :)

See More: XP Clean Install HP System Recovery Problem

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February 26, 2010 at 08:40:26
Be careful here: the hiddden recovery partition is just that - a recovery partition. It's there to be used to reset/restore the system back to delivery state.... and means (usually) that all data is lost in the process...

Typically this partition can be "activated/used" to to restore as above - via a key combination...

Normally one would not need an XP full version CD... Instead one would follow one of the routes/methods in the link below...: using teh recovery disks that came with the system; or the hidden partiton route...


I suggest you see if the hiddden-partition route will work for you in this instance?

If that doesn't work and you don't have the recovery disks.. contact HP and ask for a set?

Do NOT at this time reformat any further - espcially the hidden partitioon area (if you can actually see or access it in any way..) - leave that intact.

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February 27, 2010 at 01:58:46
Thanks for your reply.

The HP System Recovery isn't a hidden partition. I have full access to it.
Why can't I just format everything and make one big partition to install WinXP? I really don't care don't having the HP SS partition since it isn't useful. I have backed up all my stuff and I've got a full WinXP CD, so....

I know there is a slight chance o screwing the MBR but it's fixable, right?


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February 27, 2010 at 15:30:11
If you have all your data etc. safely copied to other media (dvd, cd, even another hard drive) and you have all the drivers you need for the system; and you have a full version XP-disk...; and you have all the programme disks too...; and you're happy to... then no reason not wipe the drive and start anew?

When you run XP setup does it see the recovery partition? I doubt it somehow as likely it's not in a form XP can see etc.?

Regardless - again if you're happy to wipe the whole drive... - get a copy of killdisk and use that to wipe the drive; then run XP setup and go your usual route... BUT... I would advise you create both a Primary partition for OS/applications etc - and an Extended partition for data etc.? Never really wise to have everything in the one space/partition? And regardless of how decide to deal with data... regularly copy it to optical-media (dvd/cd) or even another hard-drive... This so as to always have your data secure...?

You can also use a utility from the hard-drive manufacturer to effectively wipe the drive; to at least render it as close to factory-gate state as possible - which means nothing on it at all. This will be a utility that writes zeros to the whole drive. Often incorrectly referred to a LowLevelFormat (LLF) it's more correctly described as MidLevelFormat (MLF). A true LLF will wreck most modern hard-drives; so wise to go there..

What make hard-drive do you have?

You can find Killdisk via a google trawl/search. Read about it carefully too; and remember it will wipe the drive permanently; everything will go permanently... I haven't ever used it; but many here have and seem to recommend it rather well?

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Related Solutions

February 28, 2010 at 02:15:45
Thanks again.

I'm extremely happy for your response, but aren't you over-complicating things a bit? I've all my things backed up on a external HDD so that's not a problem.

(I don't know if I was clear in saying that obviously I don't have access to WinXP on that PC. I've already formatted the old XP partition i began the installation but when it asks to reboot to complete the installation, it boots from the HP System Recovery instead of going on normally.)

Can I just format the partitions using the full XP CD?


Is there anyway to bypass the HP System Recovery boot?

Thanks one more time.

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February 28, 2010 at 16:02:17
As long as you have a known to be good/secure backup fine... If one is really being careful one does have two different forms of storage for critical (I wouldn't wish to to lose this stuff) data... And the usual is either two optical sets; or one optical and one hard-drive - even tape...

No storage medium s totally foolproof/safe/secure... Which is why those concerned with data security have at least two sets...; and in critical areas on different types of storage too.

In days of yore... it was standard practice to put data into a separate partition - away from OS/apps etc.... This approach allowed one to repair or rebuild or re-install an OS; tweak it, and do more or less what one felt inclined to - without any serious risk to data... Not the least being that one might render an "all-in-one" partition inaccessible...

These days systems arrive with a single partition... Mainly because vendors etc. can't be bothered to split a drive into at two partitions - Primary for OS etc; and Extended for data etc...; and they load the system for delivery via a standard drive-image... (an all-in-one arrangement).

Theoretically one ought to be able to reformat the whole drive via XP setup; but not having ever had to do that where there is hidden (recovery) partition... I'm not entirely sure... (See my later comments in this post after a trawl on the www - which confirm my feelings about it not be quite as simple as it sounds...) Which is why I suggested Killdisk etc as a means of removing that hidden/recovery partition; after-which run XP set up as per norm...

Noting that you can "see" and access the recovery partition...; how did you manage to change its state and view its contents too? Usually that partition (and I think it's usually a Primary) is inaccessible by normal means - although it can be seen via assorted utilities on Live CD/DVD OS (Linux variants typically) and also by Sysinternals/Winternals and other similar toolkits/utilities...?

Incidentally... is the partition to which you are aiming XP at present a Primary; and is it set as active? Or is the "hidden" partition set as active? Can you invoke Recovery Console and see how the drive is partitioned and what is set as active Primary; and if so then set the preferred (second) Primary to active? If you can manage that then likely you would be able to install XP to that second (preferred) Primary; it would contain the boot-files; and the mbr will reflect that that partition is the one to boot... At present it appears that the "hidden" (or not...) partition is the active Primary; and all boot info is referenced to that - not the one you want...; and thus you get the results you have...

A trawl on the www does indicate you are not alone in trying to delete the "hidden" (or not in your case) - aka recovery partition...; that is no easy thing to achieve...

It can be done from within a working XP installation - which you no longer have; and this link seems to ofer other avenues too - one of which is as I suggest above via RC (Recovery Console - using diskpart.exe); and appears to provide a download source for RC too...?


And as you will see from this link... removing that partition is not meant to be easy...


But it can be done. Perhaps the Lenovo guide just above will help you see how it may be done with your HP?

And this one re' Acer - uses a simple utility to same end...


To get that utility you have to register as its's in the members' area...

If not willing to go the paths etc. suggested in the links above (just two of many such out there...); either use that recovery partition - the way it was intended to be used; or use Killdisk or similar to truly kill (as in wipe/obliterate all information from the drive) and then start afresh with your full version XP disk?

I am puzzled why your preference not to use the recovery partition - as it has all that s required to do a rebuild properly?

--- and finally... This reference/link has very simple "how to reformat a drive" again using the utility referred to in the earlier Acer reference:


The information/section you want is at:

22-02-2005, 11:38 AM #5

in the posted replies.

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March 1, 2010 at 12:29:29
Thanks man.

I'm just amazed on the amount of effort you putted on this last answer.

I'm happy to inform you that I found a way (not really sure how) to bypass that HP partition boot and everything is running fine.

You're a great guy, hope you keep helping people like this :) !

Thanks again.

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