NOTICE: The following has been tested with a HP & Compaq machine, both manufactured in 2003. Later years and systems with Windows Vista/7 most likely won’t work due to software changes.

IMPORTANT! For the following to work, the computer MUST have the original recovery partition from the factory. Recovery partitions created from a recovery disc do not include the additional files needed for disc creation and will display a “partition not found” error message when the CD creator program is launched.

If your HP or Compaq system has a recovery partition, you are usually notified to create a set of recovery disc in case of hard drive failure or corruption. However, HP permits the user to create only one set of recovery disc due to licensing agreements. If you lose your recovery discs or acquire a used system that already has a set made, your best bet is to contact HP and hope that they have recovery discs lying around somewhere in their factory. Or you can try this little trick that allows you to create a second set of recovery discs.

The first step requires you to unhide hidden files and folders:

  1. Start Windows and open the Control Panel.
  2. Open the Folder Options applet and select the view tab.
  3. Select “Show hidden files and folders” and uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”.

The second step requires you to delete a file named HPCD that is found in two locations:

  • C:\WINDOWS\SMISNT
  • D:\ (Recovery partition)

Tip: You may have to right-click on the recovery partition and select open in order to view its contents.

Once the file has been deleted from the above locations, run the Recovery CD creator program. The program should now permit you create a set of recovery discs.

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