New Hard Drive, System Recovery Problem


I checked the forums as best I could (search was down) and couldn’t find anything related to this problem. here’s the deal

My two year old computer (HP Pavilion m7750n) was having occasional trouble booting. every once in awhile it would hang on the loading screen and want to run windows startup repair. It didn’t seem like anything i was actively doing was causing the problem, so I figured that either my operating system had somehow become slightly corrupt or my hard disk was failing.

I didn’t have recovery CDs (I think it didn’t come with any) so i ordered them from HP and a sweet 1tb hard drive from seagate. Both come so I swap the hard drives, put in the recovery cd, and press play. Failure: the recovery CD formats the new hard drive but then fails at 1% of the system restore. HP tech support provides limited help (i’m not under warranty and they insist it is a system problem, not a recovery problem).

After playing around for the better part of a day, I plug both hard drives in at the same time and format the new one. It appears to be working fine. Short of buying another copy of vista (cringe, expensive!) does anyone have any thoughts? I can’t imagine why the recovery program is failing.

Random possibly relevant:
Both hard drives are SATA
The new hard drive is about twice the size of the old
it’s the 32 bit version of vista


HP’s system recovery (the one on my PC anyway) works by restoring the C: drive from a smaller hidden partition, not by restoring it from the disk. If you’re trying to use the CD to restore a bare metal drive, I think it’s doomed to not work.

Get System Rescue CD or some other LiveCD that will let you see the partitions on your old drive and you should be able to copy the rescue partition over to your new drive, format the rest of it as C: and then the restore should work fine.

Really? but that’s a silly way to work it. what if the hard drive becomes corrupt?
I’ll give HP another call shiver and see if they will confirm or deny. Thanks!

I didn’t say I thought it was a good system. :slight_smile:

It’s one of the reasons that the last two computers I bought I had to make three initial backups of: the “out of box” image (which included this ridiculous little partition exactly as it came when I got it), the “day zero” image (from which I had purged said partition), and the “gold disk” image (which had things set up the way I liked them to be and would serve as my main fallback if something went wrong later).

That’s a really good idea. I’d had good experiences with the previous generation of HP recovery so I hadn’t bothered with anything like that.

I just got off another long conversation with HP and they assure me that the recovery should work on a fresh hard drive. They tell me to do ctrl + backspace 6 to access the recovery this way (apparently it’s a better way to access the cd?). If I remember the bios correctly, the cd drive is in slot 6, so that makes sense. I’m at work now but I’ll run through that tonight. Can’t imagine why it would work, but what the hell.