16 September 2006 - Filed under Default
Who likes to pay to learn about secret options in tools you already purchased? That’s just what I did recently with HP and its recovery CDs. I present the information here so that nobody else has to pay for the secret options.
I recently had a problem using HP Recovery CDs to bring a computer back to the day it was purchased. This process is normally only used if Windows is severely damaged by a virus or hard drive failure. Therefore, you’re only using these CDs when there are no other options to fix a computer’s software state.
For the record, I was repairing an HP a730n and was met repeatedly with the error “Cannot recover file” while the initial copy operation was executing from CDs 2 through 8. I was given the option to abort, retry, or fail and usually retry would work if after a few attempts. Once I got to the end of the file copying, the recovery still failed as the copied files were attempted to be extracted. When I saw such files as cmd.exe and rundll32.dll failing, I knew the recovery was not going to work.
I then called HP and, after giving the model and serial number, was told the computer was out of warranty and that I could purchase phone support for 14 days for $45, 1 year for $99 or even 1 year of hardware replacement for $119 given that the computer is in good working order. Once I paid the $45 I was directed to a technical support rep.
He was quite helpful, telling me that the CDs need to be clean to avoid such errors(these were sparkling clean). As I started the recovery once again, I got to the first screen after CD 1 booted showing the choices: R for non-destructive recovery, F for full system recovery, or Q to quit. At this point I got my $45 dollars worth. There’s a secret option at this screen of using Ctrl-Backspace that gives 9 or 10 options to do a system recovery piece by piece.
The one he recommended was option 6, completely erase the hard drive including the recovery partition. He suspected that the recovery partition was corrupt and that the recovery CDs use that partition in some way. Doesn’t make sense to me but I think the secret option is useful and should be not secret anymore. That’s why I’m blogging it here. If you ever have to do an HP recovery and it doesn’t work, try Ctrl-Backspace on the first screen. It might just save you $45 or more.
2006-09-16 » David Sterry