05-04-2013 12:58 AM
I decided the fastest way to "sanitize" this used computer was to run the Recovery from the hard disk, after making the 2 disk DVD recovery set.
So I hit F10, went with the "nuclear option" to format the drive. It runs through its steps until it gets to the restart or turn off stage.
I click Restart and it gets to the screen for starting Windows with Please Wait AND IT STOPS. I left it sitting there over 8 hours.
So today I tried it with the DVDs. Exactly the same problem.
What's the cure?
How did this bug ever make it past quality control? How many thousands of these HP computers are out there with a DEFECTIVE system recovery that doesn't work?
05-04-2013 01:15 AM - edited 05-04-2013 01:25 AM
This desktop has given you service since 2005. I find it interesting that you would say anything other than great things about it.
You should have made the recovery disk set many years ago.
Time to run the diagnostics on some components.
Enter the BIOS to see what is available.
Run a hard disk test. That may be where the issue is. Most had disks don't las as long as yours has.
Have you read this HP documention recovery problems?
What is the installed operating system?
Do you have anything connected to a usb port besides the keyboard and mouse? If the answer is yes, then disconnect it and try the recovery again. You may consider finding one of those hard to find new hard disk for your PC to sanitize it. I wouldn't sink any $$ into an eight year old PC because it isn't worth $50.00 at today's prices.
05-04-2013 02:27 AM
*This desktop has given you service since 2005. I find it interesting that you would say anything other than great things about it.
I bought it used for $10. From the dates on some files in the original owner's My Documents folder it was last used circa 2007. Most likely due to the unable to launch restart.exe popup with the Hewlett Packard logo on its taskbar button. Some failure of a driver or software update. I spent quite a lot of time trying to track down what was wanting to run that. Mostly what I found was a large number of other people having that same problem with HP computers.
*You should have made the recovery disk set many years ago.
Not my fault the original owner didn't make them. The point is the recovery *should work* no matter when the disks were made. It's impossible to access anything in the recovery partition, thus it should be unchanged from new. That's the source for where the disk making program gets the files to put on the disks, so they should also work.
*Have you read this HP documention recovery problems?
Yes and it's completely useless for this problem. None of the listed problems apply. As I already stated, I let it sit for EIGHT HOURS and it still failed to complete the recovery. I had it format the drive (of course it doesn't format the recovery partition) so it doesn't have the excuse of backing up anything.
The hardware configuration is all original, except for the mouse, which is a generic optical scroll mouse.
It doesn't have Recovery Console as an option on the F8 menu, so I can't run CHKDSK. I just tried Debugging Mode. Same results. It gets to Please Wait... and stops. No more hard drive activity, just an hourglass mouse pointer that can be moved so it's not completly frozen.
*What is the installed operating system?
Nothing installed after attempting the recovery. Windows Media Center 2005 SP2 is the factory install.
*Do you have anything connected to a usb port besides the keyboard and mouse?
No USB peripherals plugged in. The keyboard and mouse are PS/2.
What it amounts to is the system recovery is not working now and it wouldn't have worked when it was fresh out of the box. Exactly the same problem I've seen reported by many other people.
Unless there's a fix available, most likely in the form of another bootable disc to download like I've found for HP's that shipped with Windows 7 and a broken recovery system - my next step is going to be booting with a retail XP disc and *completely* wiping the 200 gig drive, recovery partition too, then seeing if the recovery discs will work.
I have 30 years experience with computers, so I've see a lot of stuff that shipped non-functional or only partly working that *never ever* should have made it past quality control. System Recovery on the Pavilion a1129n, just one more bug that didn't get caught.
05-04-2013 09:26 AM
Perhaps it would have been nice to tell me upfront that it was a secondhand device that hadn't been turned on since 2007. That was quite some time ago.
I agree. I would go with a clean install on this one. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to have a visible and complete license key on the Microsoft Windows Certificate of Authenticity sticker.
Good luck with the PC.