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tk007b
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Cannot recover CQ2960EA

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CQ2960EA
Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

Hi, 

 

I have a HP CQ2960EA mini tower pc and the C: drive has corrupted totally, so I have had to re-format it to make it readable ( i booted via a different hard drive and formatted the original C: drive, which I could now see - but was obviously empty)

 

I removed the additonal hard drive and rebooted the pc and pressed F11 to activate the recovery partition. It started briefly with a 'preparing automatic repair' message and then I get recovery options. So far so good. When I try to reset my pc though, I get a "Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing"

 

How do I get past this ?

 

Many thanks

 

TK

 

PS the E: recovery partition seems to be ok, so it looks like it was just the C: partition that was corrupted.

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MKazi
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@tk007b

 

Welcome to HP Support Forums. 🙂 I came across your post and would like to help.

 

I understand that you have a Compaq CQ2960EA Desktop PC and formatted the C drive as it was corrupt. Now when you try to perform a recovery using the recovery partition, it fails and says "Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing." I appreciate the steps you have performed and have certainly done a good job.

 

I would like to know the following information to assist you better:

  • Did you specifically format only the C drive and left the recovery D drive untouched?
  • Was the PC infected with a virus?
  • Was the PC not booting into Windows due to which you formatted the PC?

Meanwhile, I did some research and looks like the D drive (recovery partition drive has got corrupted too. I suggest you to perform the recovery using the recovery disks. If you have not created the recovery disks then please contact HP phone support to get them.

 

I also recommend you to run a hard drive test on the PC just to ensure that there is no trouble with the hard drive:

  1. Hold the power button for at least five seconds to turn off the computer.

  2. Turn on the computer and immediately press the F2 key repeatedly, about once every second.

  3. The HP PC Hardware Diagnostics (UEFI) main menu is displayed.

HP PC Hardware Diagnostic UEFI screen

  • Select Component tests.

List of the Component tests

  • Please initiate a hard drive test from this screen. here are six hard drive tests, and they can take from 10 minutes to 2 hours or more to complete. To run the hard drive tests, follow the steps in Hard Drive Tests.

Hope this information helps. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions. All the best! 🙂

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tk007b
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Hi MKazi,

 

Thanks for your detailed reply. I will try to answer your questions:-

 

  • Did you specifically format only the C drive and left the recovery D drive untouched?
    • Yes, the recovery drive (E:) is still 12 or 13 GB big
  • Was the PC infected with a virus?
    • No, I was just clearing it down for use by someone else. I booted it normally and I tried to use the reset pc option from within Windows to clear down my data and refresh the system. Shortly after it started, the PC hung and I had to hold the power button to re-start it. Unfortunately, that corrupted the C: drive, so  I used another HDD to boot windows the orginal C: drive was unreadable. I could however, see the recovery partition just fine.
  • Was the PC not booting into Windows due to which you formatted the PC?
    • As above, I was only resetting it to completely refresh the pc, as it was going to be used by someone else and I wanted all of my data removed.
  • Also, in terms of the HDD intergrity, I want to put a fresh hard disk into it just for piece of mind, so just need to get Windows loaded.
  • Unfortunately, I do not have any recovery disks and am in the UK so the website said it will only issue recovery disks for US based customers.
  • How can I check to see if the recovery partition is corrupt too ?

Many thanks

 

TK

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MKazi
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@tk007b

 

You're welcome and thanks for replying with the information. 🙂

 

If the recovery system files on the recovery partition are good then the recovery partition will load. Please try the below method.

  • Power off the PC.
  • Disconnect all cables and devices (including the power cable) from the PC.
  • Press and hold the power button for 15 seconds.
  • Reconnect the keyboard, mouse, monitor and power cable to the PC.
  • Power on the PC and tap the Esc key repeatedly on startup. This will load the startup menu.
  • At that menu screen, press F11 to load the recovery partition.
  • If the recovery system files are good, the recovery partition will load, else it will not.

Another reason why the recovery partition may fail is because of a bad hard drive (Hard drive test suggested). Apart from these two options, there is no other way to conclude the functionality of the recovery partition.

 

If possible, you may contact HP phone support in the US and order the recovery media to a US address. Later, you could have someone ship them to you in the UK. Just remembered this idea from a customer who tried ordering the recovery media and then had them shipped to another country by someone. If this option is not preferred then you may have to settle with a retail version of Windows available at a computer store.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks again! 🙂

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tk007b
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Hi Kazi,

 

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

 

I'm 76% through the hard disk test and so far all bar long DST have passed and the long DST is still running, so I expect it will be fine.

 

I have 2 possible solutions that I've just thought of:-

1. I may have a Clonezilla backup

2. I have another identical PC (as I bought 2 of them) - can I just create a recovery disk from that pc and use it on my failing one ?

3. is the licence key stored in the BIOS of these machines ?, is there a way to get them ? if yes, I could just use another Windows 8.1 DVD and use the licence key for the machine

 

Cheers

 

TK 

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MKazi
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@tk007b

 

The pleasure is all mine. 🙂

 

The recovery media created on some other HP computer will not work on this PC because each HP computer is preinstalled with a unique copy of Windows. The specific Windows product key is tattooed to the motherboard and not available for our perusal.

 

Cheers! 

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tk007b
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Ah, 

 

You may have hit the nail on the head. I forgot to mention that I recently swapped the motherboard as mine failed completely. However, as the PC continued to work after the swap, I didn't realise it could be related.

 

If I have a replacement motherboard, what can I do ?

 

Thanks

 

TK 

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MKazi
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@tk007b

 

If the motherboard was replaced from elsewhere and not HP then quite like the recovery media may not work. You need to reinstall the retail version of Windows. 

 

Hope this information is useful. Cheers!

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tk007b
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Thanks Kazi,

 

This is what I will do:-

 

1. Try my Clonezilla restore process

2. Speak to Microsoft to see if they can help

3. If all else fails, then buy a retail license but there should be a way of recovering the OS if my mother board and HDD failed.

 

Fingers crossed !

 

Cheers

 

TK 

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MKazi
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@tk007b

 

you're welcome. 🙂

 

There are ways to recover the operating system from a hard drive but it is done only by trained professionals by using data recovery tools. It concludes extensive work and may cost you a lot. You will have to contact a local data recovery center for this. In my personal opinion if the cost involved too much then you could go for a retail version of the operating system. The drivers for your HP PC are available for Win8 and Win8.1 available in at the HP website.

 

All the best and let us know if you need any further help. Take care! 🙂

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