I recently acquired an HP Pavilion H8-1256S Desktop. The original owner said something went wrong with the motherboard. I powered it on and discovered the video card went bad. I removed it and moved the monitor to the video on the motherboard. I am about to completely reformat this machine after installing a new hard drive. (The original drive is missing). I plan to order the recovery system from HP. I need to know if I can perform a recovery without the original video card HP placed in the PCI-E slot. I remember many HP systems don't seem to like having items installed when being reformatted. Is there anything I may face when I do install the HD and reinstall Windows 7?
That is a good question for which I don't have an answer.
The recovery disks are model-specific, so it is possible the recovery disks won't work without the orginal video card.
I made a simple change of changing out one model wireless card on my HP 350 G1 business notebook, for a different one, and the W7 recovery disks went through the whole recovery process without a hitch until the very end and then reported a failure 'no wireless driver found.'
If you can read all 25 characters of the W7 product key on the PC's case...
This site claims to have genuine, unadulterated W7 ISO files for download...
Since your PC had the option of either using an add-in Nvidia graphics card or onboard Intel graphics, I believe the HP recovery discs will have both drivers in the recovery image and a recovery should work provided you are using a new HDD equal to, or greater than the factory drive. But the new HDD cannot be greater than 2 TB.
Installing Windows 7 clean is also a very good option and may save your bacon if the HP recovery discs should fail for some other reason.