The answer to your question is -- yes and no. Yes -- because the "recovery" tool does do a complete reinstall of Windows on the PC. But no -- because the HP image would reinstall the HP apps and drivers; the MS image will do neither.
I personally prefer to use third-party Backup solutions as they tend to be both more flexible and more reliable than any built-in solutions.
Macrium Reflect (MR) provides a FREE version that can be used to image and restore partitions or entire drives.
What I recommend is the following: 1) Download and install Macrium Reflect (MR) from here: http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx 2) Run MR and choose the option: "Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows" to write a full backup to an external drive or USB stick 3) Use the option to create a boot USB stick or CD
My experience is that MR, when using the High Compression option, typically can compress the saved image file to about 60% of the USED space in the OS partition. This means if you have an 80GB OS partition, and 40GB is used, MR only needs about 24GB to store the image file.
I use this all the time and it typically takes less than 15 minutes to do the image backup and about the same time or less to do a restore.
Plus, MR has the option to Add a Recovery Boot Menu entry. This allows you then to boot into WinRE, and you can then use that to do a restore -- when you can't boot into Windows!
NOW, you have the means to restore a full working system from the external drive or USB stick in only a few minutes.
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