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Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start
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Posts: 8
Member Since: ‎03-13-2011
Message 11 of 60 (100,795 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start

[ Edited ]

Partial solution: How to restore the factory image when the F11 recovery process will not start


You will need:

- a partition manager, I used a Parted Magic live CD

- a working Windows installation which can be another computer (needed for the next step)

- a WinPE USB stick, I followed this guide. Important: Read the first comment there!

- Windows 7 installation media

- enough knowledge that you understand what you are doing



  1. format your Windows partition and make it active (set boot flag), e.g. using Parted Magic
  2. from the computer you created your WinPE drive on, copy "imagex.exe" to your WinPE drive, by default it is located in %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86
  3. on your ProBook, press F9 during boot and choose to boot from your WinPE drive
  4. in the command prompt execute "c:" followed by "dir", you should see that C: is your empty Windows partition
  5. find the file "HPFactory.wim" on your recovery partition, e.g. "cd e:\system.sav\util", followed by "dir" should reveal the file.
  6. switch to your WinPE drive where "imagex.exe" is saved, e.g. "h:"
  7. execute "imagex.exe /info e:\system.sav\util\HPFactory.wim" to see information about the recovery image
  8. in the long output you should find three image descriptions each with an index <IMAGE INDEX="..."> and a byte size <TOTALBYTES>...</TOTALBYTES>, one of them should be much larger than the other ones, determine its index (mine was "3")
  9. execute "imagex.exe /apply e:\system.sav\util\HPFactory.wim 3 c:\", where 3 is the index from above, and "c:" is your empty Windows partition, your recovery image will be extracted
  10. using F9 during boot, choose to boot from a Windows 7 installation disc
  11. do not install Windows 7 but choose to repair your current Windows installation
  12. the setup should detect your Windows installation on C: and suggest to repair it, click repair and restart
  13. now your Windows installation should boot and start the post-installation process, click your way through

You should end up in a a factory reset installation with all bundled HP applications and drivers installed.


Credits to "servelle" from TEK-TIPS FORUMS (posted on 24 Dec 09 13:21).


Note: The F11 recovery process is not fixed by this procedure. I'll get back if I succeed to fix it.

HP ProBook 6550b (WD701EA#ABD)
Posts: 8
Member Since: ‎03-13-2011
Message 12 of 60 (100,783 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start

Solution: How to fix F11 not entering recovery manager process


You will need:

- this fix by HP: Fix for HP Multi-Partition Recovery Manager (the ProBook 6550b is not listed as a supported model, but it worked for me)

- a working Windows installation (see partial solution above) to install the fix on your ProBook


- enough knowledge to extract the missing winre.wim from the above fix, to copy it to your recovery partition and to apply any other necessary steps (I did not do this)



- from within your working Windows installation on your ProBook open the downloaded file "sp48415.exe"

- files will be extracted to "C:\swsetup\SP48415", open this folder in Explorer

- right click "F11SPFix.cmd" and launch as administrator

- the fix will be applied


Reboot und press F11 during boot to enter your (hopefully) fixed recovery manager.


Credits to HP support.

HP ProBook 6550b (WD701EA#ABD)
Regents Professor
Posts: 4,523
Member Since: ‎12-28-2009
Message 13 of 60 (100,765 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start

@ Peter_Rob

WOW ! That was a huge effort, I am glad you got it to work after all of that. Smiley Wink

 It would have been interesting to see if you had chosen the custom option to install W7. With the custom option you could have created a new partition or used an existing one to install W7 on. Leaving the recovery partition in tact with the installation of W7, maybe the recovery partition would have been available in disc management to mark it as active. It would have been unnecessary to install any drivers to make use of disk management.

 Chances are this would have not worked, but it would have been interesting to see. I may try it on a spare hard drive when I have some time.


 @ everyone else

Leaving the recovery partition in tact is not always enough to restore the HP factory OS, when ever the order of the partitions are changed, deleted, extended etc. this usually corrupts the boot commands to get into the recovery partition.

 Before changing things around, burn your HP recovery set with DVD-R or DVD+R, I like to use Sony, but any reputable name will be fine. Do not use generic.

 Windows 7 also has a new feature where you can create a "system repair disc" and "create a system image", these are found in the control panel under "Backup and Restore". These two applications work together to restore the computer.

 I find that these work even better then the HP recovery method because it puts the hard drive back exactly at the time of creation. This means it will have all your personal items and settings. It pretty much makes the HP partition redundant.

 However if you have a virus it will mirror image that too, so it is best to create the mirror image when you know the machine is clean.


Posts: 8
Member Since: ‎03-13-2011
Message 14 of 60 (100,750 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start



The ProBook 6550b does not seem to have an option to burn the factory image to DVDs. I know that previous HP laptops had this option, but on this laptop I did not find it.


A custom install from a generic Windows 7 DVD might also work to install the fix. Of course, if you only have one Windows 7 (the one on the recovery partition) the rules change.


To prevent any confusion, my problem had nothing to do with marking the partition as active. The recovery partition did not boot whether active or not.



HP ProBook 6550b (WD701EA#ABD)
Posts: 41,913
Member Since: ‎01-07-2009
Message 15 of 60 (100,721 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start

[ Edited ]

Hi Peter_Rob,

One thing your ProBook has that most notebooks do not is the next generation UEFI BIOS update setup located at your notebook's suport pages.



Best regards,

If I was able to help you or guide you on your way to resolve your issue, you can click on the purple Thumbs up + icon to say thanks.

If your problem is solved , please click the Accepted Solution button

I am not an HP Employee, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time
Honor Student
Posts: 2
Member Since: ‎05-17-2010
Message 16 of 60 (99,630 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start

I have Compaq 615 piece of scrap, just remove the s in scrap!


I've tried all the fixes on here, I have even tried to find an HP recovery kit with the UK Best2Serve that want an arm and a leg just to actually talk to them. I also did a search using the part no and it came back negative.


I think I will just have to bite the bullet and destroy the HDD and dump the notebook and right off the £329 I paid for it suffice to say I will never ever buy anything with the HP logo on it ever again because their support is totally rubbish in the UK. As an unemployed nearly OAP I cannot afford to pay crazy money for telephone support to someone that probably won't fix the problem anyway.


Oh and guess what?  It's out of warranty so can't get any support.


I found that since applying updates both HP and Microsoft , updating the bios the recovery area has been corrupted so is un-useable and just gives the un-mountable error on the usual blue screen.


Not impressed

Smiley MadNev

Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎12-03-2011
Message 17 of 60 (98,236 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start


you are indeed a distinguished professor :-)


Worked a treat for me


Many thanks

Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎05-19-2012
Message 18 of 60 (93,221 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start

Where can you download a copy of recovery manager for windows 7 64 bit?

Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎10-06-2012
Message 19 of 60 (88,566 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start

Back up all your data, get a full installation DVD of windows 7. Try downloading from Digitalriver (Legal download links authorised by microsoft) and burn it to a disk or alternativly borrow a disk from a friend. Boot from the disk and open command prompt by clicking on repair my computer after that type all the bootrec commands and try to boot from your recovery partition.


Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎10-30-2012
Message 20 of 60 (87,774 Views)

Re: Recovery partition is there but recovery won't start

Thanks so much for the information.  I couldn't find my recovery USB I had made.  I was trying  the Windows 8 beta on my HP mini which originally came with Win 7 Starter.  Needless to say Win 8 is not a good experience on the mini.


I'm now able to access the recovery partition.  Thanks again!



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