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Laptop Repair


Computer Recovery Disks: How to Create


These days manufacturers are cutting cost everywhere they can.  One of them is not shipping the recovery discs with the computer that you may have just purchased.  Sadly, most consumers don't know or realize this until it is too late and the computer has crashed.  In this article we will discuss some of the expectations of a recovery disc, how to create them yourself, and other alternative methods.

If you have purchased recently a new computer and it doesn't have a set of recovery discs in the packaging, it is already on your hard drive in a special partition.  Normally this partition may me named something to the effect of "restore" or "recovery."  Now is a really good idea to create a couple of recovery discs to put away somewhere you can find them later should you need them.  If you don't create these discs, and find yourself with a crashed system, you will be shelling out $15.00 to $40.00 dollars for shipping and handling.  The manufacturers say these discs are "free," however I find it hard to swallow that mailing a couple of DVD's are that expensive.  Anyway, onto how to create your own recovery discs.

Every manufactured computer, be it Dell, Gateway, HP, Sony, etc. all have a special partition created on the hard drive of the computer.  This partition contains the recovery data that would restore the computer back to factory defaults as when you first turned it on.  Creating these discs are fairly simple, although you may need more than a few DVD's to complete the take.  If you have Windows XP or Vista, and have not deleted it off the start menu, you will find a program to create the restore discs.  Below is a list of the current names of some major manufacturers restore programs to create the recovery discs.

•  Dell:  Click on Start, All Programs, then Dell Accessories, and Dell OS Recovery CD.

•  HP:  Click on Start, All Programs, PC Help & Tools, and then Recovery Disk Creation.

•  Gateway:  Click on Start, All Programs, System Recovery, and then Recovery Media Creator.

•  Sony:  On the desktop, press F1 key to bring up Windows Help & Support, Locate Sony Recovery Center Icon and press, then select create recovery discs.

Be warned that all the programs above will create recovery discs that do not save any personal data.  These discs will restore a computer back to the factory default as when you first purchased it.  It is recommended to backup all your data to another media, if you have a broadband Internet connection, we recommend Mozy.com for online backup.  It is easy and painless.  If you prefer to use other media such as DVD's, cd's, flash drives, then go for it, but please backup your data before proceeding with a restore.  The restore process will wipe out all data currently on the computer.

Alternatively, instead of using the system restore disc creation, you could always just just an authentic operating system disc using your OEM Certificate of Authenticity key on your computer's chassis.  Doing it this way is starting from scratch, meaning that you will be installing everything manually such as drivers and programs.  This method could take up to 8 hours depending on your technical knowledge.  We would not recommend the average user going this route in restoring a computer, however it is the best route for a clean installation.