Creating a Recovery Disk on a USB Flash Disk

on Tuesday, June 1, 2010


HP and Compaq PCs with Windows Vista or Windows 7 are configured with a recovery manager that can return the computer to its original operating condition. By default, the Recovery Manager creates a bootable disk on a blank DVD disc in the optical disc drive. HP also provides a USB Recovery Flash Disk Utility to create a bootable disk on a USB Flash Disk.

Using a Flash Disk is helpful for notebooks that do not have an internal optical disc drive. The USB Recovery Flash Disk Utility requirements include :
  • Only one copy of the recovery disk can be created. If you have already created or attempted to make a recovery DVD, do not try to use the Flash Disk Utility.
  • The computer must have the original HP configuration, including the recovery partition, with either Vista or Windows 7.
  • Recovery disk cannot be created if the original operating system has been changed.
  • You cannot use the Flash Disk Utility if the Recovery partition has been removed.
  • The USB Flash Disk must have at least 8 GB of free space available.
A standard 8GB drive may not have the full amount of space available for creating a recovery disk. Depending on the brand, a small amount of the Flash Disk space may be used by the file system, or there may be space lost in bad sectors. Use a 16GB (or larger) Flash Disk for best results.

Because the recovery manager files being created will be used to protect your computer for years to come, you should select a quality Flash Disk product made by a well known manufacturer. Store the recovery disk in a safe place away from the computer.

Download USB Recovery Flash Disk Utility

The utility for creating a recovery image on a USB flash disk is specific to the operating system. To locate and download the correct software click one of the following links to download the HP Recovery Flash Disk Utility for Vista or HP Recovery Flash Disk Utility for Windows 7 softpaq.

When prompted to either save the file to your computer or run the file from the web, select Save and download the softpaq to a convenient location on your hard drive, such as the desktop.

NOTE: Do not select Run during the download. Save the program to your hard drive so you can disconnect from the web and run the disk creation at a time you choose. If you select Run, the disk creation process will start immediately and you cannot use the computer while the recovery disk on the USB Flash Disk is being created.

Run USB Recovery Flash Disk Utility

Creating the recovery disk on an 8GB or larger USB Flash Disk can take 30-60 minutes or more. Do not use the computer for any other activities during the creation process.
You can create the recovery disk by performing the following steps :

CAUTION: This process will involve data loss for anything currently on the USB flash disk as a format will be performed during the creation process.
  1. Connect the notebook to the proper AC power supply.
  2. Save and close all other computer programs.
  3. Insert the 8GB or larger USB Flash Disk in the USB connector.
  4. Double-click the Flash Disk USB Recovery Flash Disk Utility , which was downloaded earlier, to launch utility.
  5. When prompted, accept the software user agreement.
  6. When prompted, select the desired USB Flash Disk.
  7. Allow the utility to examine the notebook and then create the USB Flash Disk recovery disk.
During the creation process, the computer will pause periodically and there will be no signs of action for long periods of time. Do not interrupt the disk creation process, or turn off the power, or attempt to remove the USB disk. When the creation process is complete, the computer will restart and prompt you to login to the computer.

You should now have a bootable recovery disk on a USB flash disk that can be used to restore your computer to its original factory condition.

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