How to Boot to the Recovery Partition in Windows Vista

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Most Windows Vista computers come with a recovery partition on the primary hard drive. A basic recovery partition -- at the least -- lets you restore your computer to its factory settings or create backups of your computer. More complex recovery partitions contain programs that allow you to create a recovery disc set, use Microsoft System Restore and even erase the hard drive completely. Users with the ability to create a recovery disc set from the recovery partition will most likely not receive a set of recovery discs from the manufacturer. Accessing the recovery partition can often be done during startup.

HP/Compaq

  • Remove any discs from the computer's optical drives. Click the "Windows" icon on the Windows Vista taskbar to open the Start menu. Click the arrow to the right of the "Lock" icon to open a context menu. Click "Shut Down" to shut down the computer.

  • Press the "Power" button.

  • Press "F11" repeatedly after the HP or Compaq logo appears on the screen early in the boot process. The HP Recovery Manager appears on the screen.

Dell

  • Remove any discs from the computer's optical drives. Click the "Windows" icon on the Windows Vista taskbar to open the Start menu. Click the arrow to the right of the "Lock" icon to open a context menu. Click "Shut Down" to shut down the computer.

  • Press the "Power" button to turn on the computer.

  • Press "F8" repeatedly when the computer begins booting up until you are redirected to the Advanced Boot Options menu.

  • Highlight "Repair Your Computer" using the arrow keys on the keyboard. Press "Enter."

  • Select the language you want the computer to be recovered in. Click "Next." Enter your administrative username and password if prompted. Click "Next." The System Recovery Options window appears.

Toshiba

  • Remove any discs from the computer's optical drives. Click the "Windows" icon on the Windows Vista taskbar to open the Start menu.

  • Click the arrow to the right of the "Lock" icon to open a context menu. Click "Shut Down" to shut down the computer.

  • Hold the "0" key down and press the "Power" button to turn on the computer. Continue holding the "0" key down while the computer is booting up until the Toshiba Recovery Wizard appears on the screen.

Gateway

  • Remove any discs from the computer's optical drives, then click the "Windows" icon on the Windows Vista taskbar to open the Start menu. Click the arrow to the right of the "Lock" icon to open a context menu. Click "Shut Down" to shut down the computer.

  • Press the "Power" button to turn on the computer.

  • Press "F8" repeatedly when the Gateway logo appears on the screen early in the boot process to be redirected to the Advanced Boot Options menu.

  • Highlight "Repair Your Computer" using the arrow keys on the keyboard, then press "Enter." The System Recovery Options window appears on the screen.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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