I don't know if this is what you tried or not, but it might be worth a try if you haven't. I've used it before to create recovery discs when faced with a similar situation for a friend, it came from the HP support site.
Creating the recovery discs from the Command Prompt
Use the following steps to create a Recovery CD set without starting Windows:
NOTE: You cannot create recovery DVDs using this method.
Turn on the PC and repeatedly press the F11 key when the HP logo appears.
On the recovery screen, click Advanced Options.
Press the Alt and the D keys at the same time. The command prompt will appear.
Type c: at the prompt and press the Enter key.
Type cd windows at the prompt and press the Enter key.
Type cd creator at the prompt and press the Enter key.
Type the following command exactly as it is shown here (including quotation marks and space): "CD Creator.exe".
Click Start Creation and follow the directions to create the Recovery CD set.
I just got a used HP laptop, it's less than a year old, and I want to reformat and restore it back to factory new preset.
(XP SP2) I can log in as guest, and see Restore is on the D drive.
Can you contact the seller? Possible they could provide a password with admin. privileges. If he is reluctant to provide them, can you take the computer back and the previous owner types in the correct password. Then run HP restore option at his location. When restore is finished, you should be able to create your own password / admin account.
Thanks, I got the password and now loged in as an admin, and I still can't find any HP Backup and Recovery Manager.
the only back up software on here is Nero, and it doesn't look like anything has been backed up.
can't I just run one of the files in the D: recovery drive and get the restore started?
I finally found it.
incase some one else is searching for this later.
it was a hidden file in D:\HP_Recovery\MiniNT\System32\start.exe
after I clicked that start.exe file open, a message came up that said somthing like "getting the drive ready", and then I was able to reboot and make the F11 key work.
after that it was a breeze, no disks needed.
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