How to Access the Hidden Recovery Partition in a HP Pavilion

by Jane Williams
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

HP Pavilion PCs and laptops offer a built-in recovery partition to restore your computer to the factory default settings. Often this partition is hidden and invisible to you under your system information. You can access this hidden partition and start the recovery process through Windows or by repeatedly pressing "F11" during boot.

Pavilion Laptops

Step 1

Shut down the laptop and disconnect all networking cables, external monitors and other devices. Leave the keyboard, mouse and power cord attached.

Step 2

Power up and open the Start screen. Type “Recovery Manager” into the Search box. Click “HP Recovery Manager” in the results. Enter an administrative password if prompted.

Step 3

Click “Windows Recovery Environment,” then “OK.” Your laptop will reboot into the Recovery Environment.

Step 4

Select “Troubleshoot” when your system restarts, then “Recovery Manager.” Choose your operating system, then click “Minimized Image Recovery.” Back up your system's files if desired, and follow the onscreen prompts to choose a backup method and location. If you do not wish to back up, click “Recover Without Backing Up Your Files,” then “Next.”

Step 5

Read the instructions on the Recovery Manager Welcome page and click “Next” when you're ready to continue. Your HP prepares for recovery, which can take up to 45 minutes.

Click “Continue” when the preparation completes. The recovery process begins, which formats and reinstalls your laptop's original software. When complete, click “Finish” to restart and complete setup.

Pavilion Desktops

Step 1

Shut down the desktop and disconnect all networking cables and other external devices. Leave the keyboard, mouse and monitor cables attached. Power on the computer.

Step 2

Open the Search box from the upper right corner of your screen and type “Recovery.” Click “Recovery Manager” from the results and enter an administrative password if necessary.

Step 3

Click “System Recovery.” Select “Yes” when asked to restore the computer to original factory condition. Click “Next” to restart your computer.

Step 4

Select “System Recovery” when your computer restarts. Back up your files if desired, or select “Recovery Without Backing Up Your Files” and click “Next.”

Click “OK” to clear the warnings to disconnect devices and confirm your data will be lost. Your computer will format and reinstall all original software to return the desktop to fresh-from-the-factory condition. Click “Finish” once the recovery process completes to restart. Complete the setup process by following the onscreen instructions.


  • A system recovery can take hours to complete, and the computer restarts numerous times throughout the process. Keep your laptop plugged into an outlet to ensure proper power and disconnect your Internet connection to allow the procedure to complete successfully and without interruption.
  • If Windows 8 was installed over a previous operating system, such as Windows 7 or Vista, the original operating system will be reinstalled during recovery. You'll need to reinstall Windows 8 once the computer finishes the recovery process.


  • Pressing "F11" during boot also works for systems running Windows Vista and 7.
  • You can reconnect all your external devices once your system setup is completed. Turn off your computer or laptop and reconnect your external devices, then power on.
  • Remember to update all drivers and operating system files to ensure proper compatibility and functionality. Reinstall your desired anti-virus protection to keep unwanted malware out of your system.


Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.

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