Many new PCs and Laptops sold in recent years come with a very useful recovery partition (sometimes called a restore partition or factory reset tool). Should your main installation of Windows 7 stop working, you can use this partition to quickly restore your laptop to the same state that it was when you first bought the computer.

Please note: this will remove any information/documents/files that are on the hard drive - so it is usually used as a last resort.

Each manufacturer has a different method of accessing the recovery partition, so you may need to read the manual to find out if your model comes with this feature and how to access it. We have listed some of the common brands below:

Acer eRecovery:
  • Plug in the AC adapter and battery, then turn the system on
  • Immediately, press ALT on the keyboard and start tapping F10. Continue holding ALT and tapping F10 as the unit boots up.
  • A screen stating "Starting Acer Erecovery" should appear. (Release ALT and stop tapping F10 at this point)
  • There will be 4 options:
    1. Restore system to factory default
    2. Restore system from user backup
    3. Restore system from cd/dvd
    4. Exit
Asus System Recovery:
  • Turn on the notebook, Press F9 when you see the ASUS logo, and then choose the second item to recover OS to the first partition.
  • Press [F9] during bootup (requires a Recovery Partition)
  • Press [Enter] to select Windows Setup [EMS Enabled]
  • Read the “ASUS Preload Wizard” screen and click Next.
  • Select a partition option and click Next.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the recovery process.
Dell Restore Partition:
  • Turn on the computer.
  • When the Dell splash screen appears during the computer startup process, press and hold <Ctrl> and then press <F11>. Then, release both keys at the same time.
  • In the Dell PC Restore by Symantec window, click Restore. Alternatively, press <Tab> to highlight Restore, and then press <Enter>.
Gateway Recovery Partition:
  • Turn on your computer, then press Alt+F10 during startup. Gateway Recovery Management opens.
  • Click on Restore system from factory default.
  • Click on Next. Your hard drive’s original, factory-loaded contents are recovered. This process will take several minutes.
HP / Compaq System Recovery:
  • Turn on the comptuer and repeatedly press F10 at the HP logo until the recovery screen appears.
  • When the recovery screen appears, press "Next" and then "Yes" to perform a non-destructive recovery. To perform a destructive recovery, click "Advanced" and then "Yes".
  • After the recovery is finished, the computer will reboot.
Sony Recovery Partition:
  • Turn off your computer.
  • Restart your computer.
  • When the VAIO logo appears on the computer's screen, briefly press the F10 key on the computer keyboard.
  • The VAIO Recovery Wizard appears.
    4. Click Next.
    5. Select one of the available menu options.
Toshiba Recovery:
  • Make sure the computer is turned off.
  • Press and hold the 0 (zero) key on your keyboard while powering on the computer. When the computer powers on, the TOSHIBA HDD Recovery Utility screen displays.