Compaq Recovery and QuickRestore CD's...
May 11, 2001 (Updated Jul 4, 2001)
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There are two types of Compaq restore CD's.
The first type is the Compaq Recovery CD. This is the cd type that comes out of the box. As far as i can tell, every Compaq computers, including both desktops and laptops (my dad have a Compaq laptop, i have one, i went to stores and checked out the store displays on desktops and laptops) have their hard drive partitioned into two. A C: and a D: drive. The Compaq Recovery CD does not contain the actual files used in restoring the computer. Those files are contained in the D: partition. This cd only contains boot files. When you boot your computer from this cd, it will tell the program to look in the D: partition for the restore files and use those. When you save your system's current state using this, the program will create a whole new set of restore files and add it to what's already in the D: partition. If that partition is too small, then the program will automatically resize the D: partition to make it bigger. That's about another 1.5 gigs added to D:. So what if you changed your mind and you don't want the back up you have made anymore? Well you can delete them from the D: partition but you are stuck with the partition's size. You can use a third party partitioning software such as Partition Magic to reduce the size of D:. But once you use this software in any way with the D: partition, your Compaq Recovery CD will not work anymore. The restore program will tell you that the restore files are not found. This will happen even though you did not change the D: drive in any other way other than resizing it. This is what happened to me.
The second type of cd is what Compaq calls the QuickRestore CD. This is a two cd set and it contains everything needed to restore the computer to factory state. So in theory, you can format your hard drive clean, boot up from these discs, and a couple of minutes later your system will be restored to factory state. As i can see from the other Epinions, the only way that you can get this cd is by calling tech support. If they want to charge you for these cd's just tell them that, "When my system crashed, all the data were wiped out. Including those in the D: partition. There is no way for me to restore my system using the Compaq Recovery CD." If your computer is still under warranty, they will be obligated to send you those cd's for free. I recommend getting this cd's as soon as you get your computer. Because i am pretty sure that sooner or later you will have to use these. And once your warranty expires, Compaq will definetly charge you for these. Be aware that some tech support people are not informed of the two types of cd's. The lady that i talked to kept telling me to just boot the Restore cd. I kept telling her that only the boot files are in the cd, and it took me about 20 minutes trying to explain to her how i think the boot process works. She finally told me that she will send me cd's that i can use but she doubted that they will be any different than what i already have. Also, there are not any mention that i saw in the manual saying not to mess with the D: partition. Even if there is, these cd's should have came out of the box in the first place. Why waste almost 2 gigs of hard drive space when the same information can be contained on two cd's that cost less than 50 cents each. That's why i urge every one to get their cd's before their warranty expires. Maybe Compaq will come to it's senses and include those cd's out of the box. Instead of them losing tech support time and losing money on shipping and handling. The manual did mentioned the QuickRestore, but it didn't distinguished between the Compaq Recovery CD and the QuickRestore CD. From what i can see, Compaq intentionally made these two terms interchangeable in the manual so to confuse the consumers. This is a very bad business practice. In my opinion, Compaq do not include these cd's because they want to try to trick the consumers out of their money. Think about it. They end up giving the cd's for free anyways with persistent people. If your hard drive did really crashed, there is no guarantee that the D: partition will also survive!
E-mail me at email@example.com for any questions about this.