Q:

How do you get a Windows Vista recovery disc for free?

A:

Quick Answer

Get a Windows Vista recovery disc for free by using the built-in disc creation tool or the recovery application your computer manufacturer installed on the system. A blank disc is necessary for both methods.

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Full Answer

To use the built-in tool, click the Start Menu icon at the bottom left, click All Programs, and select Create a Recovery Disc under Maintenance. The process may take about five minutes. Once done, the recovery disc looks identical to the Windows Vista installation disc.

Computer manufacturers may install their own recovery disc creation applications to the computer. HP is one manufacturer that does install its own application. To use it, click the Start button, choose All Programs, click PC Help & Tools, and then Click Recovery Disc Creation. Click Next until an AutoPlay window appears, and close the window. Cilck Next, and wait for the application to burn the disc. Depending on the size of the disc, HP's application may ask for additional disc to burn the remaining files.

Once you have a recovery disc, you must change your BIOS settings to boot from it. While the exact method depends from one computer to another, you can usually access BIOS by pressing ESC, Delete, F8 or F10 during the initial startup screen. Once in BIOS, navigate to the Boot screen, and put the disc drive above your hard drive. Restart your system to boot from the recovery disc.

When the system boots booted into the Recovery Environment, click Repair You Computer, and choose the Windows partition you want to repair. You can either use one of the automatic tools or recover your operating system manually via the Command Prompt.

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