To restore a Compaq laptop to factory settings, insert an HP system recovery disk and follow the on-screen directions. If no disk is available, the system must be reset manually using the HP recovery stored on a separate area of the Compaq laptop's hard drive.
To begin the restoration process without a disk, disconnect all external devices and click on the Windows "Start" icon on the desktop. Click on "Search" and type "recovery manager." Click "Next" on the Welcome screen and select "No" if asked to perform a program recovery or hardware driver reinstallation. Select "No" if asked to perform a Microsoft system restore, and click "Yes" when asked to restore the laptop to factory settings.
When another Welcome screen opens, follow the same procedure until the computer begins the restoration process. All important files should be backed up before completing this step to avoid losing the data; be aware that Compaq laptops that were reconfigured from Windows Vista to Windows XP automatically revert to Vista when the system is reset. When the computer is restored, finish the Windows setup and reinstall any anti-virus programs and other protection before browsing the Web. Also reinstall all software applications and backed-up files.