Compaq presario recovery partition and master boot

  fishmad pete 17:21 15 May 2010

My sister-in-laws wanted to sell her old compaq presario computer. I tried to use the recovery partition to return the system back to factory settings, but it would appear that the master boot record has been changed at some time and F10 doesn't work anymore. Is there anyway I can get into the recovery partition to re-install the system? My intentions are, that once restored I would carry out a shredding of any unused area to clean the PC prior to selling

  mgmcc 17:49 15 May 2010

Is there perhaps a shortcut in the main "All Programs" menu from which the recovery can be launched?

  fishmad pete 18:01 15 May 2010

No there is no short cut. I think her husband may have installed a different version of XP over the original, and now that they are separated the disk is not available.
I know I could install another copy of XP, using my disk but using the the key attached to the case, over this one to clean install and then find the drivers for all the devices on line. But then I wouldn't have any operating disks to pass onto the buyer.

  fishmad pete 14:43 17 May 2010

After hours (days) of seaching on the net I didn't find any answers on how to carry out a recovery without having a disk or the F10 functionality.
I found sites offering replacement disks but at a price well above the computers resale value. Anyway I HAVE FIXED IT!!!
I loaded my copy of XP onto the computer then using administrators tools I selected "Stowage and then Disk Management and right clicked on the recovery partition (D:). From the drop down menu selected "make parition as active" accepted the warning and rebooted the computer. It automatically booted into the recovery partition and I selected distructive recovery (as I didn't want any data files, others should try an back up data prior to use). The disk was quick formatted and then the system was restored. After a successful reboot I checked the F10 functionality and this too had been restored.
I hope this helps anyone else with a similar problem

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