In modern computers, manufactures create a partition on the hard drive which contains the installation files to restore the computer to the way you bought it. This partition is usually the D drive and possibly also named recovery or something along the lines of that.
A few months ago my younger brother got his hands on my laptop and caused it to have shut down and start up times excessive of 3 hours and nothing i would do would fix it. The windows vista system restore was pointless and waistfull and did nothing to help.
I ended up resorting to use the restore to factory settings by pressing F11 on startup. However this did nothing and caused the computer to continue its 3 hour loading time. F11 usually accesses the recovery drive data to execute a system restore. WARNING WARNING!!! Throughout the life of you computer do not change the drive letter of your recovery partition. This usually causes this error.
To access the recovery partition now i was required to go to ‘Computer Management’ in Vista. Search for ‘computer’ in the start menu and it should pop up as an option to choose. If the UAC is enables you will have to allow access for it to load. Now that you have ‘Computer Management’ open there should be 3 side menu options: ‘System Tools’, ‘Storage’ and ‘Services and Applications’.
Click on ‘Storage’ then ‘Disk Management’
Up the top there should be a list of drives which are installed on the computer, for mine there are 2, the main drive (c) and the recovery drive (d). Others such as dvds when they are in and flash drives when in ready boost also are shown.
Below this list it should show installed hardware which can store data and which partitions are on them. Disk0 has both drive C and D.
To access the recovery drive you need to right click on it and then click “Make Partition as Active”. This Makes this drive the drive that Vista looks at when it loads the data on startup. Now all you need to do is restart the computer and it should load the recovery partition and you will be able to restore to factory settings.
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