Make More than One Set of HP Recovery CDs or DVDs

 In My Life, Technology, Tidbits

If you’ve bought an HP (Hewlett-Packard) laptop in the last few years, you’ve got a nifty tool on your side called the PC Recovery Disc Creator. The only bugger is, the program will only create one set of recovery discs, ever. If you check the HP FAQ, the reason for this is due to licensing agreements with Microsoft. So that begs the question, what if creating the discs fails, or you lose or damage your recovery discs? If discs had come with the computer, you could just make back-up copies. Or, once you have one set made, you can always make copies of those. But what if that’s not an option?

Trying to burn recovery discs on the HP laptop will yield an error message like “A set of recovery discs has been created for this PC. Only one set is allowed per PC.” After a quick Google search, I turned up a handy message forum post that details how to fix this “problem.”

First, download WinRAR from Rarlabs. You’ll need this because one of the files you need to delete is in the D: recovery partition and they’ve tricked Windows into not letting you browse that partition. Run the installer and then run WinRAR at the end of the install. (You can uninstall it when we’re done if you don’t want to use it anymore.)

1. Navigate to your “D:” drive (Type “D:” in the location bar, it usually starts at like “C:\Something”, just change it.)

2. Delete HPCD.SYS from D:\

3. Navigate to your Windows folder, usually C:\Windows, and then SMINST. There’s another HPCD.SYS there, delete it.

4. Close WinRAR (uninstall if you prefer).

Now you should be able to run your PC Recovery Disc Creator and burn your back-ups. If you’re using DVD’s, HP’s site recommends using DVD+Rs instead of DVD-Rs. It takes a while, it’s a really slow burn. On the laptop I did this on, it took 3 DVDs and about an hour and a half to burn all three.

Enjoy! Let me know if this helped you in the comments.

Zöe
Hi, I'm Zöe. Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, please feel free to leave a comment below.
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  • Julio Cesar Arias

    Many thanks, i had the problem that you described y that solved it.

  • Backfire3788

    Thanks this really helped i lost my cds the other day so i need to make new ones and this really HElPED

  • Snach

    Merci beaucoup pour tout ces conseils… Merci!!!

    • The Raging Tech

      Ce n’est rien, mon ami! (I hope my french is correct, I meant to say “It’s nothing, friend!”)

  • mamankoli

    yeah!!!, tnx alot… your ROCK DUDE!!!

    • The Raging Tech

      Haha, you’re welcome. 🙂 Glad I could help.

  • Steve

    I have a HP A520n Desktop. I already have the 7 disks that are needed to do the Rcovery. I want to build a DVD set.
    I did as you indicated and found the HPCD.sys on the recovery partion but could not find it on the C drive. I found the SMINST folder but the HPCD.sys was not in it. I also did a search for it by the file name still a NO GO! Any Ideas.

    Steve

    • The Raging Tech

      Steve, it’s a hidden file. Go to that folder and then in the menu go to “Tools” and then “Folder Options” and then the “View” tab and turn on “View Hidden Files and Folders.” I had the same problem on my system and it didn’t fully work until I found and deleted the hidden file.

  • Xearo

    I found the 2nd HPCD.sys in program files(x86) folder, then renamed it. Worked like a charm 🙂

  • Katherine

    Have downloaded Winrar, can you please tell me where do i find the installer to run. Thanks.

    • The Raging Tech

      Katherine, it’s whereever your browser saves files. If you’re in Internet Explorer, pay attention to where it asks you to save it when you hit “Save” during the download (not “run”) or in Firefox, look at the download window and double-click what it says you downloaded to run it.

  • JW

    I have an NC6320 and was having the same problem. However, my version of the backup and recover program created files with a slightly different name. I had to substitute HPBOOT.SYS for hpcd.sys in both locations,

    Without this guide I would have been clueless
    Thanks RT

  • AJ

    I couldn’t find the file named: HPCD.SYS anywhere in windows VISTA, a side of that when you wan to access the D: drive which is the recovery partition you can only see one file called RECOVERY!!
    How can I do that bro?

  • The Raging Tech

    @JW: Thanks for the tip. I’m sure others who find this article will find that helpful.

    @AJ: I’m not sure about why you can’t find the file. Make sure you check my comment above and read the section of the post about having “View Hidden Files” turned ON, otherwise it won’t turn up no matter how hard you search.

    As with anything, Your Mileage May Vary, so if this doesn’t work for you I apologize – and maybe it will at least point you in the right direction.

  • Burbank Gal

    My OS is WinXP on a tower. When I deleted either of the the HPCD.sys files, I then get a “partition cannot be found” error upon trying to run the recovery cd function. Any ideas on a fix for this?

    Also, if it looks like I’m totally buggered on this, will doing a complete system recovery — back to factory settings — then allow me to run the cd function? (Yes, I feel that I’m almost at that point…)

    🙁

    Thanks.

    • The Raging Tech

      Double check all the files that are supposed to be deleted are gone, and that you didn’t accidentally delete more than just those files. It is very important you access the files the way they I described to in the post. Usually Windows will not let you browse the recovery partition, but WinRAR will do it. On a factory restore back to complete original settings, it still won’t let you create new recovery CDs unless you follow this hack. Even then, it’s not totally guaranteed to work on newer models. Check some of the other comments here, people have posted modifications to the instructions for other models they’ve found.

  • Kyle

    I have owned and HP Laptop for a year and a half..the first time that i tried to make recovery cd’s for my pc it failed and then i was stuck with the option of buying new ones from the company..this worked for me. thanks dude. i would recommend this trick to anyone..

    thank you again

    Kyle Skinner..

  • peppe

    I have a problem.. I managed to rename that file hpcd.sys to hpcd.bak , the recovery system was working again but it doesn’t allow me to burn DVD (it says i dont have a dvd burner available) nor to make ISO. It drives itself straight to the CD burning!!! What should I do?
    if anybody could help me.. my email is gaba84 AT gmail.com

  • The Raging Tech

    @peppe: You’ll need a DVD burner to make the backups. If you have one, make sure Windows recognizes it. If it does not, that’s probably your issue and outside of the scope of this article. If it does recognize it but the back-up program does not, I’m not sure what to tell you, it uses Windows to detect what’s there.

  • Erum

    i did as you preached! moved the files from the recovery drive and windows SMINST folder to another driver, now if i run the “recovery disk creation” on my Compaq Presario CQ60, it opens up and after the 1st screen when i click Next, it says recovery partition NOT found, contact HP… n all.. so i put the files back again to their respective folders how to resolve thz? i badly need to make the recovery dvds!!

    • The Raging Tech

      These instructions are not for the Compaq Presario CQ60, even though HP and Compaq merged, this is not an HP product, and these instructions were only tested with an HP model in the instructions. The short answer is: Google harder.

  • sid

    hey..
    I am trying to create my first copies of the recovery discs. The problem is my DVD drive doesn’t work. I bought this comp (dv6000) back in ’07 but didn’t bother creating discs back then. Is there a way to actually transfer the recovery files on to a pen drive or something. Please help me out on this one coz i am in need of space and without making a copy of the recovery files i cannot clear D: drive.

    • The Raging Tech

      @sid: What you need to do is install a Virtual DVD burner application. There are a few out there, beware spyware and viruses. That will let you use a virtual DVD burner (Windows will think it’s real, which means the backup program will think it’s real) and you’ll get an ISO file or some such file you can use to copy the data over to a USB hard drive or something for restoration or burning to a DVD on another computer.

  • PTBurner

    Thanks worked great. I also found the second file in the x86 folder.

  • Anand Yogi

    I have a pavilion DV2000 and was having the same problem

    Thanks

  • Steve

    Worked great, thanks!

  • ahmed

    you are the one i love you so much be in Peace
    it’s worked i thank you very very much
    i don’t know how to describe my feeling
    thanks a lot

  • ahmed

    but i have work with Free Commander and it works too

    thank you again and keep it up

  • James

    Oh, my. Thank you so much. This is a fantastic resource and has saved me a lot of headache tonight.

    Thanks!!

  • ooptea

    this worked like a charm

  • Xearo

    I found the 2nd HPCD.sys in program files(x86) folder, then renamed it. Worked like a charm 🙂

  • ragingtech

    I'm glad the information was helpful! That's why I do these things 🙂

  • ragingtech

    Hey, I'm glad it worked out for you!

  • David Myers

    I’m glad the information was helpful! That’s why I do these things 🙂

  • David Myers

    Hey, I’m glad it worked out for you!

  • Habid

    Many Many Thanksssssssssssssss a lottt

  • ragingtech

    Habid, you're welcome! 🙂

  • Habid

    Many Many Thanksssssssssssssss a lottt

    • David Myers

      Habid, you’re welcome! 🙂

  • Name

    i remember when i was working @ a retailer's pc repair department they used to use some type of soft hack to renable it on xp so we could reburn recovery media for customers & refirb units(open box)

  • Name

    i remember when i was working @ a retailer’s pc repair department they used to use some type of soft hack to renable it on xp so we could reburn recovery media for customers & refirb units(open box)

  • Nathan

    I know this says for laptop, but there iother websites saying this works for desktops as well. I have a desktop and it's an HP, but after I changed the name for the hpcd.sys files and try to make cds a message pops up saying: “No valid boot image found in Recovery Partition!” Anyone know where I can find the boot image?

  • Nathan

    I know this says for laptop, but there iother websites saying this works for desktops as well. I have a desktop and it’s an HP, but after I changed the name for the hpcd.sys files and try to make cds a message pops up saying: “No valid boot image found in Recovery Partition!” Anyone know where I can find the boot image?

    • 8675309

      unhide the files in the recovery partition

  • 8675309

    unhide the files in the recovery partition

  • chris

    parfait !

  • chris

    parfait !

  • Henry

    Thank you – problem solved!

  • Henry

    Thank you – problem solved!

  • e p

    its sad, I'm working on a C304NR that has a CD-RW/DVD ROM…OUCH!. 12 freaking CDs its going to take to make the backups!! But your method worked like a charm! Thanks for that!

  • e p

    its sad, I’m working on a C304NR that has a CD-RW/DVD ROM…OUCH!. 12 freaking CDs its going to take to make the backups!! But your method worked like a charm! Thanks for that!

    • David Myers

      Ouch, sorry to hear that – but I’m glad it worked for you!

    • 8675309

      if you had a external dvd writter or hdd eclusure capable of using optical drives that could be used

  • ragingtech

    Ouch, sorry to hear that – but I'm glad it worked for you!

  • 8675309

    if you had a external dvd writter or hdd eclusure capable of using optical drives that could be used

  • 8675309

    i wish i could find a blank dl dvd sold as a single

  • 8675309

    i wish i could find a blank dl dvd sold as a single

  • tenor93

    I found the file on the D drive but did not find file in the windows directors. Can someone help?

  • tenor93

    I found the file on the D drive but did not find file in the windows directors. Can someone help?

    • 8675309

      as far as i know there isnt one in that directory but i guess every new model/year brings new adjustments to how a base img is setup

  • 8675309

    as far as i know there isnt one in that directory but i guess every new model/year brings new adjustments to how a base img is setup

  • tenor93

    I was able to find the files. Now when I go to write to the disk I get a Error when it trys to verify the disk. Can someone help? thanks,

  • tenor93

    I was able to find the files. Now when I go to write to the disk I get a Error when it trys to verify the disk. Can someone help? thanks,

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