Every Windows Laptop from HP and Compaq comes with a handy recovery application called HP Recovery Manager which can be activated by simply pressing the F11 key (note: some notebooks may have a different key assignment) immediately after turning the notebook on. It’s a nice utility by which owners can restore their notebook to an earlier working state using Windows’ System Restore or reformat the laptop to its default factory settings without the hassle of re-downloading and re-installing device drivers.

It’s a useful ulitity in today’s malware-ridden world PC users.

However, there are instances where the HP Recovery Manager fails to load even after pressing the F11 key as I recently experienced with a friend’s HP Pavilion Notebook. After several hours of troubleshooting the problem, I found a work-around. I’m posting the solution below in case anyone experiences the same problem:

  1. Boot Windows
  2. Click Start > RUN >
  3. Type compmgmt.msc then hit the ENTER key
  4. Computer Management will load, choose Storage then Disk Management
  5. Select the Recovery Partition (usually drive D:) by clicking on it
  6. Make the Recovery Partition active by clicking on Action then All Tasks > Mark Partition as Active
  7. Shut down PC

The next time you power on the computer, press F11. It will now load the HP Recovery Manager and will give you the option to restore or reformat your computer.

NOTE: The solution posted here only works if your computer’s recovery partition is still intact and hasn’t been corrupted.

UPDATE: Here’s a video guide of Steps 2 to 6. Be sure to reboot PC after doing the procedure shown in the video.

Did I just save you countless hours of troubleshooting? Buy me pizza!