Most name brand PCs out there come with some type of System Recovery feature. I recently repaired a co-worker's PC by using the HP system Recovery option by pressing F10 during the initial HP boot screen. Basically, it was a last resort option for me. I tried every computer troubleshooting technique that I knew to fix this problem which happened to be the fact that the PC would not boot completely to the desktop. No icons or shortcuts, just a desktop background and that's it. I tried safe-mode, last-known good configuration, XP System Restore and nothing worked. I even tried creating a new user profile......same problem. I knew that I could still run the HP System Recovery option so I went ahead and backed up all of the data on another hard drive. I always back up the data first, just in case something goes wrong.
The next step was to restore the data. I reinstalled the hard drive, then powered on the PC. I pressed F10 to begin the HP System Recovery process. During the process, I was reminded that the data would be lost Windows XP would be reinstalled along with any original HP applications that came with the PC during initial purchase. All other applications would have to be reinstalled. The whole process took one hour from start to finish.
Then to my surprise, when I returned to check the PC, all of the data was still there! And the System Recovery process completed successfully. Maybe I did not read the entire warning message correctly but I thought the data would be deleted. It saved my 3 hours of restoring the data. Everything was then back to normal. My co-worker was happy and so was I!
Have you had any success restoring PCs? Let me know.