Vista, Ubuntu, XP Restore Issue

I am not quite sure how this happened. I am an experienced computer user, and I cannot figure out how or why this happened. I was restoring my friend's computer, which is an HP. It came, when he bought it, with XP Media Center (laptop btw). It had a small restore partition on it, generally the case for most retail computers like that. Anyway, I had previously installed three OS's on it, in separate partitions - Ubuntu (latest version), Windows Vista Home Premium, and his original XP Media Center. So there were 4 partitions (three OS's plus restore partition). He wanted it restored back to just Media Center. So, naturally, I used the restore partition to do that. Now, obviously, it should have deleted everything and restored to factory settings. However, it did not do that. It deleted the Ubuntu partition, did not delete the Vista partition, and "restored" the Media Center partition. When I say "restored" what I mean is, it put all the factory crapware back on it, kept all the programs and I can still use them. However, the programs do not show up in Add/Remove programs, but I can still use them. And the Vista partition still works. Basically, I deleted Ubuntu, kept Vista, and put all the crapware back into XP while still keeping all of my programs. Oh, and by the way, there is one program that does not work (Opera). All of the other programs work perfectly. Does anyone have any ideas how this happened? I have never seen this happen amongst all of the restores I have done.
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  1. The restore partition will NOT wipe out partitions and rebuild them... only a full restore CD set will do that. The restore partition will only format the C: partition and load Windows onto it. If you want to remove the extra partitions, you'll have to do it manually or order the CDs/DVDs from HP.
  2. When you boot from the Restore partition, you should be able to change to a Destructive Restore which wipes everything out.

  3. That doesn't quite help....1) it did delete the Ubuntu partition. 2) If it formats just the C:\ partition, then how did all of my programs transfer over, I can still use them (expect Opera), but they don't show up in Add/Remove programs. I am wondering how this all happened, not really how to fix it. I know how to fix it easily.
  4. Grumpy: Destructive restore only formats C:\... it does not delete and recreate partitions. As far as the restore partition is concerned, no other partitions exist other than itself and C:\.
  5. How does the restore partition even determine what is the C:\ drive? I mean, in Vista, that partition will be C, and the XP will be something else. But in XP, that partition will be C and Vista will be something else. The OS determines what is the C:\ drive, so how would it even know what to format and recreate?
  6. Zoron: I my experience with HPs, Destructive Restore deletes all partitions except the Recovery one and recreates C:\. If MattyMustng did a Destructive Restore, Opera would still not be installed.

    MattyMustng: Download GParted Live CD ( and delete all partitions except the Recovery Partition.

  7. Once again, our experiences differ. Every HP / Compaq I've worked on clearly displays that it will only format C:\ and reload Windows once the format is complete.
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