I have a HP Pavilion dv2500 special edition laptop. I bought it from circuit city in 08'. It came with vista installed on it and it has a recovery hard drive on it. I got tired of vista being so dang slow that I decided to format the hard drive and install XP. Now two years later I think I would like to give vista another try, but I didn't make any recovery disks before I put XP on. I still have the recovery hard drive with vista on it and I can see it and all of the folders in My Computer. So it is all still there because I have never touched it. I thought I would be able to just reboot my computer and hit F11 to go into the system recovery and format it that way and put vista back on. (As anyone that works with computers knows it is never as simple as it is supposed to be). When I hit F11 it doesn't go into system recovery and windows boots as normal. So tried again and nothing. So I held F11 down and it beeped at me and booted windows anyway. So my question is....... how can I get to system recovery from XP when it wont load from F11 and without recovery disks? Is there a way to make the recovery disks from XP since all of the information for vista is still on the other hard drive? Or is there a program that I can use that forces my computer to go into system recovery? I tried supergrubdisk2. But it didn't boot into supergrub it still booted into windows. I do not want to buy recovery disks either, I'm a cheapskate.
Figured it out myself after about 5 hours of searching and trying many methods. What ended up working for me was using Hiren's Boot CD 11.1. I first had to use my XP installation CD to delete the partition with XP on it. Then I put in Hirens Boot CD and told it to boot from the vista hard drive and it went off without a hitch. Now I had tried to boot from Hiren's before this and I got a 0x00110020000100A error. Then I tried to boot from the vista recovery disk i downloaded from http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-di... and this was ruuning fine until i typed in my product key, it accepted the product key but immediatly after it said Windows cannot open the required file e:\sources\install.wim. The file does not exist. Make sure all files required for installation are available, and restart the installation. Error code: 0x80070002. After this I used my xp installation cd to delete the partition again and put hirens boot cd in and booted from the vista hard drive and it worked like a charm. I'm not doing this again for a long time GRRRRRRR.