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HP Pavilion A6531 - Recovery Disk problem

Posted on 2009-07-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I created recovery disks for this machine about 8 months ago in case of hard disk failure.
Yesterday the HDD failed.
I inserted the 1st Recovery DVD I created, and it comes up with the following message:

***THIS PC IS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE SYSTEM RECOVERY DISKS
YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO RECOVER THIS SYSTEM WITH THESE DISKS***

You are probably thinking I mixed up the recovery disks, and they are from a different machine, but this is not the case. I am 100% sure I created the disks with this machine !

Other than installing a new Hard Disk Drive, there have been no hardware changes to the PC since I made the recovery DVD's.

Please help.
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Question by:koalacs
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by:racy1
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It may be that you are trying the wrond disk.  HP disk recovery labels are non-intuitve. Try booting from each of the disks.
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by:hopeleonie
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Did you add more hardware?
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hopeleonie earned 200 total points
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The message 'PC is not supported by the system recovery disks' is usually caused by an incomplete/corrupt BIOS tattoo string ,which is in all HP machines  and read by Recovery to be sure it is an HP and entitled to use Recovery. This error requires service by HP, hope the machine is still in warranty?

Use the number posted by dmhoo above to contact HP

Source: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/psg/board/message?board.id=HardwareDPC&message.id=4489
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by:koalacs
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Thank you for the replies.

racy1: I tried disk 2 of 2, but it is not bootable.
hopeleonie:I have not added any hardware at all.
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by:koalacs
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hopeleonie: Do you think a BIOS upgrade may help?
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by:hopeleonie
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you can try. but i dont think! is the machine still in warranty?
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by:koalacs
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Yes it is
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by:hopeleonie
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then call hp hotline their support is great.
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by:hchandless
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In one place you stated no new hardware, but your original post says you added a new Hard Drive. Changing the primary hard in a HP or Compaq requires running a Hard Drive DMI Utility, to put the Motherboard Tattoo information on the new hard drive. I do HP warranty work and I have this utility, but I'm not sure how a consumer gets it. I would think you could probably get it from HP if you explained that you changed the Hard Drive.
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by:koalacs
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I repaced the hard drive because the original completely failed.
Would you please send me the DMI utility so I can put the Motheboard Tattoo information on the new hard disk?
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by:hopeleonie
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and the disk is from hp?
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by:koalacs
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Actually no.
The warranty replacement disk will take 2 weeks to get.
So I used a disk that I have in stock to server the customer.
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by:hopeleonie
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by:koalacs
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Login password doesn't work.
Are you saying that if I wait for the hard drive to arrive from HP, it will have the tattoo, and will work?
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by:hchandless
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Here is the utility, if this doesn't work, then either you have the wrong disks, or the Motherboard is not tattooed properly.

http://www.friendlycomputerssj.com/Hard_Drive_DMI_Utility.iso

it's an .iso that will burn a bootable cd. Boot up with the CD, and hit "Save DMI info to disk"

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by:PUNKY
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How did you create recovery disks? Use the utility provided by HP?
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by:koalacs
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PUNKY: I used the utility provided by HP to create the recovery disks.

hchandless: Thanks for the utility. I booted with the utility and used the 1st option (Save DMI System Info to Drive 1).
I got a message that it saved info to sector 8.

When I rebooted with the recovery disk 1 of 2, I got the same "PC Not Supported" error message.

I am abosolutely sure these are the disks I created for this PC.
In fact, I didn't give the recovery disks to the customer, I put them in an envelope and taped it inside the PC!! - That's how sure I am.

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by:hchandless
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Unfortunately, the HP recovery system is awful. What I would do at this point would be to call HP and get a fresh set of recovery disks from them. I know you are certain you have the right ones, but that system is so unreliable, it wouldn't surprise me one bit that the disks you made just are not working. HP will send the disks out in a couple days. If they don't work, then you should be able to get onsite warranty service from HP.
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by:PUNKY
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One more question, the DVD/CD unit is still same one when you created recovery disks?
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by:racy1
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One other piece of information: If the system had Vista installed, the HP System Recovery Program and disks are destined to fail. It is not compatible with Vista OS period.  What you needed to do in that case was create a set of Vista OS recovery disks, not the system recvovery set you make with XP. You are not clear which you made. It's also possible the disks you made are defective due to a bad optical drive or a bad recovery software program. If a recoevery set is available from HP you should get it and try it but my experience is that the HP sets are about as useful as the 2 you made much of the time. Again if it's Vista, the Recovery software/disks will not work. You need Vista OS DVD, which you should also be able to get from HP at a slight discount.
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by:koalacs
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PUNKY: The DVD/RW is the same one. No hardware changes have been made to the PC since the disks were made.

RACY1: The system  had Vista installed.
I guess I will have to order a set of recovery disks.
I am very dissapointed with HP with all this.

Thanks for all your replies.

By the way. If I installed Vista manually, and donloaded all the drivers from HP. Then can I change the Vista product key with the one that's on the back of the PC? Would that be ok?
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by:racy1
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In terms of what HP will send you, I am guessing they will not have "recovery disks" for your model but will ask for a "nominal fee" to send Vista OS DVD. You are better off with that, considering the unreliability of HP Recovery Sets in general.
The recovery disks that HP sends you will either work with the product key on your existing label or if not then you should use the key that comes with the disks if any.  Try installing with the laptop's ID key & just change it to the other one if it is rejected. If both are rejected then call HP support.
As for changing the Prod Key after it is installed, I am not even sure if you can do that with Vista unless you go through MS licensing and buy an upgrade, ie go from Basic to Business etc.  There may be some hacks available but not recommended as they may render your OS inoperable.
Good Luck.
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by:racy1
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BTW if you can find someone who has an HP Recovery set (prepackaged by HP, not homemade) for a model similar to yours, and if it accepts your existing key, you can bypass HP phone support altogether.
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by:koalacs
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If you go to System properties, at the bottom there is a section that says "Change Product Key"
If I installed Vista with another CD, then changed the product key with the one that's stuck on the PC, that should be leagal, right?
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by:racy1
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It is absolutely legal if you get it to work.
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by:koalacs
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I will try installing Vista manually.
I'll let you know the results soon.
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by:koalacs
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Well folks. I installed Vista manually, and entered the CD-Key as on the sticker on the PC.
Then downloaded & installed all the drivers from HP.
Then installed all updates/fixes from Windows Update.

All works fine now.
I also used ImageX to create a .WIM image as a recovery tool - just in case.

After this experience, I learned that, although HP make good PC's, I won't rely on HP's recovery process again.

Thanks everyone for your comments and ideas.
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