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How do I Create a Second set of Recovery Discs in Windows XP ( where a previous set was already created ) ? Answered

A Friend gave me his old Gateway Desktop Model "MFATXPNT NMZ 500SE" with Windows XP Home, and I would like to restore it to OUT Of THE BOX condition. Unfortunately, he already made a set of Recovery Discs, but then misplaced them or accidentally threw them out in the trash. My Question is: Is there a REGISTRY Tweak that can be done to RE-Enable the RECOVERY Application on the Gateway? Any help would be appreciated!


Out of the box means scrub the disc and re-install. The Gateway recovery is most likely a ghost image (lost / disposed of on the discs). In other words "no, sorry".


That's exactly what it is, a ghost image.  However, the BIOS has a recovery manager capable of reading this image (provided it's still in tact on the hard drive).  No other software is required, just keying the proper option during POST.

However, you still can't create new recovery discs, or at least not without a utility like Norton Ghost.  This would allow you to make an image of the restore partition and burn it to DVD.  Although in case of catastrophic hard drive failure, you would have to use Norton Ghost to mount the image back to the new hard drive, and then go through the BIOS' recovery console - so it's not a one-step recovery that way.

I've not had a Gateway, but since you know the details it might be worth Answering the question with the correct keys to be used during POST?


Usually F10 or F12, but it varies depending on the motherboard.  The best way, really, is simply to power the computer on and observe the available options carefully while the Gateway logo appears (sometimes it displays so quickly it's difficult to hit the proper key on time).

Gateway was one of the first manufacturers to offer a restore partition directly on the hard drive.  Back in 2000 when my parents bought their first computer, you actually had to set up Adaptec's GoBack manually (as it only created backups similar to Window's System Restore feature); after a short while, they decided to place it on the drive from the factory, and other manufacturers soon followed suit.

Once you select the proper key during POST, the computer will boot from the secondary partition and afterward display the recovery options.  It will warn you that any and all data on the hard drive will be erased, as you are reverting the computer to a factory-installed state.  When you approve of the recovery, the total operating time (depending on the speed of the computer) will usually range from 30 minutes to an hour.

After the automatic reboot, you'll want to first install all Windows Updates available, then install the anti-virus of your choice (if the computer came with a trial version as most do, you will need to uninstall this first - otherwise, the two will fight for control of the computer).  Also make sure to uninstall all the crap Gateway has pre-installed on the system, like useless games and such.

The reason manufacturers restrict the creation of more than one backup set of discs is due to concern that users may sell them to other people who are in the unfortunate position of owning a blinking box of lights instead of a set of discs.  After the user burns the recovery discs, the program flags the recovery partition's file system using proprietary means to prevent people from resetting this flag and thus allowing them to burn multiple copies.  It was realized early on that a simple registry entry is simply too easy to find and modify.

It may have a restore partition on the hard drive.  When you first boot the computer, you'll see a few prompts that say "Hit [some key] for setup" and so forth.  If you see an option here labeled "system recovery", "recovery console", or "GoBack" then can try this.

Yeah Gateway are still in business (or they were earlier this year)