HP Compaq Recovery Manager F11

The arrival of the “recovery manager” on new computers is heaven sent. Very often it becomes an extremely good idea to just wipe everything and start brand new (geesh, don’t you we wish we all had “recovery manager” for other aspects of life). But the problem is, many companies are still not embracing or implementing the technology properly. It can often be a pain in the arse to figure out when, where, and what to press in order to load the “recovery manger”.

I spent a good three hours today trying to figure out why the hell the F11 – Recovery Manager button on my Compaq does not work.

All the instructions on HP sites said it should load the “Recovery Manager” when you press it, but for mine it did not.

Finally I found instructions here.

Instructions are as follows:

I know how to activate if F11 does not help to start recovery.
If U can access to START > Control Panel > Administrative tools or shorter way:
START > run > compmgmt.msc and press enter
then Disk management
Find which is recovery partition
Make Mark partition as Active
Then restart pc.

Thanks to mindas22.

These instructions are a workaround. You are basically running the hidden recovery partition as a main drive. What the hell happened to the F11 function?? I don’t know.

  • Fib1123

    Thanks for posting this! Solved a seemingly never-ending battle!

  • John

    Thanks Vinh!
    It helps me, great work!

  • no me funciona internet explorer ¿será por no instalar recovery manager o que relación existe?

    You saved meeeee!!!!
    Thank you man!

  • ZatW17

    Thanks helped a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hlvhung

    Hi all, I do same above but when restart, my PC shows message “NTLDR missing Press Ctrl+Alot+Del to restart”. I don’t know how to recovery it
    Please help me
    Thanks a lot

  • @hlvhung – sounds like you picked the wrong partition to boot from. That’s bad news… Here is the cure from microsoft: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/228004

  • Ritchi3

    You sir, are awesome.

  • Thank you so much for posting this! I would have spent hours getting this to work. For those that can’t get into windows directory just search for “ubuntu mark partition as active”. Its a bitty trickier in linux but it’ll work too. Or you could do it in dos too.

  • wanb

    Men! u r a genius, encountered same problm, tried it and it worked like magic, thanks sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much. Keep up the gud work gee, nuf respect…….

  • I tried to downgrade from vista to xp thinking i might get better performance out of my games on my laptop, but what a nightmare it is getting drivers to work in XP.
    In the end I gave up and tried to run the F11 recovery and to my dismay and shock nothing happens.

    The tip here worked like a charm from the RUN menu in XP.

    Vista is now reintalling to it’s orginal factory settings as I write this.

    Thanks for sharing the solution.

  • Kais

    thaks a lot for this tip :D
    you saved my day :D

  • Juan Duque

    Thanks, you saved my day

  • Pavan Khatri

    Actually i make partition myself so now not showing recovery partition then now what to do…so i will get recovery partition again…?

  • Manoj M K, KSEB Kerala

    Thank You, Very Much
    Exact solution
    Not in FAQ of HP Site

  • zeki

    Thank you. That was really helpfull.

  • Me

    I just wasted an hour trying everything to get Recovery Manager to come up…..then I read this page, tried it, and bingo….you saved me at least a few hours…..Thanks for posting this

  • David Barnes

    What a total relief!! Worked like a champ!

  • Troy Black

    Thanks Man !

  • apple11

    thanks man saved my friends laptop

  • Guss

    I tried this but my Mark partition as Active is grey i cant access it can anyone help ???

  • Ali

    thanks a lot man… F11 key wasnt working for me (compaq fail most likely) but this worked!

  • Dave

    I have crawled through a mountain of pages reading how I have to order disks and this, that and the next thing.
    You have cracked it in 8 lines and it’s working now….

    You Sir, are a God amoungst men!

    Thank you.

  • Juha

    Kiitos – Thank you! This thread saved my day and the F11 key. :=)

  • Ruzie

    I was so excited when I come across your blog. I don’t know how to mark partition active & checked this link: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/dm_active_partition.mspx?mfr=true
    But when I right-clicked, there is no ‘Mark partition as active’…. huhuhu….

    Do you think I should follow use the Command Prompt? That looks scary as I don’t know much actually…:-(

    Appreciate your help very much!

  • Partition Recovery

    Sometimes back, i also faced the same problem then my friend suggest me third party tool Stellar Windows data recovery…..its very easy to use

  • Abdul

    Thank you soooooooooo much for this.
    REally helped after at least 2 solid hours of searching the web for a solution!!


  • Ruzie

    Appreciate the info by Partition Recovery. However, in my case here all my data are not lost as I have them in my Seagate external hard drive. My main problem now is to reformat my HP Compaq F700 laptop. The F11 doesn’t work and now I can’t even ‘Mark partition as active’…. Please help.

  • Honoré

    Thanks Vinh!
    It helps me, great work!

  • Alex

    Hey, I have Set the Recovery drive partiton to Active and then i restarted my PC but then what do you press, beacause it justs boots to windows 7 again?

  • Uri


    You’re Good!

    what a tip!
    it worked like magic.

  • Nick

    Thank you. I was trying to recover and found this article. I’ll add you as a fav

  • rick s

    man can I buy you a beer or 12
    saved my a$$

  • Shah

    vinhboy if you are evern in the bay area please mail me I owe you a beer

  • Hammodie_85

    thank you big time

  • Bido


  • Bhanu

    congrates i done it

  • Mike

    very nice, that did the trick. i owe ya a cup o-joe. midnightpc.com

  • Nosorry

    what if you can’t even get into windows?

  • buddy

    buddy it really works…….thnx alot

  • buddy

    buddy it really works…….thnx alot

  • Suranga


  • Joealley

    Thanks a lot.  You save me a lot of time in recovering my laptop to it’s factory setting. :)

  • Asasas

     Thank you so much, this was the perfect solution! 

  • Woozy

    Two thumbs up. WAY up!

  • Rsuri

    its really work thanks boss

  • Pamelajkirby

    Having similar problems, but the above fixes don’t work for me.  I have a Compaq Notebook PC laptop, with Windows 7 operating system. Cannot find Recovery Manager (eg not coming up in the start all programes menue), and F11 doesn’t work either. I am sure I found it before, but it must be well hidden under something that is not obvious to me. Help! 

  • Ta9979

    can someone awnser this question, ll i see are thx for the first solution is there anyone paying attention or cares about this awnser?

  • Shorthotshailesh

    yah yah bt what if 
    computer is restarted bt i cant even go to the windows

  • my frnd has another prob 
    he has deleated the compaq recovrey foldre
    so at to do now
    plzzzzzzzzzz help

  • Tech

    If you can’t get in to Windows, you can boot to a CD with a free tool like GParted and use that to set the Recovery Partition as Active/Primary.

    You can find GParted and other partition tools on boot discs like Hirens. (http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/)

  • Littleneary

    worked. bastard.

  • Dagoberto

    Thanks a Lot! This notebook is a piece of shit!

  • Xxxx

    it’s amazing you are the best it works

  • Paulinedaugharty45

    My favorites toolbar is gone.  I see the “yellow star” but it won’t open.  What’s up wioth that???

  • Hossein_darayi

    “make mark partition as active” not enable

  • aaron

    F11 worked for me.  Try that first just as your computer is booting just after POST.  If that doesn’t work you can try the more hard core option of changing the bootable partition.  

  • Hugosantiago85

    Did not work for me, computer stuck on blank screen:

    Missing operating sustem,
    Now what ?

  • Mikeopp

    Thanks, Why didn’t I think of that. worked great Did have to run a boot cd to make recovery unactive afterwards

  • Ahsan_dow

    what if i accidentally delete that partiton?? now is there any way to get that recovery drive back?

  • Ccabandor

    YES!!!!! thanks it worked!

  • Kkhamjani

    type in “recovery” and do a search, compaq recovery manager will show up

  • Mortisuo

    After setting the partition active i rebooted to safemode with command prompt and the recovery manager started automatically

  • Ashen

    You made a mistake, does your recovery partition have an application or was it a folder like something written “HP_RECOVERY”?

    The thing is if it was a folder it will no longer work, and of course if
    you make that partition active it will give an error that no operating
    systems are found.

    If you have the HP_Recovery as a application then it must work. I am
    100% sure cause i tried it in my laptop mines is a hp pavilion dv6000  .


    GOOD LUCK !!!!

  • NM kelkar

    it did not work on 4430s laptop, HP recovery partition can not be made active, it is a dynamic disk containing 5 partitions

  • Kurt

    It works like a charm! Thank You vinhboy!!

  • oh dude.. thanks so much.. r’lly.. you did save ma’ PC xD.. God Blss ‘u

  • Jafri

    Another solution if this doesn’t work

    Try to get any vista cd from a friend or just download it, then boot from the vista cd, at the screen when you are asked which drive to install vista on, click on advanced then select your main partition (c:) and click format in order to delete the current version of windows. After formatting drive c you can restart and hit F11, now it will give you the original manufacturer recovery screen and you can do a factory reset. This method worked for me after hours of online search for a solution. Good luck

  • Richard R

    Great work, thanks. I had a formatted c: drive with no recovery disks and after booting mini xp from Hirens I was able to make partition active and it reinstalled Vista. Cheers