How to Restore using HP Vista Home Premium Recovery Manager
Posting this because I could find NO answer to this. Hope it helps somebody else.
Had a HP Pavilion notebook running Vista Home Premium that failed an update rendering the laptop unusable. (Tracking that sad fact down is another story.) But a wipe and reload using the Recovery Manager was in order. Upon pressing F11 at reboot, I went through the process, using the built in backup facility that was included.
However, after the recovery, finding out how to restore these files proved difficult. One HP page titled “Using HP Backup and Recovery Manager” would, one would think tell you how to backup, but it suggests you instead go to another link titled “How to Back up User Files” which has a section titled “Backing up your files using HP Recovery Manager” AND it tells you precisely how to do it. But it never tells you a thing about how to RESTORE!
HP chat support was more than useless: they told me it was really a Windows backup (which it wasn’t) and suggested I read “HP Notebook PCs – Use Windows Basic Backup and Restore Center to Back Up Files in Vista” – wrong! Then they said that I had to use the HP Backup and Recovery Manager which is only available on HP “business notebooks” — presuming those with Windows Vista Business or better. Finally, they suggested I do a recovery – doh! I just had!! [As an aside, I was delighted that HP sent me a survey to complete, but found when I went to it, the site was broken with any browser I used. Sheesh!!]
So, with only another Nerds* guidance I went about solving this through trial and error. What I noticed was that the Recovery Backup had stored the stuff in a directory called “\MINWINPC\Backup Files 2008-10-16 143543” It created in this folder two files: Backup001.exe and Backup002.fbw
Interestingly, the exe file was larger than the fbw file; a whopping 3.6GB. Hovering over it indicated that it had a file description of “RestoreWiz Application” with a file version of 126.96.36.199
So, having no other choice I double clicked the EXE file and waited while it tried to load that big file. Vista prompted me to see if I should allow the file to run. I said, okay.
It ran through the same process as the original backup, asking if I wanted to restore a series of file types with checkboxes. As I had backed all up, I left them all checked.
It indicated that it was going to put all of the files into a folder \System Recovery files. In that folder was a file called RestoreWiz.txt which had a very large log of what had taken place during the restore. Amazingly, it had a lot more than just data, it had 5.2 GB of everything from Program Files to Device Drivers, all stuffed recursively into a folder called “C”. I used this to salvage user data files and will scrap the rest.
*Thanks to James Perih, Nerds On Site for his helpful suggestions and for being a sounding board!