HP Pavilion 6300F Recovery DVDs - NOTHING ON THEM!!

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by ChrisCoaster, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. ChrisCoaster

    ChrisCoaster Guest

    Last weekend my Pavilion - Vista SP1 32 Bit - suffered blunt trauma
    injury - do not ask, but the harddrive failed. Went to Bestbuy to
    have them recover data - couldn't. Brought in the recovery DVDs(3)
    that I burned upon removing the PC from the box in 2008. At that time
    I followed ALL PROMPTs regarding buring either a dozen CDs or up to 3
    DVDs as recovery vehicles. Disc 1 was finished, it prompted me for
    Disc 2, I put that in, and so on.

    Turns out the DVDs are empty. There's NOTHING on them. How the F%$
    did that happen? Now I have to call HP for the discs(they're
    relatively cheap) but I just don't get it.

    ChrisCoaster, Jun 22, 2011
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  2. ChrisCoaster

    Paul Guest

    This is one of the problems I have with recovery media. The
    insistence you can burn only one copy, from the recovery partition.
    It's a stupid limitation. It doesn't allow for the possibility
    that the optical burner hasn't been tuned up yet (i.e. latest
    firmware installed).

    When I burned the recovery media for my laptop, I "imaged" the
    DVDs immediately and stored the images on a separate hard drive.
    If the crappy media I used, fails later (so-called "bit rot"), then
    I burn new DVDs, using the backup copy of the disc I made after
    burning it.

    Now, that being said, I neglected to check the media, to see
    if there was anything on it :) So I could well have backed
    up a "giant source of zeros" and wouldn't have noticed.

    It is too bad, the recovery set burning process, doesn't carefully
    verify the burn and make sure all is well. If it did, you could
    then back up those optical discs, confident that if the discs
    go missing, you'll have them stored on a hard drive (somewhere).

    There are tools for doing data recovery on optical media,
    but I don't really want to go down that path :) It might
    look like there is nothing there, but it might be that
    virtually everything is there, and a single bit is missing.
    Or, the session wasn't finalized or something.

    Paul, Jun 23, 2011
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  3. ChrisCoaster

    ChrisCoaster Guest


    Thanks Paul, very informative. Now my next question is - where would
    the recovery utility reside should I decide to create the disks at a
    *later* date - read - several months after the PC has been purchased,
    but still no serious problems?

    And secondly, I just purchased a Toshiba 500GB USB drive - can I store
    the recovery to that - or must I still use DVDs/CDs?

    Thanks, you've already given me a UCONN MIS degree's worth of info so
    far in just a few paragraphs. :)

    ChrisCoaster, Jun 27, 2011
  4. ChrisCoaster

    Paul Guest

    I only have experience with the process on an Acer laptop
    I was given.

    When a machine comes new, there might be three
    partitions on the hard drive. One partition is C:, which is
    what the user can use immediately.

    When using such a computer, a popup dialog may appear soon
    afterwards, suggesting the user burn "recovery media". One of the
    three partitions, contains that information. It might not be an ISO
    file as such. Just loose files, compressed, which can be converted
    into an image to be burned.

    The Recovery media burner is supposed to pester you, until you
    make your one copy. Such a scheme reduces the work for the manufacturer
    when they get product returns, as the user can't "hijack" the discs,
    and the hard drive can be "resealed" before the next user is shipped
    the same product.

    On a Vista or Windows 7 machine, the recovery media burner will
    burn three DVDs or so. That's how many my laptop needed. Three
    single layer DVDs. Or about 15GB of data. I think a fourth disc was
    used for driver files (but why exactly, wasn't clear to me, as
    they should already be installed in the other three discs).

    On some earlier OSes, it might be a single CD of some sort.
    Vista and Windows 7 are huge.


    Now, say the fateful days comes along, the hard drive fails.
    The average user, ignored the dialog box offering to burn
    recovery media, and just used and enjoyed the computer.

    In that case, you contact the manufacturer and get their
    pre-burned recovery media. The charge for it, can range up
    to around $50 or so.

    If you plug in a recovery DVD, it is going to

    1) Potentially wipe the drive. This is fine if the drive is
    brand new and empty, but not so fine if the drive has
    email and user files on it. Before using the recovery process,
    you back up the user files somewhere. Some manufacturers offer
    options for this, so that data recovery is included in the process.
    But worst case, the recovery process is "nuclear" and erases
    everything on the primary drive. On my laptop, I remove the
    2.5" SATA drive from the bay, lay it next to my desktop machine,
    run over a SATA power and data cable, and then I can do work on
    the disc (I did that for a backup, but the procedure can also
    be used for maintenance, like saving the email files). That's
    the nice thing about laptops with SATA drives, the cables in
    your desktop are ready to use with the laptop drive.

    2) The recovery media may choose to re-install the recovery partition.
    This is in case the recovery discs again go missing (or are destroyed),
    the hard drive is working, and the user seeks to "level and reload".
    You can boot the computer from the recovery partition, and it will
    offer to do much the same as in (1).

    So really, it's a lot of variations on the theme of returning the
    disk to its "factory state", clean.


    On my Acer, I was offered one other option. I'd burned my three
    recovery DVDs (15GB) and driver disc, but then a *Microsoft* dialog
    popped up. It wanted me to prepare a "Repair CD". That is a CD, that
    when booted, can automatically repair the boot partition on the hard
    drive. This is for accidents, where the computer will no longer
    boot. That CD also has a Command Prompt option, which allows DOS-like
    commands to be issues. If you needed to back up some registry files,
    or move in an empty set of registry files, you could do that via
    the Repair CD. The Repair CD is around 200MB, and is a bare boot
    disc. It will not re-install the 15GB of data.

    The Vista or Windows 7 Repair CD, can also work on a WinXP partition,
    but only the Command Prompt works then. I've tested that once.

    So I burned a total of five disks, over a two day period.

    (3) single layer DVD, 15GB total roughly, Windows 7 image for C:
    (1) single layer DVD (driver files, may be useful if reinstalling
    using a retail Windows disc, otherwise useless).
    (1) Microsoft Repair CD, for command prompt work.

    If I lost my recovery DVDs, or they got bit rot, and I had to contact
    Acer, they'd probably send the first three. If I used those, that would
    be sufficient to return the hard drive to "factory state", complete with
    a recovery partition that could be used to reload C:, even without
    the recovery media (either prepared or bought).


    In some cases, the recovery partition is in a well known format.
    In one case, it was related to Ghost. That would make it pretty
    easy to examine what is stored in there.

    But in other cases, manufacturers have resorted to the most arcane
    schemes imaginable. One company, uses MBR switching, and a partition
    hidden with an HPA or Host Protected Area. Only their own BIOS,
    knows how to switch that in and out, and if the MBR or alternate
    are damaged, you could be in a mess.


    To the unaided eye, the HPA disk drive looks "smaller than normal". The
    end of the disk has been moved down. This leaves a hidden area,
    where normal utilities can't get at it.

    To compound matters, many motherboards (like my Asus motherboards),
    if I were to slave up an HPA-protected disk to the computer, the
    BIOS locks it and prevents OS level modification to the HPA. That's
    done, to prevent malware from making its own HPA. So you can't necessarily
    unlock the hidden area, with just any computer.

    The end result is, it can be very difficult, and top-level rocket
    scientist work, to get at the data in there.

    So some recovery partitions, are dead easy to examine. Others,
    not so much. In the case of the company doing the MBR switching
    and HPA, that was a smaller firm selling computers. And they
    changed the recipe with each generation of hardware they made.
    Needless to say, a user would be well advised to ask questions
    about the product and its recovery capabilities, when such
    stupid setups are being used. You'd think twice before
    buying into something that tough to work on. It's just possible,
    your local computer store wouldn't want to work on it.
    (There are a couple command line utilities for working on HPAs,
    and I'm not aware of any tools with an actual GUI. So it's
    pretty 1980's style stuff. It means, while you're working
    on the disk, you have no browser to do searches on the

    Some computer brands, have great third party web pages to
    support them. This is an example. HP has their user to user
    forum, but I don't know if it goes into this much detail.


    Paul, Jun 27, 2011
  5. ChrisCoaster

    Paul Guest

    The basic architecture is here. It's hard to see how it's falling over,
    unless something like RPC (remote procedure call) was broken, and if
    that was broken, the machine would probably stop working altogether.


    Maybe the act of printing, has caused the print spooler to damage something
    it uses as a resource. So it's not a direct interaction as such (web browser
    pokes spooler in the eye), but more indirect (spooler "eats bad ravioli" and dies).
    So maybe it's something malformed, going to the spooler.

    "Enable or disable logging of printing events"

    I don't know if turning on the logging of "informational events" would help.

    Personally, I'd rather the printing subsystem just had a log file you could
    look at, in plain English. I'm not a big fan in general, of Event Viewer
    and other forms of System Logging, as they're a hindrance rather than a help.

    Paul, Oct 5, 2011
  6. ChrisCoaster

    ChrisCoaster Guest


    Application errors immediately leading up to the print spooler errors:
    Faulting application spoolsv.exe, version 6.0.6002.18294, time stamp
    0x4c6a9898, faulting module hpz3r64X.dll, version, time
    stamp 0x492a7a47, exception code 0xc0000005, fault offset 0x001029d9,
    process id 0x6c4, application start time 0x01cc835039c9831e.

    Print spooler error details itself(not the notification, the actual
    failed to print and was deleted because of corruption in the spooled
    file. The associated driver is: HP Deskjet F4100 series. Try printing
    the document again.

    Clear as mud? :D

    Again this was not happening until I kicked my PC in anger in June and
    had to replace the hard drive and recover the OS. Also to this day my
    Printer's Introductory window occasionally pops up asking me if I want
    to register the 4100 with HP! I already did that aeons ago!!

    Is there really no solution other than to just buy a new PC?

    ChrisCoaster, Oct 6, 2011
  7. ChrisCoaster

    ChrisCoaster Guest

    Aaand...I've reinstalled the printer driver too many times to count.


    ChrisCoaster, Oct 6, 2011
  8. ChrisCoaster

    Paul Guest

    Well, getting an error number is a good start.

    spoolsv.exe 0xc0000005


    "This problem occurs if you have many .SHD and .SPL files in the spool directory"

    While it's fun to think it is a directory problem, the fact a printer driver
    file is mentioned makes it less likely.


    Microsoft offers their Fixit service.


    Select Windows, "Print fax scan share or save"

    In the printing problems section, it mentions

    You receive an error indicating your Print Spooler service is experiencing problems

    So it's worth a shot, but again, with that printer driver name being
    in the error message, the Fixit isn't likely to help. It's probably
    an HP problem, rather than a Microsoft problem, and the Fixit can't
    "reach into HP territory" and fix a plumbing problem. It's more likely
    to jiggle the various Microsoft bits (i.e. empty the spool directory,
    turn the spooler off and on, and so on).

    And we know from bitter experience, that uninstalling and reinstalling
    the printer driver won't help. And the reason is, the registry will
    have crap in it, which won't get corrected.


    I was hoping

    spoolsv.exe 0xc0000005 hpz3r64X.dll

    in a search would turn up something, but no real luck yet.

    Paul, Oct 6, 2011
  9. ChrisCoaster was thinking very hard and all he could come up with was:
    Or maybe just rebuild the one you have piece by piece
    I'm beginning to think you may have overcorrected its behavior ;)

    -There are some who call me...

    "Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's
    - Isaac Asimov
    James D Andrews, Oct 6, 2011
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