What is Slammed?          

The topic here is OS recovery!
It mostly means someone (even the previous owers) erased the HDD or just  erased the HP_recovery partitions)
Most times you end up here, due to PC will not boot or F11 dead or you get blue screens of death; called BSOD's.        
This means, that the bad guy
used the wrong install media, not from HP, or erased the HDD  (or replaced his dead HDD with a new blank HDD, and is fate, not a bad guy.)
Slamming simply means the PC is no longer 100% HP authentic, like it came new , with a fresh clean OS (operating system) I am not talking infections here that is bad luck, not slamming.
Nobody sells a new HDD preloaded with your OS for your matching PC, nobody so forget that idea. 
Some times slamming is necessary on old PC , no HP media kits sold now, and the HDD died, sure this is now mandatory so,  get  a newer OS.

Starting in 2006 HP
ended free "Comes with"  recovery disks. (it's now the recovery partition F10 (old say 2006) or newer PC with F11 hot key commanded by you)  Power on , hammer F11 and bingo HP recovery.
The F11 magic recovery key (not found Pre year 2006) can be working or dead, if dead, some times the PC has been slammed. (or unauthorized updated OS, HP said NO)
Sorry your 15 year old COMPAQ never had a F11 key nor the matching partition it launches. (here is what the look like, and I always look first if F11 is dead , I DO)
There is one cute hack for 2006 up PCs by HP if the F11 key is dead (BIOS bugs?) and that is using a boot CD/DVD or USB stick, and using FDISK to set the  HP_Recovery to ACTIVE status, using Gparted works too.
This trick may work if lucky run the OS installer resident inside that Recover partition.  (keep in mind we have a dead PC ) so we must use other boot media to do things. (some older bios will not boot to a 2nd partition)
If this partition is not at least or near 8GBytes, it is  corrupted if size or see MB sized it is missing most or all the files in that paritition,  you can look using linux boot or n 7/8/10 PE live boot windows.(hidden sys files turned off)
The following things must work and play out in order for the F11 RECOVERY process  to be a success. (pure  computer logic end to end)
  • PC power supplies must be good, the laptop HUGE  battery must  not be bad or shorted as most are old, remove it , now, the PC Laptop will run forever on AC power.
  • The PC must not be bad fan. as seen here on the overheating page.
  • The Coin cell battery (HP calls it the RTC, real time clock battery or CMOS battery ) must not be dead, or BIOS fails and all do from 5 to 10 years old, some less.
  • If all that is ok, then most times the F11 magic key at least responds to your demands, power on , hammer F11 and it goes to the recovery page.  If not most times the HDD is bad, or was slammed. (or BSOD's)
  • The HP recovery partition must not be missing or corrupted, or erased using MS install disk as is so easy to do using the wrong media.
  • If the recovery partition is ok  and the PC healthy , then the recover process is successful, and the PC boots and runs like new, as is the reason F11 was invented.
  • If the HDD is bad or suspected to be bad, the F11 key is hopeless. We test the HDD like seen here, and then replace it if bad and use these 9 choices for install media.
  • Last we can look at the HDD structures and may see things missing.
Know that slamming causes 2 serious issues,  A Dead OS,  or vast things in the PC fail to work right or at all,, due to all those precious HP only drivers, missing.
Learn that Microsoft did not make your PC, HP DID !  (keep that fact in mind at all times)


What is Slammed?,  By my coinage.... only... and 100% HP centric. (can also be called BRICKING MY PC)  ,< (as smart as  brick or sock full of rocks)
There are 2 forms of slammed here, slammed BIOS by flashing it.  do not flash your BIOS, there are 100s of (1000s counting XP corrupted, etc) that can make any PC fail, but this is not in the top 10, EVER !
Slamming the BIOS or Slamming the OS are 2 sure ways to mess up any PC made.
This is not about the more common failures caused by Viruses or Malware. That I will never cover. (or shorted main Laptop batteries as they love to do ,  or PC packed  up in lint overheating)

Slamming is what the (JOKES ! sorry) bad guy Alex Dunning, did, you !  (it's like the owner of a car using water or antifreeze for engine oil, he slammed his engine)
If the PC shows blink codes or beeps you need to write them down and look them up or get help.  If the code  is "no boot happened" then we are here already, no boot and F11 dead.
BIOS beeps and blink codes are covered here...  (an arcane topic)

F11 is the official HP 2006 and newer PCs HP OS recovery mode, (OS means operating system , no matter the version (XP up for sure)
You power the PC on  and hammer the F11 key( if using stinking wireless keyboard, stop using it or put in fresh batteries in it now)
You hammer the F11 key at the seconds after power key is pressed and the BIOS code detects you doing that and then launches the hidden from your,  HP Recovery software located in the C:/HP recovery/ partition.
If any part of that partition is damage, (called corruption) the recovery will fail as will any form of a bad HDD.
We run full HDD test first, to see if its  bad as seen here.


Do not run F11 until you are backed up. (repair startup files is safe to data)

The F11,magic HOT key Restore is the best way to reload the OS beats all ways  hands down. (with no media in hand at all)  (power on,  hammer F11, fast after power turned on from OFF, HP has vast documents covering all this)
Given1 , BIOS is now ok, all  screens work in BIOS, (hit ESC at power on and go to all screens, are they all good?) Can you boot to a CD /DVD or other stick, F9 hot key , lets you do that. can you.?
Given2: HDD is not bad. you tested it and it is ok, I boot to knoppix 7 to test my HDD, using my F9 boot to Knoppix USB memory stick.

  1. Microsoft told you to upgrade to W10, now the PC is dead, the cure,  is never listen to MS ever, ask HP first ! (no, really) HP designed it and built it , NOT MICROSOFT ! The software is OEM custom software (OS).
  2. You bought a Microsoft (MS) media (dvd/stick)  and proceeded to SLAM your PC, and now has missing  drivers and all App.'s from HP missing. SEE HERE how to get correct OS.
  3. Not only that,but the MS media installer killed the HP Restore partitions dead, and now F11 is dead forever,  great huh?
  4. You used  a Dell or Toshiba OS (oper.system) disk to fix a HP PC, bingo SLAMMMED dead.
  5. You (means anyone) used a recover disk not matching your original OS or, used a media kit for some other model PC.  (they must match or it fails)  33 years of disks times 1000s of PCs. all are wrong but 1 set.
  6. You found out HP does not sell, the media kit now..  after 10 years the last (put your model PC here) was sold.    SEE HERE how to get correct OS.
  7. The bad guy  played in the MS control panel,  Disk management page and deleted files or partitions (RECOVERY) partitions;  BAM Slammed.  That page is the most dangerous of all.
  8. Installing LINUX (or other wrong OS) in and attempt (failed) to have DUAL BOOT options, and now Linux killed dead the RECOVERY partition (F11)
  9. Or Linux would not fit so someone used RESIZE partitions and now F11 is dead. (oops)
  10. HP sold PC's with OS/2 , Linux,  Windows and FreeDos... what you had new or have now, I've not a clue.
  11. I can list 10000 other bad things to do that kills windows dead. but I will not... ReInstall the OS, per HP instructions here.

The main BIOS prompt show this  Screen reminds me every day I boot up with this text there.
I can set boot order there, do so .

F11 is restore factory OS feature by HP

Some get confused, when the display is dead thinking its BIOS dead? (first test the SCREEN /Display)

Or the monitor is dead.


More Pitfalls. (to install any new OS on newer PC with UEFI rules,  turn off SAFE BOOT FIRST)

Thinking the BIOS HARD DISK TEST IS EFFECTIVE. If it fails. sure, it is a bad drive, but not if it passes!,
Try to know that a full test of any HDD modern can take all day long to run and will end up with a 100% erased HDD !) 
But not this Linux live boot , run the Smart tests and disk tests safely.

If the HDD is bad why think F11 can work? , it will fail 2 ways, the recover data is corrupted and the install will fail because the delivery fails will self corrupted ( a double damned mode)

Back to Slamming and STRUCTURES: (most are hidden until you set CP "file explorer options" + View to unhide all files.)  CP means control panel.
 This section here is just to explore your HDD, look Ma' the 2 partitions are missing or empty, oops we be SLAMMED ! end why F11 is dead. (easy no?)

One sure way to kill the F11 key dead as a door nail is mess with this...

This is a W7 Disk Management menu, and please note the 4 partitions here.  Do not delete them.  I that clear? 
If  you slam this PC HDD, with any Microsoft install disk it will do damage to HP structures...! here, USE HP RESTORE only. (or real HP sold media kits) 
With Linux booted like in any Live CD, made,  we see the  same deal below.
The OS recovery is in the so called partition, by the same name it's like a virtual HP install disk, hidden until the  F11 key  is hit.(at power on)
The HP_tools are just that, and important and inside is your BIOS backup file.  (be crazy to delete that, no?)
This is what I call Slamming the HDD. (killing dead the core HP files forever)

Most times this happens with folks using non HP install disk ( MS disk love to kill dead, HP structures)

W7  Disk Management screen . Run box diskmgmt.msc (short cut)  Noted the HP_Tools added later, not in XP.
to get this partition to boot right click it and pick make this partition ACTIVE.


This is XP's diskmgmt.msc status above,  best is not to delete this partition, so you  can recover XP for free. (XP/ VISTA.;/W7,8,10)

The BIOS restore is here too, so I you delete this partition , the Day1 BIOS file is now GONE.  HP put these file here, if deleted bad happens now or later.
HP has feature now to go back to older BIOS FW flash, and finds it here, so don't delete these file, heck back them up!
HP magic BIOS backup sections.
To see these files below using any windows XP up PC, 2006 up, you must turn off in folder views, hide boxes.  uncheck all hide boxes and then you can look.
The below folder is 8GB, on new PC its 25GB.  If these files are missing then this system has corruption or was slammed. (owners deleted things they do not understand or the HDD was replace and bam all this ends.)


If  you make this partition 'ACTIVE" , it may boot to this partition (use BIOS boot order to do that)  and launch the HP Recovery Manager hidden inside. ( I use Windowsa  10 PE boot DVD and do this in diskmanager)
Using Win7PE live boot, I go to diskmanager , and right click X:/HP_Recovery  ,  and pick make partition ACTIVE, or use command line seen here. ( if your OS is dead you must boot to Win PE disk or do this in Linux.)
newer PC.
I am told that  HP does not allow cloning this partition above to SSD, with the top 4 cloning tools because it checks disk size, and partition codes, and more and blocks you: Here is  linux trick that DD clones the above partition and works (maybe)
But there is an HP only way to do this.
  • Do not touch original HDD yet but do run the HP Recovery Manager now (if dead , RIP) and make  full backup to using HPRM to  DVD-R
  • Now take out old HDD and put in new SSD
  • Boot to above new DVD-R (BIOS boot order set or F9 key for boot choices (HP magic keys)
  • Recover to SSD, and all done now, and F11 still works on new SSD.
To image my PC,  if the original is not corrupted, as may be in the case after 5 years old HDD or more.
So I use EaseUS, TODO Backup v11 Free. (the free version has limits and a speed throttle)
I will test this TODO , and image my W10 home PC to my huge server.  (The program TODO does work, but will need huge space on the target (in my case) NAS system drive.50GB space, in my case.)
The TODO is powerful medicine. I can mount the image file, fubar.pbd   (open(o) and  double click it and retrieve even 1 file,  or a group,  with 1 click. or 2.


The free verson is fast enough for me, I can take a nap, at any time.

You can install any OS you want, if lucky and willing to fetch all the missing drivers or ignore dead chips, 

Here are all 9 ways to get a fresh OS, when the above fails or happens or is slammed.

No lie , I can install the OS fresh with say a fresh  new Retail boxed MS Windows 7 install media , no problems after I get all the missing drivers that MS does not have. (endless that)
I get them from HP first, if after 10 years HP shut down the support page for THIS PC, then I get them from the chip makers, seen there this way.
Done this 1000s of times, but no more, I'm the retired guy.

XP ended in 2014,  It's dead Jim.

Avoid XP its a virus magnet and the PnP servers are DOWN NOW !

Vista was shut down spring 2017, a hard cold fact of life and will impact you soon.

Vista as unique feature, no recover modes. (wow what  great idea that, not)





Hope this helps someone, anyone, good luck !

version 2.  5-9-2017  (revised 11/16/2017 , shorter)