General Question

Ela's avatar

Can I download a System Recovery/Restore online?

Asked by Ela (6492points) January 20th, 2013

I crashed my sons’ computer. I was trying to uninstall Google Chrome (because the computer would shut down every time you tried to open it) and I am now unable to even get Windows to open. It now opens to a black screen and a system message saying something about copyright, check the cable connection and “No bootable device – Insert boot disk and press any key”.

Is there someplace online I can go to download the boot disk? I went to the Toshiba website, it has a bunch of downloads available. I’ve no idea if what I need is there or even available. I narrowed the search with the model number but I don’t know which one to choose (I’m thinking either an Application or Utility? none were titled ‘system’ though). The list is lengthy and I’m not even sure if I can download the drivers on my desktop, burn them to a CD, then use it to recover the system on his laptop.

I don’t know what to do when going in manually with the F keys. Plus if it’s possible I’d like to have the boot disc for future use. This is the third time it’s crashed (the first two times it was under warranty).

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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12 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The recovery disc may already be on the computer, there may be a special partition on the computer. Is there a friendly computer shop near, it does not have to be Toshiba?

elbanditoroso's avatar

How old is the son’s machine?

The reason i ask: most computers (desktop or laptop) manufactured in the last several years did NOT come with physical DVD or CD system disks. Rather, they were shipped with a small (hidden) partition on the hard drive that holds a complete Restore file.

You would invoke that by hitting one of the F-keys right during the boot process. (which you have told us will fail). You need to power down and power back up; when the BIOS is loading, you ought to see a message (“Press F10 to restore”) or something like that.

That is if your machine was sold with that partition and if you haven’t messed with your partitions over the years.

The specific F-key to press depends on the manufacturer and the BIOS that they used. Go to the computer manufacturer’s website and read the documentation.

Some but by no means all manufacturers have downloadable rescue disks.

Note that you can borrow a Windows disk from a friend, or even download from some of the major torrent sites, in order to get Windows running and rescuable. One could argue that you have a registered copy (and registration number) and you aren’t trying to pirate anything.

Bottom line, if your computer has a hidden partition, you have it made. If not, download the torrent fo a system image and install it.

Ela's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Yes, the recovery is supposed to be built in the computer but I don’t know how to get to it. On the previous 2 crashes, it (the recovery) would get to 40&ish and fail. I ended up sending it back to the company both times. I think an F key took me to the recovery option but none have this time.

@elbanditoroso It’s just over a year old. It more than likely has a partition like you described. F2 at boot brings up a generic screen with different tab options (main, security, power, management, advanced, boot, exit). I have no idea what to do in there so I have left it be. F12 brings up the boot menu.

Ela's avatar

F12 worked for the HHD Recovery, “Starting Windows” came up but did not open.
Now it’s back to the “Insert boot disk” screen.

There are couple good service stores. I’m wondering if it would be worth it or if I should get a new lappy.
I’m also wondering about burning a disc for my desktop in case I have difficulty with it in the future.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The computer may not boot from a DVD, only the recovery disk on the partition.

Ela's avatar

Now it goes from starting windows right into the boot dick screen.

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jerv's avatar

Each model has a slightly different recovery disc, so a model number might help us help you.

And yes, recovery discs are always good to have. First thing I did with both of my computers was to burn a couple of sets just in case I needed to replace the hard drive; an act that would render a recovery partition moot.

Ela's avatar

@jerv It’s a Toshiba Satellite L755-S5256 laptop.
Replacing the driver would be less expensive than buying a new laptop, I think. I’d still need to reinstall the drivers correct?

jerv's avatar

“Drive” or “driver”? HUGE difference. One is programming, the other hardware.

If it’s just a software issue (in other words, Windows broke) then a recovery disc will wipe the drive, reinstall a working copy of Windows, and all of the drivers required to make an L755 work right, and it will install it all automatically.

If it’s a hardware problem (like hardware failure; for instance, the hard drive broke) then a new hard drive would still be cheaper than a new laptop, and the L755 is new enough to be worth the repair cost.

Look at this and you will have the answer you your original question in the second post:

“if laptop is working, you can burn the discs yourself. Recovery information is in a hidden hard drive partition.

you can also run recovery when booting up laptop. need to press F12 (or some Fn key, can’t remember which for Toshiba). you will lose all your data when doing a recovery so backup your data.

there is no free download. you can buy the discs from Toshiba for about $25 US. ”

That search also yielded this : it looks to me like you will be contacting Toshiba and paying them $25 for recovery discs.

FYI, Toshiba gives you the tools and the instructions to make your own recovery discs before something (hardware issue, malware infection…) happens, and the Quick-start guide advises you to do so.

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