How to Reset HP Pavilion Recovery CD One Limit Restriction

/* Posted August 12th, 2008 at 8:30am    */
/* Filed under How-To    */

Many HP desktops nowadays don’t ship with any restore CDs any longer. Instead, they use a hidden disk partition at your own hard disk’s memory cost to hold the recovery data at several gigs worth too. Users are allowed to make a CD or DVD recovery disc but that is a one-time operation due to licensing agreements with Microsoft without any way to reset the restriction. While I don’t recommend you to burn 13 CD-Rs to make your recovery disc, 2-3 DVD-Rs is a welcome security in case any misfortune should befall upon your computer. Plus once you do so you can repartition and free up the recovery partition to recover some memory back (at your own risk of course). But what happens when you encounter an error during the burn process? Or you lose your recovery CDs? Or the HP recovery disc maker software gets corrupted somehow?

If this should ever happen to you, you’re in luck because there is a solution to reset the one limit restriction:

  1. Download the recovery reset patch.
  2. Extract the contents and run extracted file “ResetRmc.exe”. NOTE: This is a very small file that executes very quickly so you may not even detect that it did anything
  3. Now try to run the Recovery CD/DVD Disc Maker again, the one limit restriction will be reset and you will be able to make a recovery disk again

If the computer was restored at any point using a burned recovery CD this patch will not work. In that instance, the only backup media available for the customer is the D: recovery partition. Attempting to run the ResetRmc.exe patch in this instance causes the “Incorrect Password Specified” error message to appear.


105 Responses to “How to Reset HP Pavilion Recovery CD One Limit Restriction”

  • Comment from jatt

    what is the password for file ?

  • Comment from adm_snackbar

    Sorry for the omission. Changed the zip package and instructions so no password is needed. Download the new file and try again.

  • Comment from Michael

    Thank You Very Very much!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment from kukubird

    It cant work in my HP pavilion dv5 series laptop =( why? becauseof VISTA? any other patch available?

  • Comment from Trevor

    I set it so there wasn’t a quest on my computer because my mom likes to go look at horoscopes and get viruses on her computer I didn’t want her doing it in my guest account so I’m left with my own account I can’t log into. The problem started with my iTunes library where this specific password stopped working then many files of an online video game and now my account. Is there a password changing virus? I played with my computers files and stuff to try and set up a iPhone app remote. I changed my Network name and stuff but I don’t think that would do this. Anyone know what could cause this. It was a very easy to remember password for me and I’m 100% sure I’m not typing it wrong.

    Can I download this from my moms computer and run it threw a flash drive?

  • Comment from Alex Ortega

    Is this patch is only for the pavilion or also works for a laptop 6019p?

  • Comment from adm_snackbar

    Can’t say for sure if it works on laptops but if you’re really in need of it, it can’t hurt to give it a try.

  • Comment from Trancy

    Thanks very much!

  • Comment from Amir

    How i can find Vista version?

  • Comment from Vista

    Not work for windows vista.

  • Comment from Eric

    Works great!

    I used with HP Pavilion dv5000

    Thanks a lot!

  • Comment from mike

    If I installed a new Vista OS, how do I install my hp software that came with the laptop?

  • Comment from Amilod

    I had this problem on my HP Pavilion after I put it in for repair and the shop stole the DVD’s from the funny container thingy built into the case This solution worked for me:

    Find the two copies of the file HPCD.sys, one is in your recovery disk root folder, the other is in …Windows\SMINST. Rename the files HPCD.bak

    Run the recovery manager and it should now work OK.

    I take no responsibility if anything goes wrong tho’ LOL.

  • Comment from Martin

    Worked great on a Pavilion, I’m guessing its just a registry key the program changes?

  • Comment from Himadri Kundu

    wow rename the files hpcd.sys in both the places it worked for me as well.

  • Comment from Daniel

    Thanks it was perfect working on Vista.

  • Comment from AmoK

    Renaming HCPD.sys worked @ HP Pavilion Artist Edition. Tnx very much.

  • Comment from Salam

    It worked fine for HP pavilion laptop dv9750.

  • Comment from tarantated

    it doesnt work on hp pavillion dv6000. can u please share the source code instead or the registry key to change. btw, my dads hp pavillion is windows vista home premium. thanks.

  • Comment from knightride101

    I had the same problem with a tablet tx1000, I solved it with a Windows Vista PE (preinstalled enviroment) and edit the rename it the file, because some how the newer versions of this recovery hide these files!!!!!

  • Comment from Mickel

    On my HP Pavilion DV7-1245DX I found the HPCD.sys on the C drive in C:\program files (x86)\SMINST … renaming that file worked for me.

  • Comment from Misty

    This is probably going to sound well, retarded, how do I get to the recovery disk folder to change that file? Windows Vista does not boot.


  • Comment from aivar vahter

    works great, thank you!

  • Comment from KaiAdin

    Renaming of HPCD.sys works on my tx2000 Tablet-pc (windows vista) Thanks!

  • Comment from Kousha

    There is no HPCD.sys on my computer!!
    My computer’s hard crashed a while back, and the company (Futureshop) installed the recovery disk taken from another factory to install the OS on the new hard drive!
    My computer is Pavilion a6650f!

    Help please!

  • Comment from Bob

    Easier way to enable creating another copy of the restore cd-s.
    In windows explorer click on the restore drive – view details (make sure in folder options in the “view” tab that hide extension is NOT checked and “display system folders” IS checked. Change the file HPCD.sys to HPCD.bak.
    Go to WINDOWS folder – sub folder SMINST – do the same to the HPCD.sys file there and voila, you can create another set of restore cd-s. Do this as often as you like.

    • Comment from Steve Schlagel

      Thanks Bob!

      I tried everything else on a dv9740us Vista and your solution was the only one that worked!

  • Comment from bob

    Ooooops. looks like someone already mentioned this – sorry.

  • Comment from DEICIDE

    Grazie mille, funziona perfettamente nel Compaq NX9420

    Thanks a lot, It worked fine for Compaq NX9420.

  • Comment from Ross

    Changed the name as above worked great on Compaq SR2001NX. My 1st copy was on 14 CD’s as I did not have a DVD burner. Now only have 2 DVD’s THANKS!

  • Comment from MARK

    The patch worked for my HP DV5215 notebook. THANKS…

  • Comment from Ashmal

    thanx when changing the twa hpcd.sys to hpcd.bak it worked so fine!! thumbs up!! HP Pavilion dv5-1153i

  • Comment from ayomawdb

    not working on dv5 1125em,,, any suggestion

  • Comment from stephen

    hp sent me 2 recovery disks for vista it restored my computer once but i have to do it again but after its done with disk 2 and tries to load windows for the first time it gets so far and than the computer shuts down ive tried this 5 times already and no luck… anyone can help?

  • Comment from Paul

    This utility also worked on my HP Compaq nx9420 laptop! Thank you soooo much for this utility. Saved my butt.

  • Comment from Paul

    Hey… just wondering if anyone knows whether a recovery set of disks created on one particular nx9420 will work on another nx9420. I have a couple at the office, but one is trashed and no recovery disks were created for it. I have another one I could use to create a set, but I wasn’t sure if it was “smart” enough to tell it was created on a different laptop (perhaps via some internal ID number or something). I’m going to try it… just wondered if anyone knew that it wouldn’t work and hence save me some trouble.


  • Comment from dr. puneet

    hey guys thanks for the file….

    can any1 of u have the recovery soft installer used by HP….

    my DVDs got corrupted and before that i removed the recovery partition so now i have nothing in my hands….

  • Comment from SubtleTech

    NOTE: If you cant find (or see) the hpcd.sys file, its because you didnt follow the instructions to turn on “view system folders” in the folder options of Explorer. Folder options is under the View menu in windows explorer:

    Easier way to enable creating another copy of the restore cd-s.
    In windows explorer click on the restore drive – view details (make sure in folder options in the “view” tab that hide extension is NOT checked and “display system folders” IS checked. Change the file HPCD.sys to HPCD.bak.
    Go to WINDOWS folder – sub folder SMINST – do the same to the HPCD.sys file there and voila, you can create another set of restore cd-s. Do this as often as you like.

    • Comment from rk9

      worked perfectly first time on Compaq Presario V6000. Thank you very much!

    • Comment from Elie

      Actually, the newer models of hp do not all have the hpcd.sys. For the passed 2 and a half years I’ve been using the renaming or deleting of hpcd.sys file method which worked like a charm but recently HP has changed the way to restrict the creation of recovery discs. A few dv models do not contain hpcd.sys and all the X series do not contain the hpcd.sys. I’m a technician at a retail store that sells hp laptops and desktops and we are currently trying to find out what the new file and where the new file is to be able to resolve this issue. Will post the fix once figured out.

  • Comment from h.p. ravi

    its works fine on my hp dv4 1131tx

  • Comment from Greg

    FYI for those having trouble finding the HPCD.sys file. On my laptop, it’s located in C:\\Program Files\SMINST\HPCD.sys

  • Comment from Matt

    I can’t begin to thank you enough!

    I lost my restore CD and you never know when you might need it!

    Worked for my Packard Bell a treat.

  • Comment from GS agent

    download winrar and use it to browse the contents of your hard drive. 2 files need to be deleted: d:\hpcd.sys & either 1)c:\Windows\SMINST\hpcd.sys, 2)c:\Program Files\SMINST\hpcd.sys, or c:\Program Files(x86)\SMINST\hpcd.sys

    • Comment from Charles

      Nice… Using Winrar works.. I just tried on my HP Pavilion dv5 …

    • Comment from Anonymous

      Only delete the files hpcd.sys?
      My problem is on HP Pavilion dv6500 notebook (laptop).

  • Comment from 007

    I have a feeling that this is illegal!!!
    This might be going against the EULA you agreed on!!!!
    O O )
    | )
    — )

  • Comment from Dave

    Thanks so much for this, new notebook was demoed by the shop and I couldn’t make the restore discs – this fixed that.

  • Comment from Kai

    Thanks! Just what I needed.
    Worked grest on my HP / Compaq nc6400.

  • Comment from alfredo

    wooww.. this thg really works!!! thanks alot!!!

  • Comment from f

    got stuck with bad recovery disks on a new dv 7 1245dx but can’t create new ones even with this fix. any ideas?

  • Comment from Felis Kaarthik

    I’m loving it.. It worked for my dv-7x. I renamed the two files, one in recovery drive d:\hpcd.sys and other in c:\Program Files(x86)\SMINST\hpcd.sys

  • Comment from Tom

    well i have hp pavilion m7480n didn’t have the recovey disc bought one set of recovery disc from HP well i only load one disc and can’t load the other or if it read the disc at all. why would that happen.

    • Comment from Ameya

      I am having a problem in starting my HP Pavilion LapTop, Earlier i had a spyware for which I did the F8 / F10 option and I did installed a fresh copy of the XP from the partioned , after that it was working fine for couple of months, I had tried creating the DIsc after recovering but most of the DVD failed and it never got completed.

      Since my Laptop was running slow I tried to do a disk defragmention and it was slow so I did rebooted the system …. and that was the last time when I have seen my comp running .. I tried running in Safe mode, dos mode and the last known configuration … without any luck, so can you please please update me how to recover it thanks a ton in advance.


  • Comment from Anonymous

    Thank you SO much who ever wrote this!!!

  • Comment from Maple Leafs

    Renaming de hpcd.sys on the following places will do the trick

    Recovery Partition
    Program Files/Sminst

    The windows folder is no longer storing the hpcd.sys

    Hope this helps.

  • Comment from Mike

    Worked like a charm on my Pavilion a650y. Saved me $$. Thanks!


  • Comment from Robert

    How about on a E-machine , have bad dvd disc and need replacement xp system
    no hpcd.sys??

  • Comment from Mike

    A word of caution: if planning to install win 7 (64-bit Enterprise)have either a – verified – system disk(s) or a (in my case) Vista Home pre 64-bit. Win 7 Enterprise creates a new – 100mb – partition. The partition contains Bitlocker AND the new mbr. You will not get/”see” any errors if you want to perform a reinstall using the system restore disks and/or using a “other” windows dvd disk – the only thing you get is “a big fat Blue screen”. What you must do is to run a System repair using the Win 7 disk, remove the 100 Mb partition continue installing (again) win 7 when getting the option of formatting the disk then DO NOT format your disks! If you do, then the partition is recreated and you have to go through all the steps once more. Just press next and let the win 7 installation run. when the win 7 installation completes, reboot the pc – press F11 and voila; you are able to reset your pc to the state it was before.

    I found the above information on a non-microsoft Win 7 web site….after trying to reinstall my new laptop for 5 days (my last 5 vacation days, wife was not impressed..).

  • Comment from C0NUNDRUMM

    Thx, just got off a chat with HP and they told me I would have to purchase new ones for $20 (mine are in storage and I cannot access them right now). Following “Bob
    /* February 24, 2009 at 9:11 am */” instructions worked perfect for a dv9925nr running Vista 64 Home Premium. Thx man.

  • Comment from thiru


    this is not working for HP HDX 16t 64bit vista, i have downloaded the patch extracted it dbl click the patch i see nothing, after that i have tried the Recovery manager still i got the same problem.

  • [...] Via | Code Retard [...]

  • Comment from shannon

    thank you so so much you are a hp life saver

  • Comment from anto

    Any news about the DV6-2007 series..thanks

  • Comment from tomi

    in pavilion dv-2 1010AU i cant find d:\hpcd.sys ===> the partition now gone after i creat recover dvd ???????

    the probem now i lost my dvd recover ?

    and i cant find in c:\Program Files(x86)\SMINST\hpcd.sys

  • Comment from sayan_dey

    I have new HP Pavlion dv6-2005ax.
    hpcd.sys not working because that changed to hpdrcu.prc,
    search and delete all hpdrcu.prc file. It is worked well for me.
    I want to creacte another recovery disc. because ordered recovery disc is not as same as that recovery disc created from my computer.
    hp ordered recovery disc take more time to recover the OS than my recovery disc.

    • Comment from Simple Answer

      Yes!! Thank you so much as this worked for me with a new 2011 HP with Windows 7 and the Cyberlink version of the recovery disk creator.

      I used WinRar to view the protected hard-drive partition and changed the file extension of the hpdrcu.prc to a jpg (for easy reference) then searched C drive for and file called hpdrcu and located one in the Program files area… renamed it’s extension too and the Recovery Manager just launched and is working :)

      As for people asking why anyone would want to access this partition. Well in my case I purchased a refurbished laptop from a re-seller and it didn’t come with CDs and the Recovery Manager program wouldn’t let me make back-ups… Now I can :) Thanks again :)

  • Comment from Happyuser

    Thank you all.
    I had lost my recovery CD. Renaming the HPCD.sys files worked great. My PC is a Pavilion and HP hotline was totally useless. Don’t you think MS would rather work on improving its software leaving customers make recovery copies freely?

  • Comment from Anto

    Thank sayan_dey, it work on dv6-2007

    tnx so much

  • Comment from Ray

    For HP Pavilion a1200e – change the file name strcdc.ini to strcdc.old – located in c:\Windows\creator. Also, you can manipulate info in this file if one cd had already been created – reset to 0(last cd=0).

    • Comment from Anonymous

      How to reset recreate recovery disks on HP pavillion. This worked for me on a dv7-1135nr

      1. In c:\windows\smist make a backup copy of the strcdc.inin file, just in case.
      2. edit the strdc.ini file
      3. remove all these lines, they are all together in one stanza:

      4. save file and rerun create recovery disks.

      I tried to set CurentCD to 0 and stuff like that but it did not work. There may be a way to play with the settings, but deleting the lines worked for me.

  • Comment from PCMario

    Thanks, it works for me HP Compaq

  • Comment from Hu

    HP Pavilion m7750n Vista home Pre, 32-bit. Only found HPCD.sys in recovery partition. Renamed it to HPCD.bak and was able to make another set of recovery disks. Some the best advice comes from the masses. Thanks to all of you who post successes and failures as it helps many.

    Hu said that.

  • Comment from Hu

    Just tried it on my Pavilion a6403w. Found HPCD.sys in C\windows\sminst and at d:\. Renamed both and was able to create another set.

    $64,000 question – Has anyone been able to create or rebuild an HP system using the recovery partition when all attempts at “System Recovery” fail? (No F10, No boot up to create disk set, etc.) Possible with ghosting the recovery partition onto a self made recovery partition or the like.

    Hu asked this.

  • Comment from Kevin Sekyu Park

    It works with my HP nw9440

  • Comment from Vicktour Virus Ortega

    does it work for windows 7

  • Comment from saurabh

    Wow. kick ass HP, they tried to block what shud ideally be free. U guys rock

  • Comment from Xevious

    Before you create your system recovery DVD’s, check for the existence of the SMINST folder. On my Pavilion dv5 laptop, it only existed in Windows\SMINST. Running the create recovery disk program dumps a bunch of files there, all dated with the current day. HPCD.sys was NOT there before running the recovery disk creator, but appeared afterward, along with a 17 other files, mostly logs. On the D: drive under SMINST, I found just HPCD.sys, MASTER.log, RCBoot.sys, and DRECOVERY with the current date. I renamed HPCD.sys to *.bak and zipped up the current dated files into an archive. As a test, I went to rerun the recovery disk creator. I was not declined and abandoned it once the program started its first step. So, this still works as a means of being able to create recovery disks again.

    NOTE: I saw someone post about their HP Pavilion dv6, that they could not find an hpcd.sys on their system, but instead found hpdrcu.prc. Upon removal of that file (or renamed to *.bak), they were able to run the recovery disk creator.

    • Comment from Xevious

      Sorry… on D: drive, the files were in the root, as there is no SMINST on that drive.

  • Comment from Anonymous

    You are great! Thanks a lot.

  • Comment from Donald

    Worked for me also, Compaq 6820s, Vista Business

  • Comment from dv2750en

    I already recovered my laptop though a recovery cd, the problem is the disc 1 of my recovery cd got broken. Is there any way for me to make another recovery cd? Thanks!

  • Comment from tattooman

    i have hp pavillion p6103 uk p/n VDO29AA#ABU… after virus problems,went to re-format pc,but formatting corrupted..pc is stuck in a loop trying to load windows files,which always fails after short time,then it starts to load boot screen,then starts to load windows files for formatting,which of course fails,then whole process starts over…only problem no recovery disks… is it possible to fix without recovery disks???

  • Comment from outhret

    #HP #Pavilion #dv6-3010us #15.6-Inch #Laptop

  • Comment from porten

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  • Comment from barez ueb

    it worked for me and i have Toshiba thank you a lot

  • Comment from sal

    why what happend to it? did you ever even own one of these?

  • Comment from dimarinato lassetting

    HP Pavilion Elite HPE-490t PC – 3.33 GHz; 1.5TB RAID – 2 x 750TB HDDs; 12GB Memory HP Pavilion Elite HPE-490t PC with Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-980X six-core Extreme Edition [3.33GHz, 1.5MB L2 + 12MB shared L3 cache]; 1.5TB RAID 0 (2 x 750TB SATA HDDs) – performance; 12GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [6 DIMMs]; Genuine Windows 7 [...]

  • Comment from ma

    On an HP TouchSmart TX2, editing C:\Program Files (x86)\SMINST\STRCDC.ini as follows:


    successfully reset it, so I could try a re-burn after failed CD creation. Thanks!

    • Comment from Jake Howson

      hi there i have tried this for my touchsmart but it hasnt worked, only change i had to do was to the NbCDmax=and change the last digit which was a 0 to a 3!
      Do you know any other ideas at all at resetting it???
      Many Thanks

  • Comment from Markus Day

    Has anyone ordered a cd before from ?

  • Comment from superfix2

    help me please.

    I have delete the file hpcd.sys or rename, is equal but the recovery manager for cd shoe message “partition non found”. why is that? my notebook is hp pavillio dv9760el. please help me. bye bye

  • Comment from Hath1

    Excellent! My uncle’s dv6875se laptop let me make the recovery DVD discs I needed in order to replace the failing hdd drive after renaming the HPCD.SYS file to HPCD.SYS.BAK in both D: and C:WindowsSMINST. Can’t hardly believe the restore partition was still uncorrupted and without bad blocks!

    Backup: Something you don’t need until it’s too late.

  • Comment from Sebbe

    OMG! Thanks really much, tried to fix this problem in like 7 hours straight now, THANKS MAN!!!

  • Comment from spidaman

    Worked on my nc6400!!

  • Comment from Smoothbassman

    It worked by changing the HPCS.sys files on my HP G60-235DX

    I renamed the two files, one in recovery drive d:\hpcd.sys and other in c:\Program Files\SMINST\hpcd.sys

    This was on windows Vista 32 Bit.

  • Comment from Levi Sheriff

    For the dv6 that I worked on, I deleted the hpdrcu.prc from all locations (be sure you unhide all system files and make everything visible to get this done. Then perform a search at the root computer level.) There were 3 locations on my computer, one in the boot drive, and the other 2 on the C:
    After I did that, I was able to write the CDs with no problem.

  • Comment from sapphirez1603

    where is the download link?

  • Comment from tester

    on dv6 just rename the d:\hpdrcu.prc to hpdrcu.prc.old and the disc creator should run. d: should be the recovery partition.

  • Comment from Steve

    New hp laptops (dv4) with windows 7 (64 bits), you can recreate new recovery discs doing this:

    1. Rename the file RMCStatus.bin (hidden) from two places:
    *c:\Program Files(x86)\Hewlett-Packard\Recovery Manager\
    *The root of drive d:\ (RECOVERY partition)
    2. Remove name Rebecca.dat (also hidden) from

  • [...] Recarsi nella cartella C:WindowsSMINST, fare click destro sul file HPCD.sys e rinominarlo in HPCD.bak. Adesso provate ad avviare nuovamente l’utility (HP Recovery Manager) per la creazione dei dischi di ripristino e dovreste avere una bella sorpresa. L’operazione è ripetibile ogni volta che si desidera. Articolo ripreso da Code Retard [...]

  • Comment from Kris

    Hi I want to know how to reboot my Lap Top Notebook Model is Hp Pavilion dv5 Notebook PC and the product numbet is KQ572AV the Processor Type is Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo CPO P8400. I need help!! It doesnt wanna start up! Somethings wrong with it!!!

  • Comment from George

    For Windows 8 + Dv7 do the following:
    attrib -r -s -h d:\RMCStatus.bin
    attrib -r -s -h “C:\Program Files (x86)\Hewlett-Packard\HP Recovery Manager\RMCStatus.bin”
    attrib -r -s -h “C:\Windows\System32\Rebecca.dat”
    copy d:\RMCStatus.bin d:\RMCStatus.bin.old
    copy “C:\Program Files (x86)\Hewlett-Packard\HP Recovery Manager\RMCStatus.bin” “C:\Program Files (x86)\Hewlett-Packard\HP Recovery Manager\RMCStatus.bin.old”
    copy C:\Windows\System32\Rebecca.dat C:\Windows\System32\Rebecca.dat.old
    del /Q C:\SYSTEM.SAV\Logs\RM\*

    • Comment from Nur_ul_Hassan

      My computer is HP Pavilion dv6 6c43cl, and OS is windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. I found all the files(Rmcstatus.bin, Rebecca.dat) and renamed. But this tweak didnot work for me. HP Recovery Manager’s Recovery option is still disable.

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