As mentioned by Greg, HP is the worst when it comes to bloatware and also using up all paritions.
My preferred approach with HP is to yes, first make the recovery discs in case you ever need to return the unit, then to:
1. boot from a normal Win 7 DVD,
2. Use Shift+F10 at the very first dialog you see. This will take you to a command prompt.
3. At the command prompt use DiskPart to wipe the disk clean
4. Now continue with the install.
5. After the install, update, and if you so desire you can go to the HP site and download any drivers that you think you need. I've never had an HP system not work just fine with the drivers supplied by Microsoft.
TURN OFF THE COMPUTER WITH THE DVD TRAY OPEN
CLEAN A HARD DISK PRIOR TO WINDOWS 7 INSTALL USING YOUR WINDOWS 7 DVD
Turn on your computer.
Open the DVD door.
Turn off the computer with the DVD door open.
BOOT FROM YOUR WINDOWS 7 DVD AND GO TO A COMMAND PROMPT
Insert the Windows 7 DVD and close the DVD door.
Power on your computer.
When that very first dialog appears where you would normally push the NEXT button, then use the SHIFT + F10
key combo to get to a command prompt.
The command prompt will be X:>
USE THE DISKPART PROGRAM TO “CLEAN” THE HARD DISK
Type the commands shown, hitting the Enter key after each.
Do not proceed to the next command until the current command is finished.
(the command prompt will change to DISKPART>)
· LIST DISK
(this will list the disks present)
· SELECT DISK 0
(assuming disk zero is the desired hard disk)
· DETAIL DISK
(this will show you info regarding the disk you selected)
· CLEAN ALL
(this is the command to write zeros to entire disk)
This can take half a day for a 2 Terabyte disk.
(this will exit you from the DiskPart program)
(this will exit you back to the Windows 7 install program)
Now, you will be able to partition using DiskManagement or using PartitionWizard Free download Magic Partition Manager Software, partition magic alternative, free partition magic, partition magic Windows 7 and server partition software - Partition Wizard Online