I had to make a 32 GB USB recovery flash drive from the HP program in Windows (before my computer crashed and wouldn't boot from the flash drive nor the system recovery partition), I downloaded the .iso Windows 7 disk and burned that to DVD (but the 25 character key thing didn't work, might have had to use BelArc Advisor to get the key because the sticker on the bottom of the laptop didn't work). I formatted the drive, which erased the recovery partition on the hard drive. Windows 7 DVD installation added a 100 MB System drive so the machine would boot later, and created the full hard drive partition to install Win 7 onto. I had no Wi-Fi after that. So I used the 32 GB HP Recovery flash drive to install all the HP stuff with: this took less than an hour; with disks, the HP site says it could take several hours. Then I got my computer like it was new but the recovery partition on the hard drive was missing. I have to store the DVD and flash drive away somewhere safe. I think the HP flash drive might have had the key, I don't remember. The Win 7 DVD will work for 30 days without a key but I don't remember if it allows the 60+ critical updates without a key.