If he upgraded to Windows 7 - the recovery partition would contain XP.
The upgrade proces would likely cause problems with accesing it.
If you need a Windows 7 install disc, you can get the .iso files from links at my digital life.
win 7 sp1 iso my digital life
You would need the windows 7 product key. get it from your existing installation , before
You can find that with any number of programs - http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html