Being an old computer fanatic I often come into situations where I need to either rebuild or reinstall the operating system. Either the hardware I have aquired came without its original hard drive, or it has been wiped or ravaged by malware. Getting operating system discs is easy enough – copies of Microsoft Windows are widely available (legitimately or otherwise) however as any computer nerd worth their salt will know that having just a naked install does not always bring out the best potential in your system. The first thing that many will go looking for are drivers, small bits of software which help the operating system speak with various components such as graphics or sound – these can either be extremely easy or nightmarishly difficult to obtain, depending on how reliable the original systems manufacturer are at keeping legacy documentation available. The second thing that many individuals are after are system utilities that came with the original equipment – this can be things as minimal as simple branding packages that change some pictures under the system summary page or as important as power managers. If you thought that drivers were difficult then these utilities are almost guaranteed to be elusive. Thirdly and finally comes all the other stuff that is often installed on a system from the factory – some people care little for this, considering it bloat-ware yet the hardcore fanatics love to have a system that is factory-fresh; wallpapers, screensavers, themes and additional third party software (regardless of how obsolete or useless) all fall into this third category. These parts make finding drivers and utilities look like a cake walk.
So, what can we do as a community to help one-another? Share of course! Not just sharing knowledge, but sharing files.
Let me take you back to a time (some may say a better time) when you would get your shiny new system from your local computer superstore and you would begin to unbox it. Slowly taking each item out from its packaging, egarly awaiting to get on-line with AOL or play some Doom. Once you had your system, monitor and all the included peripherals up and working you were likely left over with some documentation (sometimes quite a bit of documentation!) and probably a couple of re-installation discs/diskettes (depending on the era). These discs would allow you in a moment of emergency to reinstall the system back to its factory condition – drivers, utilities and software. Some of these discs included the operating system and some of them were multi-disc sets (requiring you to initially complete the Windows installation, and then follow up by inserting an additional software disc).
So with the history lesson over, what’s the point of this page. Well in my years of
hoarding collecting old computer paraphenalia I have come across many a dusty copy of recovery discs – sometimes for systems I don’t even own! Up until now I have been a good citizen and kept these from hitting the landfill, yet never really knowing what exactly to do with them. After reading some posts about people having issues locating these discs for their respective systems I felt that I could help maybe get the ball rolling by sharing the disc images (.ISO format) of the recovery CD’s, DVD’s or floppy disks (which will be provided in the .IMG format) via the Archive.org service. But instead of simply throwing the files out into the websphere, I am going to properly index their contents right here on my website!
Initially I will look to work through what I have so far, and then eventually I might consider indexing contributions from others.
How It Works
On this page you will find headings for the manufacturer – for example Toshiba or Hewlett Packard (HP). Under these headings will be links to the index pages for various recovery discs – these links will include the applicable model numbers, any identifiers found on the label of the disc and the year that disc is from.
Clicking on any of those index pages will bring you to a post which will fully detail what is contained within. Not all recovery discs are alike, so you may find that some pages are much longer than others. At the bottom of the page will be a link to the image file found on Archive.org. If for any reason we encounter dreaded copyright issues then I will look to try and release modified images that exclude the offending part.
Most of the images here will be from CD-ROM or DVD-ROM’s – the files for download will be provided in the universally accepted .ISO format. I suggest using a free tool such as ImgBurn to burn these files to a CD-R/DVD-R so that you can use them with your systems (although I am of the understanding that Windows 10 has the ability to do this without additional software). You can also browse their contents (to extract individual files) by using archive software such as 7-Zip.
How Can I Help / I Want To Help
At the moment I am indexing what I have – which from memory is around 40-50 recovery discs. I endeavour to look at indexing third party contributions (that would be those by yourself dear reader) when the time permits… as you can tell I am a many with many interests.
However this doesn’t mean you should slam dunk your precious discs into the nearest trashcan. Instead follow this guide on how to quickly and easily take an .ISO image of your discs, then proceed to create an account over at Archive.org (takes all of a few moments) and then proceed to upload it over there. All I ask is that you title your upload appropriately and don’t leave it to whatever Archive.org’s uploader thinks it should be.
The Images (Sorted By Manufacturer)
Compaq, and then later after aquisition HP Compaq, were very similar to their industry competition with providing high quality recovery media with their systems. HP Compaq in its later years adopted the recovery partition method, and eventually discontinued providing optical recovery media.
Hewlett-Packard (often simply known as HP) were pretty good at providing recovery media with their systems. Desktops, laptops, servers and all-in-one systems would usually come with at least one piece of recovery media. Later on HP took advantage of the ever increasing capacities of hard disk drives and began the industry process of providing recovery partitions with their devices – something which this page does not currently cover.
Time Computers (UK)
These unhelpful OEM’s decided that it would be too difficult to brand their own recovery discs and so simply chucked in the complimentary driver/utility discs that came with the mainboard, graphics card, network adapter or sound card. As these are often as generic as they come they could apply to any number of systems – usually small-time system builders or complete whitebox builds.
These images should be used with care and I take no responsibility if these end up breaking things on your system, requiring you to reinstall the OS or worse re-flash the BIOS. Proceed with caution.