Alternatively called a boot disc, system restore disc, restore CD, recovery disc, and recovery disk, a restore disc is a CD (compact disc) or DVD (digital versatile disc) included with many OEM (original equipment manufacturer) computers. The disc can restore the computer to its original, "factory" configuration state. Using these discs often makes reformatting easier for most users because all of the settings, drivers, and requisite software are included. Computer manufacturers (e.g., Dell, Hewlett Packard, Toshiba, etc.) may ship a recovery disc with their products or allow you to create one.
Many of the new computers no longer come with a restore disc or CD. To restore these computers, use the hidden recovery partition.
What do you do with the restore disc?
To use a restore disc, while the computer is on, place the disc in your disc drive. Then, either restart the computer or turn the computer off, wait a few seconds and turn it back on. If the boot options are set up correctly, the computer should boot from the disc and allow you to start the restore process.
Lost restore disc
If you have lost your restore disc and don't have a hidden partition, contact your computer manufacturer for a replacement. If your computer manufacturer is out of business, you may find a restore disc through an online auction or a third-party vendor site.
Alternatively, you can purchase a copy of Microsoft Windows or another operating system, and install it onto your computer. However, realize that only installing the operating system does not restore any of the original installed programs and may not install all of the necessary drivers. However, up-to-date drivers can be downloaded from the computer manufacturer's or hardware manufacturer's website.