Here are the recovery partition function keys necessary to boot a Windows laptop into the recovery partition on most models.
Windows XP Recovery Partition Function Keys
Acer: Alt+F10 or F10
Dell: F8 or Shift+F8, older models: Ctrl+F11
Fujitsu: Alt+F11 or F12, using recovery CD option.
Gateway: Alt+F10 or F11
HP / Compaq: F10, F11, or F12, you may need to hit the Esc key first.
Lenovo: Press Think Vantage button instead of power button to turn on.
Sony: F8 or F10
Toshiba: Hold 0, then press power button, then press 0. You may also need to press the F8 key. If this does not work you need recovery CDs/DVDs (these can be created in the operating system).
Windows Vista/7 Recovery Partition Function Key
F8 on most models (32-bit and 64-bit).
Why You Would Want to Know How to Go Into a Recovery Partition?
- To be able to choose a System Restore point before you started having problems (and when doing so in Windows is prohibitive).
- To be able to recover computer to the factory state.
Note: the recovery partition is usually hidden because you have the potential to lose data and potentially mess up your install.
You also have the option of downloading and creating a bootable Windows installation media by heading over to Microsoft's Windows Download Center.