I am a newbie so I know nothing! I have a HP pavilion with a 40GB Ultra DMA hard drive. It came with Windows XP pre-installed so I have no discs and the warranty is up. Unfortunately it began shutting down and restarting itself. I tried to go back and restore to an earlier date but it did not fix it and then I got a hard drive failure imminent message. I have recently installed a new version of Quicktime and began installing SP2 update from Microsoft. Now computer does not recognize mouse or keyboard so I guess hard drive is fried. Can I just install any new hard drive? I found a new one that is 160 GB with Ultra DMA/133 retail boxed for $60 bucks but do not know if it will be compatible. What else will I need to rebuild my computer?

Any IDE hard drive should work just fine, your BIOS may or may not recognize a hard drive that large though. How old is the computer?

My computer is about 3 yrs. old now. Would a 80 GB be too big as well?

It came with Windows XP pre-installed so I have no discs and the warranty is up.

Are you sure it didn't come with a Recovery CD, Restore CD, or anything? If not, you're going to have to purchase another copy of XP, unless you can get the drive working long enough to copy it.

Either read through your product documentation or contact the product support people at HP. Your PC will definitely have a way of restoring the system to it's original factory supplied software state, and the instructions for doing so should be included in the documentation.

The recovery files will most likely be on a 'hidden partition on your hard drive. I wouldn't assume straight off that your drive is kaput - it could be simply your Windows installation which is screwed. What exact model of HP Pavilion is it? You'll need that information to obtain assistance from HP's support services.

Hard drive did completely die. Have put a new one in and hopefully have everything resolved now. Thanks for the help.