the recovery partition is activated at boot by a key combination specific to the manufacturer. it is probably an option listed at the point when u can go into safe mode or whatever. What it will do is reset your puter to the factory state so all apps and data on the puter that u have added since first boot will be lost!!! so by all means use it but make a full backup first on a removable disc or external drive using the Backup wizard. I am assuming here you are running XP if not things will be different.