When I asked what is the problem I was meaning that it may have been worthwhile trying to fix - whatever error was causing problems - before the drastic step of a recovery
Of course we now know the situation.
I am attempting to give away a group of Lenovo computers that our office no longer needs to a charity. The charity needs to have computers that already have an operating system installed, and the office wants to ensure that all the data is completely gone before we give the hardware away. There are no restore disks for the computers, and they had been upgraded a few years ago.
With respect this vital information, had it have been included in your opening post, would have enabled us to reply with more meaningful advice.
Some branded computers come with a recovery partition on the hard drive, depending on how XP has been installed this may still be there.
Also depending on how confidential the information on the computer, there is little to beat a complete format of the HDD.
You could of course do this and install Ubuntu - completely free and free software - as much as most people need.
An examination of the HDD in computer management may well reveal if the recovery partition is still there.
and of course as my colleague Ztruker