Sometimes there will be a recovery partition on a system that contains more or less everything you need. Sometimes there's even an included program to make a recovery CD or DVD from those files, but not always. There's no way to know whether or not your son's laptop falls under either category.
You should be able to buy a set of these discs from HP/Compaq if you call and ask about it. You could then make backup copies of those once they arrived.
My son has a Compaq Presario Laptop. It did not come with a recovery DVD/CD. I have an external DVD burner and would like to burn a Recovery DVD/CD for him.
I would like step by step directions on how to do this. I only have to do this for the one laptop, we purchased Recovery Disks for the Dell and HP Pavilion laptops. My wife didn't think about this when purchasing it for Christmas. I am not worried about the other programs that he has in it. Just wanted to make Recovery disk for Windows XP for that system only. Please try to keep it simple for me.