If you have trouble creating recovery disks for your HP Pavilion PC try reducing the DVD burning speed in the main DVD burning program (Roxio in my case).I was following this HP support article:
HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Drive Cannot Write to Writable Discs (Windows Vista)
But, as I'd already toasted half my DVD-Rs I followed all the steps before I tried again. And I updated all the drivers from the HP support site, including the BIOS and DVD writer firmware. I did try and run the HP Recovery Disk Creator before I reinstalled Roxio, but it wouldn't work (I thought it might use Windows own DVD writing capability).
Although I did everything at once, I'm reasonably sure it was the Roxio writing speed step from the above that fixed it.
If you want to be able to write more than the one set you are allowed, you could try turning on System Restore for the Restore drive as well as the C: drive and then roll back both drives once you've created the first set. Or you can probably just copy them.