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Old 01. Nov 2010, 05:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Let's say I buy a laptop, or netbook.

Do they include the disk for the operative system they happen to come along with in the package? Or is just the computer hardware and misc things like miscellaneous wires and manuals?

I ask this because I've bever bought a laptop or netbook computer before, and came up wondering what if I want to format or re-install my supposedly legal windows copy for clean up purposes?
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Old 01. Nov 2010, 05:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I bought desktop and laptop from PC World and they gave no rescue/OS disks at all with them. There was recovery software on them though. Best is to get yourself disk imaging software (as discussed elsewhere here) and you won't need to reinstall anyway.
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Old 01. Nov 2010, 06:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Another option would be to source a laptop with no OS at all. If you Google for a local or mail order supplier you should be able to find one. This way you can try out a few Linux distros first and then buy a copy of Windows if you decide this is the preferred choice.
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Old 01. Nov 2010, 07:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My Dell came with Recovery partition and recovery discs. My son's Fujitsu required user to burn 3 recovery discs.
So it can vary.
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Old 01. Nov 2010, 09:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The post from MC got me thinking, and it's a very good point. I've had a page stored on xmarks for a couple of years - it's here - and the guy who wrote it did just that. It's a UK newspaper site so I hope it works in other countries.

I know several people who've bought laptops/netbooks from large PC outlets, PC World included, and they never got an OS disc or any other kind of repair disc included with their purchase. I think that's wrong. If you buy something like that with the OS loaded then it's yours, you buy the license, register it - it's yours. So you should get the disc to re install the OS whenever you choose to, or repair it. The OS disc should be part of the purchase. It's about money.

It's all to do with after sales/repairs etc - if it goes wrong most people take it back to the point of purchase, then they charge you to to re install the OS, if that's what's required ... I just looked at the price list for PC World and they charge you fifty pounds to re install an OS - if you don't get the disc then most people have no option but to take it there and pay up. But you should have your own disc in the first place, you should have the option to repair it yourself. If you can't, fine ... then you have to pay someone anyway.

That's how they make their money, there's more profit in after sales and repairs than there is in selling units, and that's why they always try to push that extended insurance nonsense at you, more profit for them.

@ Overmann - It pays to shop around, try a few smaller, more dedicated outlets and ask if the OS disc is included, chances are you'll get some kind of disc, even if it's only a repair disc.
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Old 01. Nov 2010, 09:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Most vendors will give you an opportunity (usually in small print) to have an actual Windows CD/DVD sent with a new computer. However, there is normally a pretty steep surcharge added for this.
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Old 01. Nov 2010, 10:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It certainly pays to have a plan ready in case something goes wrong and you need to reinstall your OS.

Very few manufacturers appear to include Windows installation discs with a computer these days. They usually provide a hidden recovery partition and some sort of recovery disc to use with it, or instruct you to create your own set of recovery discs when you first start using the PC.

Personally I think the best approach is to look into imaging software and create a HDD image of the computer very soon after the initial set up and keep it somewhere safe. Then get into a routine of creating further images on a regular basis to backup your current good OS state, along with your important personal files of course. This is the easiest way to reinstall your system if it becomes necessary.

From what I've seen, it's not always a straightforward process to install a laptop OS from a retail Windows installation disc as it's quite likely to require numerous hardware drivers specific to it, for things like special key functions and even wireless cards etc. to work correctly. Finding the correct ones online could be a headache. I think desktop PC's are easier in this regard.
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