New computer without OS?

  Pineman100 13:26 28 May 2009

I'm shortly going to buy a new laptop computer.

One of the common problems that seems to crop up on this forum is that of reloading or repairing the OS from manufacturer-supplied restore disks or hard-drive partitions. So I'm considering buying a machine without an OS, and then buying my own copy of Windows independently, so that I have a proper Microsoft original CD.

Question 1: Does this seem like a good idea? Can you see any pitfalls?

Question 2: A quck check suggests that I can get Vista Home Premium for about £90 - any idea how much I would save on the price of the computer, by buying without an OS?

Question 3: If you were going to do this, what brand(s) of computer would you consider? I've been told by Dell that they won't supply a machine without an OS.

Many thanks for any thoughts and advice.

  lotvic 13:32 28 May 2009

Windows 7 RC available free to public until June 2010 click here
is worth considering.

  keef66 13:40 28 May 2009

I think it's a good idea; not only do you then have the Windows disk, but you don't get all the crapware that's usually loaded on a new pc and which you never use.

Vista Home Premium OEM is £80 from Ebuyer

Novatech offer their range of laptops without an OS. I'm sure laptopsdirect have done this in the past also.

Make sure you get all the drivers for the laptop (mobo, sound, graphics etc) as you'll need them in case of a format / reinstall

  rawprawn 14:00 28 May 2009

I think lotvic has the right idea, you could use Windows 7 for 12 months, and then make the decision which OS to buy.
Vista may also be cheaper following Windows 7 release.

  Chris the Ancient 14:12 28 May 2009

I bought an 'empty' laptop from Novatech a couple of years ago - just for the sorts of reasons you mention. (I've bought LOADS of things from them and never had anything but praise for them.)

I bought (my favourite) XP as most of my software is XP based. And to keep things in one package, I got XP from Novatech. Maybe slightly more expensive - but easier. They also sell Vista.

Loaded Windows. Loaded the supplied drivers. Loaded my software. About 2 hours work.

Not a single problem since! But I do have the security and comfort of knowing that IF things went wrong, I wouldn't need to worry about recovery from hidden partitions or anything.

It might have been slightly cheaper to buy a pre-loaded machine - but not quite as reassuring.


  Pineman100 14:25 28 May 2009

Lotvic - I've always been a bit nervous of using beta or RC versions of any software, particularly an OS. Have you tried this version of W7? If so, have you had any problems?

keef66 - Thanks for the Novatech tipoff. I'll have a look at them. Good advice about drivers, too, although I'm a fan of backing up all my drivers with Drivermax.

rawprawn - I accept what you say, but I wonder whether I'll feel like buying Vista, once W7 is available!

CtA - Thanks for the confirmation about Novatech. I was at first tempted to use XP again for my new machine (having been an XP user for 6 years). However, After some reflection, I think I shall move on with Vista or W7. Despite my general dislike of its bloat, Vista does have some advantages over XP, and a new computer now will be much more capable of running it. comfortably

  keef66 14:32 28 May 2009

Good point about Windows 7. I imagine Vista will be sold off cheaper following the launch if it's any good (unlike XP which, to Microsoft's irritation, continues to sell well and maintain it's price)

  Batch 17:10 28 May 2009

You can avoid the problems of reloading or repairing the OS from manufacturer-supplied restore disks or hard-drive partitions simply by using something like Acronis True Image to make an image back-up (e.g. to an external device) as soon as you buy a PC with a pre-loaded OS (and then make regular backups) and then use the image to do restores if and when required.

My preferred way of managing this is to make the C: drive the OS and progs and another partion for data.

  citadel 17:39 28 May 2009

I would buy with os, then when windows7 is available on a oem disc, wipe drive with killdisk and install 7. There were companys who supplied the oem disc when you bought a system, don't know if any still do as I now build my own.

  lotvic 17:41 28 May 2009

No, I haven't used Windows 7 but you could have a read on Windows 7 forum on here to read what others think about it.

  Pineman100 17:49 28 May 2009

Batch - thanks for that suggestion. I do already use Acronis TI, but of course it's no good for a clean reinstall or a repair of Windows. So I want to have all options available.

citadel - not a bad plan, thank you. I may end up doing that.

lotvic - thanks, I'll do that.

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