Where do all the Windows disks go?

  TonyLeTourneur 18:58 13 Oct 2009

I've been browsing various sites with a view to buying a new desktop computer. Several suppliers appear not to provide the original Windows OS disk with the product. All they offer is a recovery disk or a restore function. An original disk offers the possibility of a clean install, the other options don't.

I have asked why this is done and not received a sensible reply. Should the original OS disk not belong to the computer, especially if it is an OEM version?

Not of the suppliers that I queried could offer a valid reason for the practice. Anyone got ideas?

  DieSse 19:07 13 Oct 2009

Yes - they don't install from CDs - particularly large manufacturers. They copy the installations from one master hard drive or hard drive image.

Small system builders on the other hand may well use an OEM CD for each system, and supply it with the system. I used to.

  woodchip 19:14 13 Oct 2009

MS stopped the doing it, they cannot now supply a oem disc. The Best way out is to create your own using Acronis True Image. As you can load this to another drive if the old one fails. Restore or Recover will not let you do this. so it would mean a New Drive, not costly, But the Operating system that you would need would cost may be twice the price of the disc

  DieSse 19:19 13 Oct 2009

"MS stopped the doing it, they cannot now supply a oem disc."

That's not correct. I can go to our local shop right now and buy an OEM package with the CD included. That's always been so.

  sunnystaines 20:21 13 Oct 2009

If I build a pc for someone I always give them the OEM DISC.

  woodchip 20:31 13 Oct 2009

Yes you can, but Manufactures of Mass PC's cannot now do it

  DieSse 22:39 13 Oct 2009


I agree- that's exactly what I used to do too. After all, that's what they've bought.

  OTT_Buzzard 00:03 14 Oct 2009

"Yes you can, but Manufactures of Mass PC's cannot now do it"

I've not read the licensing agreement for an OEM copy in a while, but there was certianly nothing preventing it last time I did.

  BT 07:43 14 Oct 2009

What puzzles me is the large number of posts from people who have lost their Windows or Recovery discs.

  interzone55 09:02 14 Oct 2009

When a large manufacturer builds a PC they create a ghost image from the first model built.

Every model of that PC is then simply ghosted across.

Can you imagine how long it would take to install the OS on the 10's of millions of PCs Dell make each year?

Most companies will let you purchase installation media, usually for around £10, but this media will be an OEM copy of windows, and may not include all necessary drivers for your PC. Rather than buying the media you are often better off removing all the crap that comes with the PC, like trial software etc with something like click here. Install any software you need, like office, photoshop etc then create an image of the clean install onto an external drive or dual layer DVD (if it will fit).

By the way, Dell (and probably others) provide a pre-build service for large customers. We have created a standard build for our PCs at work, which we've given to Dell and they install it on all the PCs we buy, so they work straight out of the box...

  interzone55 09:11 14 Oct 2009

When I used to do PC repair for Time we would be forever getting calls from people who needed to reload windows and didn't have the recovery CD (which simply contained a copy of Norton Ghost for PCs up to ME, then our own "ghosting" software for Windows 2000 & XP PCs).

I probably posted 20 CDs a day to customers.

Many of the repair engineers used to sellotape the correct CD to the inside of the PC case, and the CD would still be there the next time the PC came back because it had been buggered up with spyware and browser toolbars and realplayer...

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