PCA issue 97 page 78 - "Losing Support"

  Silverbeard 15:07 19 Jul 2003

HI everybody

I have just received my copy of PCA issue 97, Sept. On page 78 is an article, "Losing Support", which describes an appalling situation. As I understand it, if you buy a PC described as loaded with Windows XP you no longer receive the complete programme either on the hard disc or on CD.

Is this really correct? If so this should surely be stated clearly in the advertisements and other sales material so that the buyer is aware that he is buying a cut down version of a cut version (XP HOme is a cut down of XP Pro - is that right?) Perhaps Trading Standards should be made aware of this con.

I am about to build myself a PC (first attempt) - if I buy an OEM disc of Windows XP Home will I be getting the full version complete with utilities or will that be cut down as well?


  -pops- 15:14 19 Jul 2003

OEM XP is the full version. I use always use it in the machines I build. I always us XP Pro. The extra cost in the OEM version is small and there are some advantages in the Pro version.

The things supplied with many commercial machines are "recovery disks" which help you "recover" the operating system from a hidden partition on the hard drive. Or they are part systems merely to enable you to get you machine going again but which would not be capable of installing the operating system themselves.

Quite often nowadays though, you don't even get that.

The important thing with OEM XP (Home or Pro) is that you get no Microsoft support with it. If you think you will need that, go for a retail version. (Or you can always come the the Helproom here!!!!)


  Coaster3 17:18 19 Jul 2003

Hi Brian, If I wish to use a recovery disk can I format the hard drive or would that wipe out the hidden partition?

  Silverbeard 17:43 19 Jul 2003

Thanks Pops for reassuring me about the OEM CD's.
I did a quick check through the ads in micro mart, and see that XP Pro is about £110 while the Home is about £72, the difference is a bit high for me. Would I be missing much if I stayed with the Home version?


  -pops- 19:00 19 Jul 2003

I know nothing about recovery disks except what I've put above and the fact that they are not full versions of the O/S.

Silverbeard: The price difference is higher than I remember - it's a while since I built my last machine. You don't miss out on much with Home compared with Pro - little or nothing that you will find important anyway!!


  Hunte® 19:23 19 Jul 2003

XP Pro will work very similar to XP Home when not authenticating to a domain. There are a few more advanced features not present (hosting remote assistance sessions for instnce) but these are very rarely required by the home user.

  Djohn 01:26 20 Jul 2003

Retail-v-OEM, yes it's true you receive support from M/S for the retail version but only twice for each product.

I have the retail version of XP pro. XP Office, and Publisher 2002. I had reason to phone M/S with a question regarding Outlook express, they where very helpful, but also informed me that I was allowed two sessions only on each product. After that each question would be charged at £185.00 plus VAT!

The retail version will give you free access to on-line help via the M/S knowledge base, but I feel you will get just as good help/advice from this forum. j.

  powerless 03:19 20 Jul 2003

2 Sessions only?

That cannot be right if you brought the retail version. Surely it should be unlimited?

...and charging £185.00 plus VAT good god!

  hoverman 08:08 20 Jul 2003

My Evesham PC came with a 'Product Recovery CD-ROM' which has the Microsoft Windows XP Home logo on the label. Evesham Support informed me some time ago that this disk contains the full OEM version of XP Home.

  bremner 08:36 20 Jul 2003

Remove the spaces and you will see confirmation of the two support sessions then you pay.

http: // support .microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;Prodoffer31

  -pops- 08:51 20 Jul 2003

I think Evesham are an exception in doing this.

One well known supplier who has a presence on this forum doesn't supply an operating system disk of any kind at all unless you pay extra. Others supply disks of the type I described - to access a hidden partition with the operating system on it or, provide some sort of setup which, although containing the full XP system, contains hidden codes so it will only function in the machine it was supplied with.


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