PreInstalled XP - Are You Entitled To A Disc

  gcs_uk 10:27 20 May 2003

Wondering if I can get a definitive answer to the above question.

Read a few articles on the subject and they all seem to contradict each other.

XP was preinstalled on my PB machine when I bought it just over a year ago.

Some people seem to say that you are entitled to the XP disc and others disagree.

What is the legal position ?

Read somewhere that on the XP disc there are utilities etc that you can load on at a later date but are not installed as standard - if this is the case will they be installed on my machine.

I understand that the XP operating system is preinstalled in a hidden partition on my hard drive. I would assume that everything that is on the XP disc is there but as I cannot access the partition it seems a bit pointless.

I presume that as XP is preinstalled I have no right to an original disc.

But I am sure that someone out there knows the answer.


  davidg_richmond 10:57 20 May 2003

When you buy a computer, you receive an operating system pre-installed. The terms of licensing for Windows is that the 'OEM' version (the one used by the builders of PCs) is designed only to be used on that computer, no other.

With this in mind, Microsoft decided to stop providing full Windows CDs that could easily be used to install Windows on any other computer. The options are that either you get no copy at all, or the builder of the computer creates a hidden partition on the hard disk and stores the files there, using a boot disk to allow you to access it.

With Packard Bell, you have the hidden partition and a red floppy disk to let you restore the computer. They also come with SmartRestore and ActivDoc which let you access the hidden partition. If you like, you can even make a backup on CDs of all the informationstored there - it takes about four CDRs but means you have a backup in the rare case of a hard disk failure.

  Djohn 11:20 20 May 2003

davidg_richmond is correct in what he says. He should know as he works in the idustry.

As a side issue David, I think you are aware of the Laptop my Son purchased a couple of weeks back.

Compaq 2562, this came with all programs installed and a re-store CD, but also with a sealed win.XP home CD, and other CD's with drivers/programs as well.

Full instructions on how to do a restore of system, also how to remove backup partition from Hard drive and install Win XP and drivers, if you wish to do a custom format/install of your PC. A very welcome and generous inclusion from Compaq. Regards. J.

  davidg_richmond 11:38 20 May 2003

Yes, only the higher end Compaqs include this and it was a pleasant surprise to see this being included. Well done Compaq! I believe it costs them slightly more to include this per unit but I am sure those buying high-end laptops would prefer it as an option.

  shy 15:30 20 May 2003

I bought Sony Vaio FX805 from 14/01/03 and only after 3 months of purchse,I am being denied of updates,Sony Customer serives says take it up with regret Jonathan Wall the Director unable to answer any e-mail

  Brian-336451 16:12 20 May 2003

See above

  vaughan007 16:37 20 May 2003

I personally think it is ridiculous that you dont get a cd. Its all very well putting the files on a partition of the hard drive, until the hard drive goes belly up. What do you do then?

  davidg_richmond 17:51 20 May 2003

Shy - you only get 3 months on OEM versions of Norton AntiVirus. You need to stump up cash to keep getting them after this time. You get a year's worth when you buy the full retail version (about £40).

Vaughan007 - most manufacturers allow you to create a CD backup of the files as I mentioned above (well, I mentioned Packard Bell anway). Others tend to do the same, and don't give you CDs to cut the cost. Hard drive failures are a rare occurence, but if you are caught out some manufacturers will give you the backup CDs at a charge (if out of warranty).

  961 19:00 20 May 2003

Sorry folks, I've watched this long enough before chipping in with my two penn'orth

I wouldn't buy a computer without a windows disc although I am prepared to pay the manufacturer for supplying it. Last news I had, it cost him about £6. Restore from hidden partitions mean you lose all your own stuff. Totally unacceptable. Anybody who won't provide a disc, sorry, I'll buy elsewhere

As for Norton, please may I respectfully suggest you try AVG ( click here ) which comes free and has yet to let me down

  Granger 19:32 20 May 2003

OK so HDD failures are rare, but there are other times when you need the disk. I just ran sfc on my laptop, it asked for the XP disc, and guess what - all the so-called recovery discs came back "incorrect disc". Now what do I do? Reformat and reinstall just because of a couple of corrupted or missing files? It's a bloody disgrace if you ask me. 961 has a point.

  davidg_richmond 20:10 20 May 2003

You both have valid points. I don't know how you would get around programs asking for original XP discs, anyone know?

There is difficulty in getting XP discs from major manufacturers and retailers, most do not give the option to supply it, which is unfortunate. The more technical users i am sure would like the ability to install 'clean' versions of Windows without all the extra software that comes with some machines. I have always used original CDs so I am blind to whatever problems users have with recovery CDs in normal usage.

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