OS Disks - A legal requirement?

  thedarkside 00:23 23 Feb 2005

A friend has bought a PC from a back street retailer, and has not been supplied with the OS disk. Is it a legal requirement for the seller to provide the buyer with this?

Thanks in advance.

  Mango Grummit 00:37 23 Feb 2005

No, I'm afraid it's not.

Most will sell you one at a reduced price at the time of sale but it's best to sort that out at the time really. However it must be worth a visit from your friend, talk nicely to the vendor and try to negotiate a fair price if he/she wants a disk.

  Zaphod Beeblebrox 00:37 23 Feb 2005

it is not a legal requirement to supply a full OS disk with a preloaded pc as far as i am aware though many will supply a rescue disk

  phono 00:39 23 Feb 2005

I would be very dubious about buying a computer with no OS installation CD or recovery disk of some sort. I personally dislike restore disks as your options are rather limited and would prefer a "full installation" CD any day.

Some companies use a hidden partition on the hard drive to hold the OS files, this is fine with a healthy drive, but if the drive fails you are snookered.

A "back street trader" may well have purchased 1 copy of an OS and is installing it on multiple computers, this practice will most likely lead to a user being unable to update their OS or, worse still, their OS being rendered useless.

These thoughts are just my own personal preferences and opinions, I hope they are of some help to you.

  Forum Editor 00:45 23 Feb 2005

in the case of an independent retailer. I'm slightly puzzled by your use of the phrase "back street retailer" by the way, but that doesn't alter my response - the retailer is not obliged by law to provide a CD copy of Windows XP.

Many suppliers of computers write the entire contents of the OEM version of Windows to a special (usually hidden) partition on the hard drive. This enables Windows to look for, and instal drivers from its database for various hardware items if they are subsequently added to the computer, or to add various Windows components if the computer's configuration is changed - when it is added to a network for instance. Major computer manufacturers will supply a system restore disk in these circumstances, so the entire software installation can be reverted to its factory state at any time.

If by "back street retailer" you mean an independent retailer, then the situation would normally be slighly different. Such a supplier will probably not have its own restore disk to supply, and it's common for the original Windows CD to be supplied with the machine. If I bought a machine from such a supplier and the installation CD wasn't present I confess I would wonder why. The disk cannot be used to install Windows on more than one computer, and would be of no legal use to the retailer.

Has your friend asked for the CD?

  Jak_1 00:48 23 Feb 2005

This subject has been a bone of contention for ages. To my mind I think it should be mandatory for recovery cd's to be supplied with any new computer. Added cost = a few pence! To charge any more than 20p for a supplied OS recovery/os master is scandelous and border's on fraud.

  thedarkside 01:07 23 Feb 2005

Thanks for all the input on this one. I will report back tommorrow after I hear from him.

Thanks again.

  phono 01:33 23 Feb 2005

I am with you on this one, to sell a computer without some sort of recovery option would be like selling a car with no warranty for the engine, why should an Operating System be treated as any different?

I personally would avoid any company that supplies an OS on a hidden partition or crude recovery disc that does not allow for an OS repair, I would gladly pay more for a proper CD.

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