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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    New Laptop - No discs...

    Just purchased a new HP laptop from a local retailer. As expected, it was jam-packed with pre-installed junk and trial software. I knew it would be on there; everything from instant messaging programs to Norton Junk to trials of games, and etc.

    Figured I would just stick the 64-Bit Vista Home Ultimate disc in the optical drive and do a fresh reinstall to clean it all up. It would certainly be quicker (and cleaner) than trying to uninstall all of the aforementioned junk. Much to my amazement, there was not a single disc in the box.

    No operating system, no driver disc for the ATI graphics card, no driver disc for the on-board wireless-N, no drivers for the touch pad. No discs! I just don't understand the reasoning. Doing a fresh install is a choice that I would make, not a necessity - but what if the system truly crashed at some point, then it would be a necessity to reinstall the operating system and all the drivers.

    I'm angry as **** <img src=/S/burnup.gif border=0 alt=burnup width=31 height=31> Think I'll take it all back tomorrow evening and choose something different. What a waste of time.
    - Ricky

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: New Laptop - No discs...

    This is fairly standard practice for all the big companies nowadays. There will be a recovery partition on your hard drive, which can restore the factory state, and there is usually a menu item that will allow you to create a recovery DVD.

    StuartR

  3. #3
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    Re: New Laptop - No discs...

    Well. I've calmed down a bit, but still, it seems nuts to not receive the actual operating system discs. You are correct about the separate partition (D<img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> and that is indeed where the restoration files are located. I'm going to re-open the box and see exactly what creating a recovery DVD looks like. If it allows me to make a working copy of Windows Home Ultimate, then I will feel better. If it only allows me to return the laptop to the state it was in when it came out of the box, then that would be somewhat worthless.

    Guess I'll learn to like it as I'm betting that most retail packaged laptops have the extra special feature of not including the software discs.

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>
    - Ricky

  4. #4
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    Re: New Laptop - No discs...

    It is not just laptops. Desktop systems also. Almost all OEMS only provide a recovery partition for retail sales. The exception may be local 'white box' vendors. Some (maybe most) OEMs let you order a disk for about $10 USD when you order the system.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: New Laptop - No discs...

    Fortunately, I am able to build my own desktop systems, so I always have the software I need. Don't know a thing about building laptops (but shouldn't be too different...) None of the vendors called and asked for my opinion, but I would have suggested a number of features for retail systems, both laptops and desktops: First, do not install anything on a new system except for the operating system and the drivers to effectively use the included hardware. Secondly, include the discs for the operating system and any other discs for productivity applications, trials, etc. Then the PURCHASER of the system could decide what they wanted installed on their system.

    I realize that AOL, Norton, and the rest are probably paying some hefty amounts to have their stuff pre-installed, but I don't care. Those same companies would probably pay something to have their discs included in the box, instead. A losing battle, I'm sure.
    Now, I'm off to change the weather; a much simpler task. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    - Ricky

  6. #6
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    Re: New Laptop - No discs...

    From Dell at least, you can get systems without all the junk pre-loaded. That may be on business systems only. As far as the recovery disks go, it is a financial decision as much as anything. With profit margins being very slim these days any way to save a few dollars per system is very important.

    Joe
    Joe

  7. #7
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: New Laptop - No discs...

    >I'm angry as
    Sure.
    I've always insisted - as part of the initial discussion - that genuine original shrink-wrapped etc copies of the software be part of the deal.
    The new (3 yrs) laptop came so with a WinXP CD and an Office 2003 CD.
    There was some bleating from the vendor for a few minutes "We never do that" etc., but once it became clear that the whole deal was conditional on none of that pre-recorded-and-receovery crap, the CDs were forthcoming.

    I suspect the real job is to dis-associate one's image (to the sales force) of being just-another-suburban-doozy-who-wants-to-browse-the-web.

    Bit like buying a car. Me, I just want to turn the key and go away, but a more knowledgable owner would want all the exploded-diagram manuals available.

  8. #8
    Bronze Lounger
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    Re: New Laptop - No discs...

    One possibility, on which opinions are welcome, might be to install Revo Uninstaller and use that to remove offending programs, and than uninstall it, or for that matter leave it. I have found it to be reliable, but I don't know what others think. It would require a small amount of labour, but not much.

  9. #9
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    Re: New Laptop - No discs...

    I got it worked out...

    I bought the Win64 Vista Ultimate upgrade disc and placed it in the CD drive.
    Installed the trial without serial, erasing EVERYTHING that was on the drive.
    Even wiped out the restoration drive...
    Then used the disc to "upgrade" the trial, this time using the serial number.
    Had to use another PC to acquire the Broadcom drivers for the built-in wireless.
    Once I got the laptop online, Microsft did an extraordinary job upating (and finding) drivers to get the entire laptop functional.
    Took a half day just to get all the relevant drivers and the operating system fully patched and updated.
    Now, I just need to install the productivity software...
    Another half day, for sure.

    Not having the driver discs and the discs for the operating system resulted in some additional expense and a lot of time downloading, but I'm satisfied now. Angry then - but satisfied now.
    Life goes on.

    I'm sure the Revo Uninstaller is a good program and I appreciate the suggestion. I've just never seen any uninstallers that would remove all of the junk left behind from installed software. Most of them do a fair job of removing the application shortcuts, but do little in regards to registry entries, entries to Program FilesCommon..., and changes made to the (in the) windows/system32 folder.

    Nero and Adobe immediately come to mind. You can't remove all of their stuff with explosives!

    On the other hand, it may be entirely different with Vista. I just don't know. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    - Ricky

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: New Laptop - No discs...

    Revo Uninstaller is good at removing any trace of uninstalled programs. I used it to remove old Gamin GPS software and then ran the Registry Cleaner in JV16 power tools, which found no remnants.

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