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  1. #1
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    Caution: This post is based on THEORY; I have not yet had the pleasure of installing Win7 on a laptop.

    I think I've worked out why I don't like the trend away from Original-CD-In-Jewel-Case at retail stores.

    I spent a delightful couple of hours yesterday traipsing around stores, looking at laptops, with a delightful lady friend, me trying not to be the "heavy" when the sales geek boasted of 500GB hard drives and dual-core processors. My friend and colleague needs the laptop for email and invoice-generation. Maybe down the road, check-book balancing.

    All my (CD) life I've insisted on the genuine CDs, Microsoft-sticker, being supplied with a new computer.

    If I understand the sales geeks correctly,
    1. You purchase a cardboard box with a laptop and cables.
    2. You take it home, unpack and connect, and power on.
    3. The laptop bootstraps into what used to be Setup.EXE on a/the CD.
    4. You answer the skill-testing questions and voila! you have a laptop set up as Windows7.

    At this point the setup routine causes the original set of setup files to be deleted ('to free up disk space", but it is clear that the sales geek hasn't really thought about 500GB drives).

    Following all this, one makes one or two images on (a set of 4) CDs and one is ready to go.

    Should the machine fail in the future, the set of 4CDs restores the machine to today's state.

    I don't like it in principle because it seems to me that without the original set of setup files, the best one can do is to restore the laptop to the state engineered by one's decisions on sale-day. Any configuration that was possible before the original set of setup files was deleted, is now impossible. One is therefore confined to a narrow band of possibilities that extends from one's original, possibly un-informed decisions made during one's first installation (or worse, that decided by the sales-geek-team at your local big-range-low-cost-teenage-staffed store).

    My arguments apply to any software that is supplied on OEM pre-installed systems, including desktop office suites and, indeed, systems outside the Windows sphere.

    In writing I realize too that what I have loved as the Original-CD-in-jewel-case are themselves only snapshots of what Redmond-Seattle decided would be permissible options for us. There must be hundreds of combinations/options that were dropped from the retail release of those builds.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisgreaves View Post
    <snip>
    Do they teach how to précis or paraphrase in Canada? No? Oh!

    What you are asking for is a retail copy of the operating system, not the considerably cheaper variant you get implicitly and installed when you buy a PC from the computer retailer. 'Chacun ŕ son gout', as they say...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  3. #3
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    At this point the setup routine causes the original set of setup files to be deleted ('to free up disk space", but it is clear that the sales geek hasn't really thought about 500GB drives).
    Following all this, one makes one or two images on (a set of 4) CDs and one is ready to go.
    Should the machine fail in the future, the set of 4CDs restores the machine to today's state
    Wrong, the setup files are NOT deleted, as they are part of the "Recover Partition", which on a GOOD machine will be a hidden one and not the "D" drive. As for making the DVDs (Vista and Windows 7 comes on DVDs) they are the same as one, that would be in the box, they are NOT "Images" but a set of setup files like the retail copy. Most OEMs, will sell you a "Factory made" set for your model normally for about $20.00 US, including shipping, which we order as soon as we can. The factory made always work.

    The OEM's provide drivers and software for the devices that come with your machine and any other drivers that Microsoft provide with the OS.

    I have used the "Recover to Factory" many times. It takes about 20 minutes to do a clean rebuild, but you may also get all of the OEM provided add ins. Some OEMs offer to save your data files, but, this data MUST be in the default locations that Windows say they should be in.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post
    What you are asking for is a retail copy of the operating system, ...
    I don't think so.
    I can remember the last 3 machines I purchased new at retail (as distinct from, say, an IBM server at a liquidation warehouse).
    In each case I was offered a "burned restore image" or similar, and in each case I insisted on an original set, and after some debate, the originals were included.
    Perhaps the sales geek bundled it into the entire package ("I'm making $2,000 off this guy and need the sale ...I can afford to throw in a copy ...").

    My basic premise still holds; it seems to me that we lose our ability to customize the OS with the current scheme.
    At time of installation we make a decision, and have shed some of our original options forever.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
    Wrong, the setup files are NOT deleted, as they are part of the "Recover Partition", which on a GOOD machine will be a hidden one and not the "D" drive.
    Dave, Thanks for the correction. It would seem that I misunderstood the sales-geek, or else that he made a false statement. Michelle and I listened to his spiel and I asked for confirmation.

    ... they are the same as one, that would be in the box, ...
    Thanks too for this. As above; maybe we stumbled on a knowledge-impoverished geek.

    ...sell you a "Factory made" set for your model normally for about $20.00 US,
    Yesterday $cdn149.00, so I suspect we were quoted the shelf price.

  6. #6
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    To get the DVD's for your model, they must be ordered from the OEM. You can do this on line or from thier 800 numbres if they have one.

    Yes, That " $cdn149.00" is the retail copy off the shelf.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    There are many programs to make a snapshot of you're current machine. I don't quite understand your whole "argument" or discussion of not having original set-up disk. Like you said, it's only someone's idea of what it should be at "brand new condition". Of course this is over simplified. Then again there is the restore point to maintain one's last set-up. The only disadvantage is that these snapshots or restore points are equipment dependent. But then again that's what the EULA is all about.

  8. #8
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    If it hasn't been mentioned yet, there is nothing stopping you from purchasing a next level upgrade (unless already using Ultimate) and custom installing to the n'th degree and avoiding any
    One is therefore confined to a narrow band of possibilities that extends from one's original, possibly un-informed decisions made during one's first installation
    .

    It may also have been mentioned already but if you make restore images of your system, those are taken from the restore partition on the system so if that restore is ever needed, it takes the system back to the pre-setup period because Microsoft wants to be sure its still original and belongs to that system so agreeing to terms and preparing desktop and activation (silent or not) takes place all over again. At least it always has before and it probably hasn't changed in Win 7 (haven't had to test it yet).

    Edit; Also, many of us find that we're never satisfied with the orignal install, too much stuff we don't want on the system and none of the stuff we really use is there; so once we have it setup exactly the way we want it, then we take our own "snapshot" of the system and never use the original image again if we can help it because we've got the one we want now. The exception is usually if we're preparing the system for resale.

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    Here's a thought - the Windows version on store-bought PCs is the OEM version. Find someone who has a copy of the OEM DVD (exact version, such as Home Premium, as on your PC) and make a copy of it. Then you can install (or re-install) from that copy of the DVD and supply the serial number that appears on the bottom of the laptop or back of the dekstop when the install asks for it. That should make a clean install.

    The point here is that you have purchased the right to run an OEM copy of Windows on your hardware. Provided that you use the serial number that came with your hardware only on that hardware, then you are legally in the clear.

    I used a similar mechanism when I upgraded my daughter's laptop to Windows 7 after purchasing the college student discount upgrade. As far as I could tell, the upgrade required to to start the install from a running copy of Windows. Unfortunately her laptop was blue-screening on bootup and all attempts to fix that were unsuccessful. So I installed a new hard drive, used another retail Windows 7 DVD I had, but used her upgrade serial number during the install.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveA View Post
    Wrong, the setup files are NOT deleted, as they are part of the "Recover Partition", which on a GOOD machine will be a hidden one and not the "D" drive. As for making the DVDs (Vista and Windows 7 comes on DVDs) they are the same as one, that would be in the box, they are NOT "Images" but a set of setup files like the retail copy. Most OEMs, will sell you a "Factory made" set for your model normally for about $20.00 US, including shipping, which we order as soon as we can. The factory made always work.

    The OEM's provide drivers and software for the devices that come with your machine and any other drivers that Microsoft provide with the OS.

    I have used the "Recover to Factory" many times. It takes about 20 minutes to do a clean rebuild, but you may also get all of the OEM provided add ins. Some OEMs offer to save your data files, but, this data MUST be in the default locations that Windows say they should be in.
    W7 came out in October, I bought my computer in November, and today I went to the Hewlett-Packard site to buy a recovery disk--

    All sold out for my model/software-build combo. I snoozed, I lost.

    And my Compaq Presario doesn't have a "burn a recovery DVD" option. I guess that HP/Compaq presumes that my factory-image HD is all I need. I did, however, make myself a 293 Mbyte bootable Windows 7 system-repair CD disk. (See _Windows 7 All-In-One For Dummies_ by Woody Leonard, pp. 134-135.)

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