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Question about OS's that come with new laptops

 
 
Citizen
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      06-07-2005, 09:36 PM
Do new laptops come pre-formatted? (I would prefer not.)

Does the retailer give you an actual XP OEM disc, or does it give you,
for example, one of those "Dell Exclusive XP" discs, which don't let
you reformat (because they reformat FOR you, so you aren't given any
chances to make changes)?

I am asking this because I have never bought a retail computer, not to
mention a laptop, before (I have always hand-built them from parts).

(Sorry for the run-on-ish grammar.)

 
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Citizen
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      06-07-2005, 09:55 PM
PS: I prefer this mainly for disk partitioning

 
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fred
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      06-07-2005, 10:44 PM

"Citizen" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> Do new laptops come pre-formatted? (I would prefer not.)
>
> Does the retailer give you an actual XP OEM disc,


Unfortunately most frequently NOT and that's for both laptops and desktops.
I wouldn't accept a system with the image restore CDs many mfgs supply these
days. It's an essential feature for a PC enthusiast to be able to clean
install the OS from an MS CD.

> or does it give you,
> for example, one of those "Dell Exclusive XP" discs, which don't let
> you reformat (because they reformat FOR you, so you aren't given any
> chances to make changes)?
>
> I am asking this because I have never bought a retail computer, not to
> mention a laptop, before (I have always hand-built them from parts).


You may be able to insist on an OS install(MS[OEM] release) CD at order
time. The difference between an MS retail release CD and an OEM OS release
CD is not important regarding the purposes I describe. The OEM CD may only
be able to install on the supplying mfg's hardware is the primary
difference.


 
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fred
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      06-07-2005, 10:44 PM

"Citizen" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> PS: I prefer this mainly for disk partitioning


Being able to do an OS clean install is a primary debugging tool.


 
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Paul Rubin
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      06-07-2005, 11:17 PM
"Citizen" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> Do new laptops come pre-formatted? (I would prefer not.)


Yes, almost always.

> Does the retailer give you an actual XP OEM disc,


No, almost never.

> or does it give you,
> for example, one of those "Dell Exclusive XP" discs, which don't let
> you reformat (because they reformat FOR you, so you aren't given any
> chances to make changes)?


Most commonly, XP is pre-installed on the hard drive and you don't
get any reinstallation CD's at all, though you can sometimes order
them separately.
 
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Citizen
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      06-07-2005, 11:26 PM
Well, the XP cd's I own are all OEM editions, and they are exactly the
same as retail XP versions, as you said.

In case you are wondering, if you tell a sales representative you are
building a system, they will sell you a (cheaper) OEM edition.

 
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Citizen
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      06-07-2005, 11:29 PM
since i just ordered a laptop from Dell, is there a way I can call them
up and insist on an OEM cd if they don't give me one?

 
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Paul Rubin
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      06-07-2005, 11:35 PM
"Citizen" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> since i just ordered a laptop from Dell, is there a way I can call them
> up and insist on an OEM cd if they don't give me one?


They will certainly not give you one unless you pay extra.
 
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Barry Watzman
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      06-07-2005, 11:56 PM
Yes, new computers come preformatted with the OS and other software
already installed.

The retailer doesn't give you anything. You get what is in the box (the
Gateway or HP or Compaq or {whoever} box). Exactly what that is, in
terms of the OS, varies. Sometimes you get nothing, sometimes you get a
CD which is very, very different from a "retail" Windows XP CD, and
sometimes you get, essentially, a full retail CD (although technically
it will always be an "OEM" edition of Windows).

Microsoft requires that OEMs provide a means to reinstall Windows,
however they are pretty flexible. So, depending on which of the above
options you have, you may find:

- A "restore" partition on the hard drive. Which is fine unless the
hard drive itself dies, in which case you may be out of luck

- A "restore" CD that can only restore the machine to it's full
configuration as it left the factory. This means that the OS will be
new, but so will all of the other factory supplied software, and in most
cases these CDs reformat the drive, wiping out any of your own software
or files that were on the machine.

- As mentioned, with some models you may get a CD that is essentially
the same as a retail CD and that will let you do anything that you could
do with a retail CD. This, however, is very much the exception rather
than the rule. And it varies not only by mfgr., but by model (e.g. some
Dell computers might come with it while other Dells won't).

Quite often, someone who knows what they are doing can effectively
"make" a general purpose CD from the hard drive. For example, while
many Toshiba systems only come with a "restore CD", the factory
installation has a full, uncompromised "I386" folder. This is all that
is necessary to do anything that you could do with a retail CD, if you
know how to use it. But Toshiba will never acknowledge this, and will
tell you, for example, that if you want to configure Dual boot, you will
have to buy a retail copy of Windows XP when in fact it can be done with
the factory distribution if you make your own Windows install disc by
burning the I386 folder to a CD.

[By the way, all of this applies equally to both laptops and desktops.
In this regard, there is nothing unique about laptops]


Citizen wrote:

> Do new laptops come pre-formatted? (I would prefer not.)
>
> Does the retailer give you an actual XP OEM disc, or does it give you,
> for example, one of those "Dell Exclusive XP" discs, which don't let
> you reformat (because they reformat FOR you, so you aren't given any
> chances to make changes)?
>
> I am asking this because I have never bought a retail computer, not to
> mention a laptop, before (I have always hand-built them from parts).
>
> (Sorry for the run-on-ish grammar.)
>

 
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Barry Watzman
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      06-08-2005, 12:04 AM
Re: "> Well, the XP cd's I own are all OEM editions, and they are
exactly the same as retail XP versions, as you said."

Not really. I'm not saying that the code is functionally different
(it's not), but they are two different versions, and the OS' themselves
know it, and Microsoft knows it. And, to prove it, a retail product key
won't work with an OEM copy of the software, or vice-versa, because both
the software and the product keys are "version specific".

Where this matters is with product activation and also (although many of
individual end-users ignore it) legally. You don't have the same
"rights" with a retail and an OEM copy (the license agreements are
different), and the product activation rules are very different. As
individuals, we largely ignore the legal technicalities (something which
a business cannot afford to ignore), but the product activation policies
will impact you if you, even as an individual, if you try to make major
changes or move the OS from one computer to another.


Citizen wrote:

> Well, the XP cd's I own are all OEM editions, and they are exactly the
> same as retail XP versions, as you said.
>
> In case you are wondering, if you tell a sales representative you are
> building a system, they will sell you a (cheaper) OEM edition.
>

 
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