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Question about OS's that come with new laptops

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Citizen, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. Citizen

    Citizen Guest

    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.)
    Citizen, Jun 7, 2005
    #1
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  2. Citizen

    Citizen Guest

    PS: I prefer this mainly for disk partitioning
    Citizen, Jun 7, 2005
    #2
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  3. Citizen

    fred Guest

    "Citizen" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    fred, Jun 7, 2005
    #3
  4. Citizen

    fred Guest

    "Citizen" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > PS: I prefer this mainly for disk partitioning


    Being able to do an OS clean install is a primary debugging tool.
    fred, Jun 7, 2005
    #4
  5. Citizen

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Citizen" <> 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.
    Paul Rubin, Jun 8, 2005
    #5
  6. Citizen

    Citizen Guest

    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.
    Citizen, Jun 8, 2005
    #6
  7. Citizen

    Citizen Guest

    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?
    Citizen, Jun 8, 2005
    #7
  8. Citizen

    Paul Rubin Guest

    "Citizen" <> 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.
    Paul Rubin, Jun 8, 2005
    #8
  9. 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.)
    >
    Barry Watzman, Jun 8, 2005
    #9
  10. 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.
    >
    Barry Watzman, Jun 8, 2005
    #10
  11. Actually, some of the Dell systems do still come with real OS CDs. If
    yours doesn't, your only option is to call them after the fact and ask
    for them. They may or may not have them available, and if they do they
    may (almost certainly will) charge for them.

    If you have an "I386" folder on your computer (it could be almost
    anywhere), and it's about 500 megabytes in size, and it has the files
    Winnt.exe and Winnt32.exe on it, burn that folder to a CD. Before you
    do this, however, create a text file in that folder called "Prodkey.txt"
    and in that text folder, enter the product key for your computer. Enter
    both the product key on the sticker on the computer itself, and also the
    actual product key key of the running system, obtained with Aida,
    Belarc, Everest, Magical Jelly bean or another program that can display
    the product key. Sometimes, the sticker and the product key of the
    running system will not match (which is ok, but it's good to have a
    record of them both).



    Citizen wrote:

    > 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?
    >
    Barry Watzman, Jun 8, 2005
    #11
  12. On 2005.6.7, wrote:




    > > 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.


    Of course, there are many enthusiasts who would prefer not to have the
    MSOS to begin with. With laptops, in which case it's hard to get a
    new machine without paying for an OS they will never use, blast the
    pre-installed OS to hell and use BSD or Linux install disks.

    As long as they're cutting corners, I wish the laptop manufacturers
    would go all the way and not even bother with the OS.



    --


    How many retured bricklayers from FLORIDA are out purchasing PENCIL
    SHARPENERS right NOW??
    Garglemonster, Jun 8, 2005
    #12
  13. Citizen

    Citizen Guest

    Only if they lowered the price to make it worth it to the consumer...

    And it would have to be an optional choice, as many aren't
    technologically ept enough to format a computer.
    Citizen, Jun 8, 2005
    #13
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