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Operating Systems

The Recovery Disc Rip-Off 551

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the you-get-what-you-don't-pay-for dept.
nk497 writes "The chances of finding a recovery disc at the bottom of a PC box is getting slimmer, as vendors instead take the cheaper option of installing recovery software on a hard disk partition, leaving the buyer with no physical copy of the operating system they paid for if (or when) the hard disk fails. Users can burn a backup disc, but many aren't as diligent as they should be. While some PC vendors will offer a free or cheap disc at the time of purchase, buying one — or even tracking one down — after the fact can be expensive and take weeks to arrive. 'I've had a lot of people that have had this problem,' said David Smith, director of independent maintenance company Help With Your PC. 'One customer recently found his hard drive had gone, but by the time he'd paid £50 for the recovery disc, paid for a new hard drive and paid for the labour of installing the device, it made more sense to buy a new machine.'"
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The Recovery Disc Rip-Off

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  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:12AM (#33122986)

    That's how close we're watching costs these days?

    • by paeanblack (191171) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:24AM (#33123136)

      That's how close we're watching costs these days?

      In an industry where one is expected to lower your retails costs by 25% every year simply to stay competitive, I can't say I blame them.

      If they could fit enough into the BIOS to have it connect to their servers and redownload your OS in case of drive failure, why the hell not go that route? One less plastic disk the world doesn't need.

      • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:27AM (#33123198)

        I don't see why they don't do this anyways. And they don't need the BIOS to do it.

        You have your serial number on the sticker on the box. The OEM license discs won't take the non-OEM serial.

        Just publish the ISO image to their FTP site, say "here it is, download/burn it wherever", and be done with it.

        The real answer is that their "built-in burn your own backup" software is a ruse: first they fuck you over not including a real recovery disc separate from the hard drive, then the OEMs (Dell especially) spam ads all over the fucking screen about buying the "upgraded backup software which will back up your personal documents" while you wait for it to burn the fucking DVD at 0.5x speeds.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by n4f (1473103)
          If the burn even works. I have a Compaq laptop that came preloaded with Windows Vista. Tried burning the recovery because I wanted to wipe the drive, reclaim my 8 gigs by deleting the recovery partition, and install Ubuntu. It would get through 99% of the burn and then just fail randomly. After going through half a dozen DVD-R's, I just gave up.
          • by frosty_tsm (933163) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:45AM (#33124470)

            If the burn even works. I have a Compaq laptop that came preloaded with Windows Vista. Tried burning the recovery because I wanted to wipe the drive, reclaim my 8 gigs by deleting the recovery partition, and install Ubuntu. It would get through 99% of the burn and then just fail randomly. After going through half a dozen DVD-R's, I just gave up.

            I had this happen with an HP too.

            On a side note, I ended up giving it away. It overheated too much and would freeze or shutdown. I had to use external cooling from an over-sized fan with everything placed next to the window on a cold night. The recipient placed in on two ice packs for setting up Windows.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Fallingcow (213461)

              Yours too? I've got an HP Pavilion DV6000-series that's nearly as bad. If I don't prop the back end up (the fans point down and to the back, rather than just back--WTF sense does that make???) it overheats and shuts down if I play a flash video in full screen. Hell, sometimes it does anyway. It's a pretty high-end laptop, or was at the time, but gaming is only a possibility in the winter with the thermostat set on 60.

      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:29AM (#33123218) Journal

        >>>I can't say I blame them.

        I can. It's cheaper for them to run-off a million or so DVD Restore Discs, with discounted pricing, then for me to run to the store, buy a DVD blank, and record a restore disc. (That's what my new HP Compaq computer expects me to do.) I'd rather pay an extra 10 cents on the purchase price and get the disc.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Lumpy (12016)

          I have a better idea.. Why make DELL eat the cost. Microsoft can get off their asses and ship dell 22 billion OS install DVD's Those asshats are raking in the money faster.. How about dell having the balls to tell MSFT to shove it and supply install Discs.

          Honestly Michael Dell rolls over for Ballmer every time. Get some ca-hones Mikey! Microsoft will feel it pretty hard if you tell them to go pound sand.

      • They should just give you the OEM Windows disc and a driver disc with it. Nothing more annoying than the OEM copy of Windows you paid for with the computer being saddled with a mountain of manufacturer-installed crapware every time you install it.
        • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:21AM (#33124124)

          The stickler in this is that crapware merchants pay PC vendors to have their stuff shoveled onto machines, so it will be present everywhere unless one installs from true OS media. So shipping true Windows media isn't in the PC company's best interest because it means fewer installs and fewer chances of getting handed cash when someone upgrades or activates the crapware.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Beale (676138)
        A separate bootable internal SSD large enough to hold an image which can do it couldn't be that expensive.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        In an industry where one is expected to lower your retails costs by 25% every year simply to stay competitive, I can't say I blame them.

        Am I really the only one who would rather they put prices up by 25%, but supplied reliable hardware and a clean OS installation with original media?

        I would be perfectly willing to pay a higher price in exchange for good quality products, where the hardware doesn't fail after only a year or two, the drivers don't get abandoned because a new OS I don't care about came out six months later, the software doesn't routinely crash or leak sensitive data, etc. Unfortunately, hardly anyone in this business seems to

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mlts (1038732) *

          +1. Even if the cost was 50% more so the PC makers can actually provide the following:

          A decent quality level of components. Caps ready to bust are so 2000-2002.
          A level of phone tech support that is decent (no script readers that hang up on the customer if they can't find where to go on the flowchart).
          Printed manuals. PDF files don't do squat when there is no machine to read them.
          CD-ROM media, as well as read-only USB flash drives so machines without CD-ROM drives can be recovered.

          Ideally, a purchased PC

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      For anyone not Apple. Look at what happened with Dell. Basically since 2005 they made almost nothing on PC sales. Something like 70% of their operating income came from kick backs from Intel. It's one of the reasons why I don't buy PC's these days. It's been a race to the bottom and to see who can cut the most corners without completely going under.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:49AM (#33123550)

      That's how close we're watching costs these days?

      No - this is part of "encouraging" people to buy a new PC instead of fixing their old PC. Today, I am finding people that are throwing away dual and quad core PCs because the repair costs are so high.

      Microsoft go out of their way [microsoft.com] to ensure that refurbishers can't just reinstall the original version of Windows. They make it difficult for consumers to reimage their PCs easily.

      If they did that, who would buy a new PC?

  • Gotta wonder... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@nOSpam.gmail.com> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:14AM (#33123000) Homepage
    ... how many Windows "pirates" actually own a legitimate product key but have simply no install CD/DVD.
    • why can't MS have easy to get iso's for windows that just need your key that is on the COA so you don't need to torrent the iso?

    • by Mr. DOS (1276020)

      It gets worse: many so-called Vista “OEM” keys on laptops will only work with the manufacturer's recovery disc, and won't work with a legitimate (but generic) OEM disc. In three instances, I've had to give up and tell clients they'll have to cough up the $40 and buy a recovery disc because I just couldn't get Windows to activate otherwise.

      • On the several occasions I have been in this situation, I have just phoned Microsoft, said that I have reinstalled Vista/7 on a machine following a repair and it won't reactivate and they have taken me through the manual process using my legitimate licence key and sorted it. Have to admit, Microsoft have always been helpful when this has happened.
  • ...of being able to download my OS from the internet for free! Not to mention knowing how to install a new hard drive.
    • by c0d3g33k (102699)

      Amen, brother, amen.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by tepples (727027)

      being able to download my OS from the internet for free!

      But then you have to be more diligent in choosing hardware for your PC. Sure, a Free operating system based on Linux (Fedora, Ubuntu, etc.) supports a wide array of hardware. But if you happen to buy a piece of hardware at the store that's not on the distribution's hardware compatibility list, it probably won't include a Linux driver on a disc either. Now what?

      • by DrSkwid (118965)

        Take Linux LiveCD to shop, test machine. Stop whining.

        • by tepples (727027)

          Take Linux LiveCD to shop, test machine.

          How many shops will unbox a PC that has no floor model to let me test it? Or (in the case of small form factor machines with no built-in optical drive) let me plug in a USB DVD-ROM drive? Or unbox a printer or scanner and let me connect it to a floor model PC?

          • How many shops will unbox a PC that has no floor model to let me test it? Or (in the case of small form factor machines with no built-in optical drive) let me plug in a USB DVD-ROM drive?

            Any store worth doing business worth, that's who.

            If you are buying computers from an electronics/office supply store, you'll get ignored.

            If you are buying from a real computer store, they know that they can't compete on price with newegg/amazon/etc, so they need to compete on service. The staff absolutely will unbox equipme

      • Re:Ah the joys... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Pop69 (700500) <billy@nOspam.benarty.co.uk> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:23AM (#33123118) Homepage
        But if you happen to buy a piece of hardware at the store that's not on the distribution's hardware compatibility list, it probably won't include a Linux driver on a disc either.

        You mean that you haven't noticed that Windows has a hardware compatibility list as well ?
        • by digitig (1056110)
          But windows compatibility is usually marked on the box. Linux compatibility usually isn't.
        • by tepples (727027)

          Windows has a hardware compatibility list

          Driver discs bundled with peripherals extend the hardware compatibility list of Windows because they include a driver for Windows. They do not extend the hardware compatibility list of Linux because they do not include a driver for Linux.

      • I have been finding that Linux compatible hardware is becoming pretty easy to obtain. Certain companies are still on the "bad list" -- Broadcom certainly stands out -- but for the most part, I have no problems anymore. Of course, I do not demand particularly high performance 3D graphics, so maybe that is why...
        • by tepples (727027)

          Certain companies are still on the "bad list" -- Broadcom certainly stands out

          So how do I discern, by looking only at the retail packaging, whether a particular peripheral contains a chipset from a company on the "bad list"? It'd be best if there were a central "good list" of manufacturer names somewhere on the web that I can recommend to friends and family who have grown tired of headaches associated with Windows. For example, HP printers and scanners would make the list. Does this exist?

      • It doesn't help consumers who are already the victims of vendor lock-in, such as those with a large purchased iTunes music collection.

        Or those who simply aren't savvy enough (most) or have better things to do (some) than wrangle with an OS or replace disks.

        Most people have more money than sense, and they don't have much money either.
        • >>>Most people have more money than sense

          Or they recognize that it's silly to waste 3-4 hours trying to make a device work, when it only takes an hour of overtime to earn the cash and BUY the fix (like a new device). That's called common sense.

        • It doesn't help consumers who are already the victims of vendor lock-in, such as those with a large purchased iTunes music collection.

          Was this large iTunes music collection purchased before or after Apple's transition to DRM-free iTunes Plus, which took place between mid-2007 and the end of 2008?

      • But if you happen to buy a piece of hardware at the store that's not on the distribution's hardware compatibility list, it probably won't include a Linux driver on a disc either. Now what?

        After that, I wake up and stop dreaming about the past.

        Welcome to the 21st century.

        • by tepples (727027)

          Welcome to the 21st century.

          Unless I'm severely missing something, you're claiming that makers of PC peripherals, such as printers, scanners, and network cards, started putting Linux drivers on the included CD sometime in the past decade. Which year was this?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drooling-dog (189103)

        it probably won't include a Linux driver on a disc either. Now what?

        Well, there is the internet.

        Actually, though, more often I find the opposite scenario to be true. Most hardware "just works" with Linux, but for Windows you need to install stuff from the included CD. You may be loading just a driver, or you might be installing whatever additional spyware/adware/nagware/crapware the hardware vendor (or some 3rd party) wants on your machine. But as long as it "works", you won't know or care.

        I have nothing (well, a few things maybe) against Windows itself as an OS, but the ec

  • HP Does this ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:15AM (#33123022)

    My wife recently bought an HP laptop. It comes with the recovery stuff on a partition.

    You get one time you can burn a physical recovery disk. When we tried it, the process failed. Leaving you with no more tries at a recovery disk, and no recovery disk.

    Very annoying. Combine that with the performance of the laptop, and we won't be buying anything else from HP because they're products are overpriced and crappy. Ripping a CD created MP3 with really bad jitter and noise -- lame for a dual core machine which wasn't doing anything else at the time.

    Posting anonymously because my wife works for HP and we bought it using her discount. :-P

    • by DrSkwid (118965)

      > they're [sic] products are overpriced and crappy

      > my wife works for HP

      Due diligence again, why didn't you try something before you bought it.

      People pretend like computers are like DVD players.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by berashith (222128)

      The other piece about the HP recovery disks is that they are not an OS disk, but instead an image of the factory default install. I was hoping to have an image with base OS and drivers to get started. Instead I have a copy of all of the apps and other nonsense in the exact same configuration.

    • You should have purchased a desktop if you were looking for performance instead of portability. You might have spent a grand on the laptop, but not on the computer itself. You have the screen, the keyboard, the trackpad, and all the other features the company feels you should have get subtracted from the money that they have to spend on the computer itself. I have seen my friends do it before so your not the first to assume a laptop doesn't come at a premium.
    • by Cruciform (42896)

      The same thing happened with my mom. She's not really a tech-savvy user, but she doesn't go poking at things she doesn't understand, and the backup process wasn't exactly complicated. There was an error on the recovery partition and the backup puked.
      We ended up getting a copy of Windows 7 to throw on it instead of the default Vista that it came with so she was out a few bucks but better off I guess.
      Still, I find it extremely dickish of Toshiba to do such a thing.

    • What model was the laptop?
      We usually buy the Compaq line from HP and that comes with physical media. The last laptop from them came with with 3 discs: Windows Vista, Windows XP downgrade and Drivers. That was last year.

      Usually, I found real difference between their 'home' laptops and their 'business' ones.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mlts (1038732) *

      I learned that lesson with all PC makers. That is why if I get tasked with helping someone with a new PC, first thing I do is boot it from a Knoppix CD, plug in an external drive, and both tar and dd off the partitions. This gives me an image I know will work. Then I boot a TrueImage or MaxBlast CD and use that to image the partitions. The reason I do both is that for a novice user, TrueImage is easier to use, but I know the Linux dd image is able to put back exactly how something was laid out, sector b

  • by FalconZero (607567) * <`moc.liamG' `ta' `oreZnoclaF'> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:19AM (#33123070)
    Personally, I have never used a recovery CD. When I buy a PC - I do not need or want the recovery CD (It just fills up cabinet space). If this cost is unbundled (and I'm not saying it is) - I'd prefer to pay a little less and not receive the physical media.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by zzsmirkzz (974536)
      Personally, I don't want a recovery CD, I want the Windows Install CD and a Driver CD. I just bought an HP which reminded me to make my one set of recovery disks (which I did, 3 DVD's). However, what I really wanted to do was format it and re-install windows to get rid of all the junk they pre-loaded on it.
  • Well, not me directly. My father bought my son an eMachines computer, against my advice, this past Christmas. My son was staying with my folks this past month, with his computer, and it turned out the hard drive failed (despite being only 7 months old). My dad ended up paying for a recovery disc and then taking it to Best Buy (presumably where he bought the computer) for them to install it - which I'm guessing wasn't free. It wouldn't have necessarily been cheaper to get a new computer, but it sounded like
  • Infuriating (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hcpxvi (773888) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:21AM (#33123088)
    This is indeed one of the most infuriating things about purchasing a new computer. How much money can it save? Surely the manufacturing cost of an optical disc produced in bulk is in the noise compared to producing and shipping a laptop? Heck, Canonical will ship you a disc with Ubuntu on for free, so it can't be that pricy.

    Actually, perhaps the Linux zealot faction should welcome the "no OS discs" trend. Faced with a machine where you have had to replace the HDD, it is nowadays much easier to obtain and install Linux than to get your hands on the media from which to re-install Windows.
  • Usage (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MistrX (1566617)

    Pfff... I never like recovery discs. Every grain of personalisation is gone since the company you bought the computer from placed their wallpapers and custom themes all over the place. Even worse, the harddrive is littered with trials of virusscanners or other advertisement software. Always had that personal drive for your music? It's gone! The last recovery disc I used also 'restored' they drive mapping replacing all partitions to make it factory default again. And there is nothing you can do about it. No

    • Re:Usage (Score:5, Insightful)

      by petermgreen (876956) <plugwash@p10link ... inus threevowels> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:33AM (#33123300) Homepage

      Personally I like what dell does with thier buisness machines. The discs they ship (at least the XP ones, I haven't tried the vista or win7 ones) are windows install CDs (not "recovery CDs") that use the normal windows installer, don't insist on wiping the hard drive, don't seem to install andy crapware and yet provided you install them on a dell they will install without any activation BS.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Domint (1111399)
        This continues to be true for their Vista and Windows 7 recovery media as well. I have stacks of the things here at work, and have even used them to "recover" non-Dell hardware, with a valid license activation key.
  • Maybe not even primarily. It is an ease of use sort of thing. Remember: We are talking about the mass market here. Most people are not computer savvy. So if their system blows up, they want a simple fix. When it comes down to problems relating to the disk, most of them are going to be one of two things:

    1) The installed OS got messed up somehow. A reinstall is the answer.

    2) The hard disk failed. A replacement is the answer.

    For #2, the company gets involved and replaces the disk, which of course comes loaded

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:26AM (#33123166) Homepage Journal

    no physical copy of the operating system they paid for if (or when) the hard disk fails

    I know very few people who have recently reinstalled their OS due to hard drive failure. On the other hand, I know quite a few people who have had to reinstall their OS because their OS was a craptastic pile of failure that in one way or another became unusable due to non-hardware issues.

  • by randomaxe (673239) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:26AM (#33123168)
    ...but every Mac I've ever bought has had install discs for the OS and any additional applications in the box. They are rarely needed, since Time Machine does a fantastic job of providing a backup that I can restore to, but they are there.

    That in itself might be worth the so-called "Apple Tax".
    • Not only that, but (Score:4, Informative)

      by davebarnes (158106) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:30AM (#33123254) Homepage

      The discs are not "recovery discs", but full blown copies of the operating system.

      Worth the tax to me.

      • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:39AM (#33124386) Homepage

        > The discs are not "recovery discs", but full blown copies of the operating system.
        >
        > Worth the tax to me.

        No they aren't. They are married to the particular model of Apple they came with. They're no more useful than a Sony recovery disk.

    • ...but every Mac I've ever bought has had install discs for the OS and any additional applications in the box. They are rarely needed, since Time Machine does a fantastic job of providing a backup that I can restore to, but they are there. That in itself might be worth the so-called "Apple Tax".

      Every Dell I have ever bought has had install discs for the OS and any additional applications in the box. How do you like them "Apple Taxes"?

  • a CD that costs about 25 cents each, when i bought a new laptop with win7 earlier this year it was like that = no OEM or recovery disk, the laptop was loaded with gobs of trial software wanting me to buy full versions, so i wiped the drive and put a retail version of win7 i bought at a local brick & mortar PC store, i tried Linux on it but xorg really sucked when it came to supporting the graphics, i did manage to get it to work but the performance was terrible, i will try linux on it again in a couple
  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:28AM (#33123210)

    Is that Apple gives you a real bonafide OS disc with the computer you buy.

  • They have installed a recovery disk exactly where it is needed when you have problems on the road.

    Most devices are laptops. A recovery disk that is at home is of zero use to me when I'm in a hotel. How many people used to carry their recovery CDs with them everywhere they went with their laptops? How does that compare to harddisk failure in a laptop?

    Better still might be to put it on a separate flash chip embedded inside the device.

  • Just about any PC repair person should have copies of all the commonly used OEM Windows install CD's, and in most cases (especially with Vista / Windows 7) the OEM key on your sticker will work just fine to install and activate Windows. The recovery CD will potentially save you 1 - 2 hours tracking down drivers, but you might spend nearly as long de-crapifying the OEM adware. I prefer to create my own backup partition and use ntfsclone to backup up the system once it is tuned to my liking and all addition

  • by gregor-e (136142) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:30AM (#33123256) Homepage
    When you make a backup, you're also enshrining all the crapware the computer comes with. This guarantees that should the drive fail, your crapware shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life. That's probably worth an extra $10 to the manufacturer, so there's no way they're going to bear the cost of a disc plus lose the extra $10 they can get from the crapware-advertisers.
  • My experience has been the opposite of this story summary. Have a 2 year old Dell (warranty expired) that needed Windows (XP Media Center) reloaded on it. Two weeks ago I look for the CDs and couldn't find them, realized they never came with the system. Googled around to this page[1] and ordered the recovery disks. Free of charge. Arrived 2 days later.

    At least for Dell this appears to be a non-story.

    [1]http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/dellcare/en/backupcd_form?c=us&c
  • Even worse, diligence isn't always sufficient. I've tried half a dozen times to burn the recovery disks from my Lenovo laptop. It always has an error during the process and doesn't finish. Out of fear of not being able to get the original OS back on when I wanted to try Linux on that laptop (I use Ubuntu as my desktop OS) I literally pulled out the factory hard drive and put in a new hard drive to run Linux on, as if the factory drive was wiped I had no good path back to the original setup.

    I wouldn't eve

  • How many people here actually use these disks? Don't we all just wipe our new computer of shovelware and install Linux or something? In my experience, i've always thrown away the disks that came with a retail computer. They don't ever restore to the system i wanted. My first dell came with a vanilla win 95 disk that just installed the OS. It wasn't even tied to any kind of hardware identifier. I could install it on my new system, and the system after that (always only one at a time though :))

    When recover
  • I'm working with a SOHO on a workstation refresh. The brand new Lenovo workstations don't come with OS disks (only the burn-your-own recovery disk option). So, we either have to buy Win7 OS media (which, in my mind, makes licensing tricky), or accept the OS load as is, and try to surgically remove anything bloaty. Either way, no good option when you are only talking about half-a-dozen workstations.

    We're trying to de-bloat.

    I contrast this with big companies I work for/with. With hundreds or thousands of

  • It gets worse (Score:5, Informative)

    by D. Book (534411) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @10:57AM (#33123690)

    I recently bought an ASUS netbook which not only came with no recovery discs, but no utility to create recovery media (either optical or USB). If the hard disk dies or the recovery partition is corrupted (e.g. by a failed test restore of your self-created drive image), there's no way to restore the system to its factory state yourself. This has been raised in the ASUS forums [asus.com] and their response is sorry, but you have to return the system to them if you need it restored. Remarkably, people who noted this issue in Amazon.com reviews had their criticism thumbed-down, and ridiculed by "most helpful" reviews containing the narrowminded suggestion that recovery media is unecessary because you can "simply restore from the hard disk!".

  • Operating System (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @02:28PM (#33127574) Homepage Journal

    ``vendors instead take the cheaper option of installing recovery software on a hard disk partition, leaving the buyer with no physical copy of the operating system they paid for''

    I don't know if this is still the case, but the last time I took a look at this recovery software, there wasn't any way to install the operating system I paid for, either. This was several years ago, and the recovery software came on a separate CD. However, when run, this would actually overwrite your harddisk with some image which did not match the installation as shipped, nor matched an actual OS install - where you can, for example, use separate partitions for the OS and your data.

    Failing disks are a problem, but these sorts of recovery software add a new and unnecessary problem: if, for whatever reason, you need to recover your OS, they will also wipe out all your data and installed applications. That's not recovery, that's destruction! Of course, I know about partitioning tools that can split partitions while keeping the data, and I back up my data, so I can work around the breakage, but it's still annoying.

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