Re: (NDC) Just a Quick Piss-and-Moan

"Neil X." <neilxk@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
OK, so I had both of my computers die on me within a 24 hour period
last week. My HP laptop fried its second HD (the current HD only
lasted 9 months before dying--ARRRGH). So then I was down to my
ancient iMac, which I usually boot up only when I want to do audio
editing, and it lasted for all of 2 days before dying. Being
computerless feels rather like being stuck eating alone in a
restaurant without a newspaper. My sister-in-law comes to visit,
needs directions to her meeting, and I say, that's easy, I'll print
you a map.......uh, no I won't. Actually having to turn on the TV
and watchi local news to get a weather forecast just seems

Damn thing about my HP is that it is a 2004 build, and I've been to
three places looking for someone who has a 2004 version of the XP OS
to install. No one has it. So I've had to order OS install/repair
disks directly from HP. It's not very expensive, bbut it means that I
paid $200 for a new HD install, and got a computer back that won't
work until HP mails me the disks.

I guess this is something to consider when you buy a new PC--very few
of them actually come with OS repair/OS install CDs now. Do yourself
a favor and buy some BEFORE you have a problem. HP is charging me $22
for mine, since I actually bothered to register my with them when I
bought it. That's not too expensive, but it's a hassle to have to

The good part of it is that my wife's boss decided that he really
should buy us a computer, since it's been a real hassle for him not to
be able to reach her by email at home this last week. So they tod us
to pick out a computer, and they'd pay for it. Nice. But the hassle
of that is, of course, that all new computers are shipping with
Windows Vista,which means that I need to buy a new copy of Microsoft
Office, since Office for XP doesn't seem to work well with Vista.
Damn, that Bill Gates is a smart man. Still, for the price of the
Office Suite, we've got ourselves a shiny new Dell notebook.

Neil X.

Hey Neil,

As I understand it, many PC manufacturers provide a "restore partition"
these days instead of providing a CD / DVD to restore a damaged Windows
system. The "restore partition" is a small portion of the drive reserved to
contain a program / data that can restore the Windows system partition to
the original state when the computer was new.

This restore process often includes formatting the Windows partition, which
clobbers any programs you have added to the computer, along with your data.
This is a good reason to keep a backup of important data. The restore
partition can restore the Windows system partition when it has become
corrupted beyond repair within a reasonable amount of time and effort.

As you have discovered the hard way, a restore partition is useless if the
drive suffers a complete failure. In such a case, both Windows and the
restore partition are no longer available. When that happens, you need to
recover from a CD / DVD.

I hope you ordered Windows Vista Home Premium with your new Dell notebook.
The Home Basic version is rather short on bells and whistles. Learn to live
with UAC (user account control). Some people may advise you to disable UAC,
but I don't think that is a very good idea. In spite of the annoying
permission prompts, its worth having it enabled to protect key areas of the
Windows system drive.

Don't be concerned with all the Windows Vista horror stories. Many of the
people having problems with Vista upgraded from XP. Your notebook will have
a clean installtion of Vista. With any luck, it will also have
Vista-compatible device drivers for all the hardware components.

Good luck with your new notebook.

Jules M