If you are ever unfortunate enough for your laptop’s hard drive to fail, and you don’t have a recovery DVD for Vista, you could be in for a rough time. You would think the suppliers would provide a Windows Vista DVD, but no, this is a rare thing these days. Instead, they put a recovery partition on the hard drive which allows you to return to factory settings. Not much good if the hard drive is dead! The better companies also advise you to make a recovery DVD, but the reality is that few people do this.
You would think you could borrow someone else’s DVD and install from that using the licence key you purchased – but no, each manufacturer has their own disk. Unlike Windows XP, these disks are hard coded to the laptop’s hardware.
This is so typical of the way of thinking by certain companies. In the name of “fighting piracy” they make life extremely difficult for the honest joe’s who are only trying to do things the proper way by reinstalling with their licence key, but in fact the pirates easily avoid these measures. You can go on bitttorrent sites and download cracked versions of vista that have no problems with licence keys. Its like video piracy, the pirates edit out the annoying “copyright warnings” – so only the people who have bought genuine DVDs have to put up with watching those warnings every time.
Solution to the Vista DVD issue
Borrow a DVD for the exact company and version, eg Dell Vista Home Basic, Toshiba Vista Home Premium, or if you are technical enough, you can extract the contents of a retail Vista DVD and insert the /souces/oem specific files for that laptop into the extracted install, then use vlite or similiar to rebuild the ISO image and burn to DVD.
In conclusion, why tell us we only own a licence, and make us go through hoops of activating and validating, installing Windows genuine advantage, and then not allowing us to reinstall with the same licence key in the case of hard drive failure?
My advice, make that recovery dvd and keep it safe…