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03-05-2009 05:18 PM
OK - so when I was called to take my current position, along with it came this HP laptop. While not a Windows user, when I can help it, I was actually beginning to get up to speed with Vista.
Then it started hanging and freezing up, requiring a hard shutdown.
After going round and round, I finally got the BIOS to spit out the issue - "replace hard drive".
Called, and thankfully there is just over a week left of warranty - and they immediately ship out a replacement hard drive (received in less than 24 hours). Unfortunately, as is all to common today - the computer (purchased months before my arrival on the scene) came with no restore discs, instead it has a piece of paper saying to make restore discs from the computer's hard drive. Hmmm.. how with a hard drive that may or may not even boot?
When I called and was set up with a replacement hard drive, I brought this up. The rep said that they would also send restore discs.
But he also let me know that I had a very limited time to get the old hard drive back to them.
Unfortunately, I have been sitting on a new hard drive for two days - and still no restore discs. So what do I do?
Several people have given me all sorts of advice - from DON'T use restore discs - just borrow a copy of the same version of Vista that came on the computer and use it to do a clean install of the OS... All should be ok because I have the COA sticker with a valid license.. (Is this accurate?) What about drivers? What about the other software, some of which I actually use? What about the registered copy of Office that resides on the computer (no install discs - but apparently valid registration)?
Others advise actually finding XP and installing.
Another said I would have to call HP and pay $60 for restore discs (this from someone who builds computers for a living).
I did manage to back up my documents - so that isn't a loss. But still - getting this machine back up and running is likely going to take hours that I just don't have - and/or cost me money for a WARRANTY issue...
I am being very clearly reminded of why I have been an Apple user/fan for 14 years...
03-05-2009 06:28 PM
If you put a clean install of Windows Vista, you can get the drivers from the HP website. I recommend that you go with Vista, if you don't have a need for XP, simply because not all the drivers may be supported on XP for your machine.
As for a clean install vs restore discs, I prefer restore discs that they are basically automated.
What I would do is call up HP and say that the promised recovery discs were not included in the shipment and ask if they can ship you another set.
03-05-2009 06:37 PM
Just got off the phone with HP. I actually spoke with someone in a different call center (sounded like possibly an American...). He looked through the order - said that there was no order put in for restore discs.
He offered to have them sent to me, and would wave the usual charge under the circumstances (kind of hard to make restore discs from a crippled hard drive). I should have them within 5 days. I have about that much time to have the bad drive back to HP...so I guess I will just do the HD swap and put the computer in the drawer for a few days...
03-05-2009 07:30 PM
More questions about the whole thing:
While the "easiest" (a relative term) is to wait for the newly promised restore discs to come in... I have been encouraged by more than one person to forgo the use of those discs, instead to buy XP Pro and install that from scratch.
Another option, to do the same with Vista...
My concern - will this particular computer work as it should wit XP Pro?
How "specialty driver" dependent is it?
03-05-2009 08:49 PM
I am solidly in the camp of do not install XP. Either wait for the Restore Discs to show up (your absolute best option), or find an OEM versioned Vista disc and use that (you'll have to download and install the drivers from the HP website, as they will not be on the disc). XP is basically history. Vista SP1 is better than XP, more stable, and faster on modern equipment. You'll find that 95% of the people recommending XP over VIsta do it because they have heard someone else say it...but don't have a clue (personally) why.
I'd recommend waiting until the Restore Discs arrive, install, then update to the latest drivers from the HP website. It really is your easiest solution.
03-06-2009 08:43 AM
Thank you for the advice. While I do not agree with you on the stability of Vista SP1 vs. XP (my experiences over the last few months bare this out), I just don't have the time or the patience to search out all the drivers and such, so will be using the restore discs.
What is amazing to me - as why the process is so convoluted and time-consuming in the first place. I guess I am spoiled as an Apple user for hte last 14 years.
03-06-2009 01:42 PM