I’m not sure if this is new or not, but I’ve never seen it before.
I was buying a machine from Dell today, and they’re now giving the option to get “standard” reinstallation media for an extra $10. This is really good, because I despise the “Recovery CDs” that come with most OEM machines.
The question is, does this media include all the pre-installed software that comes on the Dell to start with? We posted a while back about a site that tried to get a Dell XPS machine to perform well without touching the pre-installed software, and the results were not pretty.
Further on in their experiment, they tried to get the media to reinstall Windows, and they were somewhat horrified to discover that there wasn’t any. The Windows installation files were on a hidden partition on the drive, rather on external media. They spent days trying to get a reinstall CD out of Dell.
If this $10 option gets you a bare copy of Windows, then it’s worth every penny because the first thing you can do when you unpack the machine is boot from the CD and pave it back to a stripped Windows install.
I would really like the days of OEM Windows to come to an end. I realize manufacturers get it cheap, but I’ll glady pay an extra $50 or $100 to have an actual, retail copy of Windows included with my machine.
(For an example of the stuff I hate about OEM Windows, read this entry from a few years ago: Someone Owes Me an Operating System)