Many manufactures have taken to not supplying Recovery CDs with new PCs and laptops. Instead they create a ‘recovery partition’ on the hard disc.
This recovery partition can be booted from in order to restore your PC / laptop to its ‘out of the factory’ state. You can then re-install your applications and recover your data from your backups.
The rationale behind this is that many users lose the CDs and can’t recover. Therefore by storing the files in a special partition you can restore without the need for CDs.
BUT – WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE HARD DISK FAILS?
You see when the hard disk fails, you lose any and all partitions and along with it the system restore files. You would then have to order CDs from the manufacture. Dell currently charge £40-£50 for the media but they are not alone.
So what should you do about it?
When you turn on your shiny new computer it will remind you to create your own system recovery disk.
IT IS VITAL YOU DO THIS, unless you prefer to burn money later rather than a CD or two now.
So why don’t we get a set of CDs? Oh yes that’s right, we are too stupid to keep them safe and will lose them. So we create our own CDs but for some reason we won’t lose those? Sorry I don’t buy it.
Tip: When you buy the machine you can often request to pay extra for the media. This is usually cheaper when bought at time of order. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea either.
The key here is to make the CDs when you turn it on for the first time. Don’t put it off. You probably won’t bother and then it gets expensive.
Remember to back up your data regularly too. I recommend an external drive for backups rather than CDs. Windows 7 will do this for you. No need to buy software.