Can a mod please stick this.
Why is my new Advent PC not supplied with any disks?
Your PC will be supplied with a hard drive based recovery in place of CDs. This uses a special partition on the hard disk to copy all the files over to the main partition if needed. All the information to restore the PC to the out of box state is stored in the partition and copied over automatically, the process takes about ten minutes.
So what if the hard disk fails?
If the HD fails in warranty you will be supplied with recovery media by the TechGuys as part of the repair, if you have not already made them. The media will restore the recovery partition, followed by the factory settings on the PC as originally supplied.
If the machine is out of warranty, and you have not made recovery disks, you can order a set of CDs from PC World Sales - 0870 901 6000. You will be charged £30 for media, shipping and handling, so you need the SN and model of your PC and credit card handy when calling them.
If you have already made disks then you just boot the PC up from the recovery disk, after changing the hard drive.
How can I recover the PC?
1. Start > All Programs > System Recovery > System Recovery. Press OK to restart and load the recovery program when prompted.
2. If Windows doesn't load, then repeatedly tap F10 as soon as you power on the PC and it should say "Starting System Recovery" - as soon as it does so, then you can stop tapping.
3. If you have recovery disks then boot off the first disk and press R when prompted.
When the recovery program starts you will be presented with some options, these are relatively self explanatory. When copying files has finished restart the PC to complete the installation and setup of the PC.
How do I create recovery disks?
From Windows, Start > All Programs > System Recovery > Recovery Media Creator. Follow the onscreen instructions - the choice of DVD or CD is normally offered and this is to suit your personal preferences.
If this fails for whatever reason, make a note of any messages you're getting, in case they're needed on here, or when contacting the TechGuys, then first of all check the partition is correct in Disk Management (Start > Run > diskmgmt.msc) by having a look at the partitions on the hard disk. If it appears correct then use NTI, Nero or whatever CD writing program is installed on your PC to test the drive is working. If the drive burns OK, then the problem could be with Recovery Media Creator - in this instance, there is a workaround designed to use Recovery Media Creator to unpack the ISO files, then any CD writing program to burn them.
1. Ensure no disks in the drives
2. Load Recovery Media Creator
3. Select the option to make a DVD
4. When the message pops up asking you to insert a DVD then don't. Instead, load up your burning package (NTI, Nero, or whatever).
5. In that package, choose to make a Data DVD
6. Then you need to select the ISO file to burn - in NTI, this is "Create Disk from ISO Image file" on the file menu, in Nero, the option is in the wizard - or merely using Windows to navigate to the ISO and double clicking it should open in Nero.
7. The ISO is located in C:\Temp. Navigate to this folder, it will be called CD0.iso
8. When you have all the settings confirmed insert the blank DVD. The DVD should burn successfully.
9. Close your writing package and Recovery Media Creator, and delete the CD0.iso file.
If this doesn't work you will need to contact the TechGuys for further diagnostics and possibly a disk to be sent out. It is feasible there might be a known issue for that model, for example if the recovery partition is missing.
Finally, a few points to make sure you don't get yourself messed up:
- Make your disks as soon as you get the PC and keep them in a safe place - you are only allowed to make one copy.
- Do not use a retail or OEM XP CD on the PC, as this will most likely be illegal and not licensed properly, most importantly it might disable the hidden partition recovery meaning you lose all the applications and might have to pay for disks.
- Do not use Norton GoBack or similar tools - this interferes with the MBR and disables the F10 hotkey so you can't recover if Windows doesn't load. Again, doing so is not covered by warranty and may need you to pay for media.
- If you change the operating system, to Linux or Vista, for example, make sure you have the recovery disks and all required drivers. If a configuration is not supported, you may well be required to restore to the factory OS to confirm that the problem is not related to the OS, and in such cases you will not get support until you do - this includes a fee to get the CDs if you haven't made them.
Bear in mind for older machines the CDs may no longer be available.