Netbook restore disks

August 10, 2010 at 06:05:29
Specs: Windows 7 Ultimate, Phenom IIx2 550 4GB
Hello fellow CNers.

I thought I would share some information that I found out just yesterday.

I recently bought an Acer Aspire One netbook from Costco. When attempting to create restore disks for the pre-installed Windows 7 starter edition I found I couldn't use a network burner OR a USB external hard drive.

I contacted tech support (India) and was told this couldn't be done and I would need to use a USB external DVD burner drive.

I told them I didn't own one and had no use for one. I then requested they mail me the restore set. I was told I would need to pay $21 to get the disks.

I then called back to Acer and bitched enough to get someone to agree to mail the disks at no charge. I then got someone in the US in level two support that told me the reason I couldn't create the disks was a limitation in Windows 7 starter.

I then suggested that Acer should bundle the disks with the unit.

If this is a limitation of Windows 7 starter this is a major defect, IMO.

On another note I did find out that ALL Acer computers will allow you to create as many restore sets as you wish. This also includes new Gateway computers. I was always under the impression that you only had one bite of the Apple with all OEMs.

Anyway, this may explain why some netbooks are shipping with WinXP instead of Windows 7 starter.

See More: Netbook restore disks

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August 10, 2010 at 07:11:38
Thanks for sharing.

As we often find, if we don't like the first answer we get, calling back will often result in a different, usually better, one.

I do this all the time, in both personal and business situations.

Thanks again.

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August 10, 2010 at 07:57:17
The real issue here is that others buying netbooks with Windows 7 starter have no practical method of creating the restore disks. Or for that matter, restoring the files either.

From what I have read about Windows 7 starter Microsoft changed the capabilities of this OS on the fly. They should address this shortcoming somehow. After all starter was designed to run on devices like a netbook.

At the very least I consider that misrepresentation.

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August 10, 2010 at 10:12:44
Othehill -

Congrats on buying the netbook especially from Costco. Needless to say I think you know the price you paid includes two years of Concierge Tech Support.

As a side note, this past February someone posted THIS question at M$ own Answer site (hosted by the MVPs), asking about how to Reinstall windows on a netbook without the hidden partition. A non-MVP wrote back saying.....

If your netbook does not have an optical drive (most do not), maybe the manufacturer did not see the need to provide you with a recovery disc.

This answer surprised me because none of the MVPs has commented on the question asked & the answer given. I faintly remember reading that during the OLPC (one laptop per child) early evolution M$ is quoted to have said that because OLPC (netbook) are designated to be a throw-away computer when it no longer works (hence the lower cost), no recovery will be included, & their OEM partners concurred. This has to be the very reason why M$ & the OEM are being very evasive on this issue (no recovery partition).


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August 10, 2010 at 10:27:41

My Acer Aspire One does have a recovery partition on it. I assume it works too. There is a utility already installed that I am confident would work if I had an external burner. It just states it can't find a optical drive. Evidently it only looks for drive via USB, not network.

The problem is that without having a USB burner there is NO way to create the restore DVDs. I was told the restore set could be made to CDR but the total file size is over 7GB.

The issue, so I'm told, is that Windows 7 starter can't access a network burner or a USB hard drive. Only method is USB DVDR.

This is not acceptable. I mapped a drive on my desktop to the net book and can access disks on it. I didn't try installing any burner software on the net book, but that shouldn't be necessary.

So the limitation seems to be with Windows 7 starter.

I am aware of Costco's policies. That is why I bought it from them. Actually, I am considering returning the net book because I found the screen size to be too limiting.

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August 10, 2010 at 13:31:47
Computer Manufacturers have been shipping computers without install CD's for at least a decade now, this is nothing new.

The customers never burn a back-up CD and when the computer breaks down they charge the customer for the restore disks.

I'm very surprised you did not know this, or expected to do anything besides burn a DVD/CD.


PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI

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August 10, 2010 at 13:40:18

You misunderstood what we were discussing. We all know damn well that OEM system builders (except for Dell & Toshiba as far as I know) does not supply recovery discs. If you don't have anything worthwhile to say, don't comment,

Have a good day!


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August 10, 2010 at 15:10:57

I expected to be able to burn the disks without having to buy an external burner. After all, there are three USB ports and both wired and wireless network.

If you had read the entire thread you would know that.

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August 10, 2010 at 16:41:35
"...I was always under the impression that you only had one bite of the Apple with all OEMs...."

... here is a good "how to" for "Compaq"

... its a bit unfair for them to only allow one bite do you agree?


... Posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties

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August 11, 2010 at 08:07:02
I expected to be able to burn the disks without having to buy an external burner. After all, there are three USB ports and both wired and wireless network.

If you had read the entire thread you would know this.

I read the entire thread. If you had read my entire reply, you would know that.

1. It's a net book, of course you are going to have to buy an external drive

2. OEM's haven't shipped CD's with retail computers for along time now, almost a decade. I should know, we switched to the same scheme before I left my job in the early 2000's. You are extremely lucky if you get restore disks, outside of the business world that is.

3. You should expect to ONLY be able to burn an .iso, or back-up image of a windows restore image to a CD/DVD, I have NEVER heard of being able to simply copy the image successfully to any other media, not that it is impossible.

That's just the retail world, but you did the right thing buy bitching at the OEM until they gave you a free restore disk.

EDIT: And on another note, you really should just expect to have NO OS with a retail PC in this day and age. The reason is the one that's installed is usually the bottom of the barrel and the restore disks are crap. Expect to buy the computer and a fresh copy of an OS.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI

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August 11, 2010 at 08:19:25
Why should I expect to buy an external DVD burner when the netbook has network connections and I have a USB hard drive.

My expectations were that I would be able to create the disks using the integrated connections without the need to buy additional hardware. No one buys a netbook to use as their primary computer. So why would they want an external burner. I can network and use any hardware I have available on my LAN from the netbook. I don't feel it is too much to ask to have the same option for making the restore set.

If you don't get it then I am wasting my time trying to get the point across.

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August 11, 2010 at 09:07:50
no, no, I understand perfectly. I know it down right sucks, and I use to be this pissed at OEM's awhile ago over the same crap. But over time I just got use to it because that's just how things work now, be it right or wrong.

I purchased a CTL 7" netbook, AND also purchased an external DVD burner at the same time off of eBay for $20.00 because I was already expecting the worst. I also reformatted the little guy as soon as I got it because it only came with windows 7 starter and I loaded up Windows XP Pro.

So I know your pain, but that's just how things are.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI

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