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Stop being cheap and give me my restore CD

If you have'nt purchased a new computer in the last 5 years then you might not be aware of a nasty trend that is starting up again with system builders such as HP/Compaq. Many system builders are shipping and selling you computers with no restore disks, only a built in restore image on your hard drive.

While many of you are probably going to say "Well they are trying to save money...", I want to remind you that this has been catching on for the last 5 years it seems. This was also tried in the mid 90's for a very short time before Microsoft got on the PC builders and said "You need to provide media with these systems!". If anything now these companies are wasting money, and ruining their customer service reputation.

Lets take a look here:

  1. The companies are going to be making restore disks anyway for the system to be purchased to be ready for purchase, and for customers who order them.
  2. Burning a DVD and placing it in a paper sleeve surely must be less than 50 cents, probably closer to 10 or 15 in such a huge bulk production.
  3. Customers expect to have disks with their systems after close to 10 years of always getting them.

So knowing that customers expect to get their restore CD's and that production of these Cd's is pretty cheap... Why the heck are they not providing the disks to the customers?

The only thing I can think of is that they want to make more money off the customer after the sale of the system, and it's just wrong. I look at it this way, if the customer's computer does'nt boot anymore, they don't have their restore disks and call the system tech support line for help. At this point one or more of these things can happen:

  1. Tech support sells them a "support incident" for around $100 to diagnose the issue over the phone
  2. Tech support sells them restore disks for $20-$30 plus shipping
  3. Tech support sells them replacement parts for around $100 to $200
  4. Tech support tells them the system is dead and they need to buy a new one

A similair case with systems full of spyware and viruses:

  1. Tech support sells than an "incident" for $100 and about half the time can fix it remotely
  2. Tech support sells them restore disks for the system because they can't do anything else for $20-$30 plus shipping

It's just a scam in my opinion to make you spend money, you realy should'nt have to spend, at the very least. At best it's a way to keep you as a customer, or get more sales after the fact.

Some people might say "Well you have a factory image on the hard drive to use" that is true, but lets look at the two main reasons why you need to run a restore on your system:

If your hard drive dies you need to image a new drive, guess what the old drive image is useless in this case. Second If your system is infected with spyware or a virus, yes you can likely run a restore from the restore partion fine. However can you really trust it? Your system was just infected so badly you had to wipe everything out and start from scratch, do you trust that the restore partition is not infected in some way?

So what you should do is as soon as you purchase a new computer, check the box and all documentation and see if you got your restore disks. If you did'nt, call the manufacturer up and complain, and DEMAND your restore disks. Don't let them charge you for them, DEMAND them. Threaten to return the product if they don't, talk to the supervisor, whatever you need to do. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason for them not to provide these disks with a new system.

I'm also going to be straight up here and call out the companies that do this the most. That's right I'm pointing at you HP and Compaq, you need to take some notes from your competitors. Toshiba, Dell, Asus, and even eMachines provides restore disks with their systems, and they are likely saving themselves thousands of dollars by not having to staff extra people to order restore disks, and refund customers for their never provided disks.

What makes this worse is that HP and Compaq actually have the guts to tell you nowadays to "Make your own". That's right, when you buy a new system and turn it on, it will give you a wizard to make your own restore disks. Now don't get me wrong, it's nice to have that, but for the average home user they are #1 likely not to do it, and #2 what if the burn goes bad, the customer won't know until it's too late. Finally it's a bit insulting to tell me, "Yeah we were too cheap to give them to you, so spend a couple hours making your own"

Last Updated: 07/20/2009 04:48 AM

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