I’ve been fighting with this kind of buggers the last week: A friend called last Sunday, telling that his computer did’nt start… I went there and came back home quite quickly; the harddisk had a read error.
The computer is an old HP Pavilion, with a recovery partition; that’s nice I thought – lets use that to get it up and running again… No sweat at all!
You bet it was sweaty! HP has somehow encoded the Windows licenese code onto that partition, you have ONE try to create a CD or DVD copy of it – which should allow to restore the computer to the initial state.
Hah! You are fooled, that isn’t possible. At least not with this particular computer. I spent three days to get the computer to boot in a manner that allowed me to create those discs. As I finally had got then created – which took TWELVE HOURS for TWO DVDs (UNBELIEVABLE) – the software actually ran that long! Then, after replacing the hardisk with a new, suitably large one; attempts to use the discs prooved to be futile. There should be a product code stashed somewhere in a hardware storage (flash?) – this appears not be the case on this one – a five year old computer.

I gave up on the legitimate copy, a free operating system resides on that computer from now on – much simpler to accomplish. And that copy was PAID FOR! Sheesh.

I won’t speak many good words of “Windows” in the near future at least.