I got my notice of the proposed settlement well over a month ago and the court just approved the settlement. I figured I'd post about it, not only because I am involved, but also because its making rounds a few places and I am opinionated when it comes to the whole Recovery CD/Hidden Partition.
When I purchased the HP system two years ago at Best Buy, there was nothing to indicate that Recovery CDs were not included in the box (as they had been with every other computer I had ever purchased). When I first fired up the PC, I was prompted to create the recovery CDs. I attempted to run the CD creation process, following the directions on screen. Long story short, it didn't work. I made several calls to HP expressing my difficulties and finally managed to get a supervisor to authorize shipment of recovery CDs at no charge. I was relieved two weeks later that I had gone through the hassle of getting the discs, cause I needed them to reinstall the OS after a few patches didn't install correctly.
Fast forward to this past winter when I was obtaining some new Gateway laptops for the company I work for. I (again) was not informed ahead of time that they were moving away from shipping Recovery CDs. Their CD creating program did not work either (if I recall correctly, no matter what happened during the creation process, the verification process always failed - which stopped you at Disc 1). I still have not gotten them to ship CDs to me, though I am told you can order Discs with new systems now (similar to the Dell setup). After about a week, Gateway did supply me with a patched Recovery CD creator which skipped the verification stage and allowed me to burn the discs I needed.
As an IT Manager and heavy computer user, I see hard drives fail constantly. I understand there are problems with longevity of optical media and people misplacing discs, but I cannot understand why the PC manufacturers are getting away from including recovery CDs. If they want to include the separate partition, that's fine. But consumers should be told this ahead of time and given the option (both at the time of purchase and after the fact) to purchase Recovery Media. As Ed Bott
, author and computer journalist, points out:
If you use Windows XP, you should have a Windows CD. Period. (One good reason: In Windows XP Home Edition, the Windows Backup program is in the Support folder and isn't installed by default. Backup is a good thing.)
PC Manufacturers like Gateway, Sony, Dell, and HP need to get back to the tried and true Recovery Discs. One for the OS, one for drivers, and as many for bundled applications as they need.
To find out if you are eligible for this settlement, click here
.Engadget: HP settles hidden partition suitEd Bott: Hidden partition vs. a real Windows CDDukes/Dolan v. Hewlett-Packard Settlement Web Site
Tags: HP, Recovery CD Settlement, Recovery CD, Ed Bott, Engadget, computersettlement, Gateway, Dukes/Dolan v. Hewlett-Packard, Hewlitt Packard