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Buying a Laptop with nothing on it


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Tabvla's Avatar
Tabvla Tabvla is offline
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05-Feb-2012, 10:08 AM #1
Buying a Laptop with nothing on it
It seems almost impossible to purchase a Laptop these days with nothing installed.

I want to buy the Laptop of my choice with a formatted but clean Hard Disk. I then wish to purchase the FPL licensed version of Windows 7 and install it myself. After that I will install my own Anti-Virus and other software. This will ensure that the only software installed on the machine is the software that I have selected and installed myself.

Sounds simple doesn't it....?

I went to PC World, selected a Laptop and told them what I wanted. They looked at me as if I was from planet Zen. So the conversation went like this...

Tabvla : Having explained in explicit detail what I wanted
PCW : No we can't do that
Tabvla : Why not?
PCW : We don't work that way - all Laptops are supplied with OEM licenses and our software
Tabvla : So what do I do - go somewhere else
PCW : (after some consideration) No, you can open a business account
Tabvla : And then?
PCW : Well if you open a business account we will supply you with a "clean" laptop
Tabvla : I don't want to do that..... but OK where is the business department?
PCW : Oh no, you cannot buy the laptop here you have to order it online for delivery here and you can then collect it
Tabvla : I think I need a drink of something really strong

The mind boggles

T.
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05-Feb-2012, 10:42 AM #2
I have purchased several laptops and desktops from the business and government sections at Dell.com, and while they did pre-install Windows, they were completely clean of any unwanted junk. Not exactly what you want, but better than the typical laptop sold to the public masses.
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05-Feb-2012, 11:14 AM #3
Microsoft made deals with all computer manufacturers to include Windows on all their computers. Since laptops are not custom built from parts, all will be from a manufacturer and will come with Windows.

You can format the drive and install whatever you want. You wouldn't get much of a discount buying any computer without Windows anyway. OEMs pay about $20 per computer for a Windows license. The $200 price tag you see for a full consumer retail license is nowhere near the cost OEMs pay for licenses.
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05-Feb-2012, 11:42 AM #4
Welcome to the "Microsoft Tax" that we Linux users have had to pay for all these years.
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05-Feb-2012, 03:13 PM #5
Frank4d and DoubleHelix - thanks for your replies.

As much as I concur with your statements, that still does not mean that I have to be a servant of the system.

Cost is not a factor. What I want is a vendor to sell me a Laptop which I can setup the way I want. Reformatting the HDD may not be enough. Many of the vendors setup "hidden" partitions (Dell is good example of this) with whatever they want installed. A reformat won't fix this because in many instances not even Windows can "see" these partitions. You would still have to purchase a high-end partitioning product to be able to return the Disk to a factory state.

I think it is ridiculous that I have to become a registered Business Account in order to buy a "clean" Laptop. And then I cannot simply walk into the Business section and buy it and take it away, I have to order it online and come back another day to collect it.

Let us take two examples : Toshiba - they load their Laptops with a list of software longer than my wife's grocery list. Dell like to setup at least one, often two "hidden" partitions into which they load drivers and anything else that is required to make their machine work the way Dell want it to work.

I don't want my Laptop to work the way Toshiba or Dell or Acer...... or anyone else wants it to work. I want it to work from the outset like I want it to work.

T.
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05-Feb-2012, 04:28 PM #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabvla View Post
Frank4d and DoubleHelix - thanks for your replies.

As much as I concur with your statements, that still does not mean that I have to be a servant of the system.

Cost is not a factor. What I want is a vendor to sell me a Laptop which I can setup the way I want. Reformatting the HDD may not be enough. Many of the vendors setup "hidden" partitions (Dell is good example of this) with whatever they want installed. A reformat won't fix this because in many instances not even Windows can "see" these partitions. You would still have to purchase a high-end partitioning product to be able to return the Disk to a factory state.

I think it is ridiculous that I have to become a registered Business Account in order to buy a "clean" Laptop. And then I cannot simply walk into the Business section and buy it and take it away, I have to order it online and come back another day to collect it.

Let us take two examples : Toshiba - they load their Laptops with a list of software longer than my wife's grocery list. Dell like to setup at least one, often two "hidden" partitions into which they load drivers and anything else that is required to make their machine work the way Dell want it to work.

I don't want my Laptop to work the way Toshiba or Dell or Acer...... or anyone else wants it to work. I want it to work from the outset like I want it to work.

T.
Well, yes, it does. That's the way the system works. Computer manufacturers made a deal with Microsoft to sell Windows with all their laptops. You're not going to be able to buy one without Windows.

You can remove any hidden partitions and set it up exactly the way you want.
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05-Feb-2012, 04:45 PM #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabvla View Post
I don't want my Laptop to work the way Toshiba or Dell or Acer...... or anyone else wants it to work.
You need to direct your concerns at Microsoft. They're the ones "suggesting" that the manufacturers not sell their laptops with anything but Windows.
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05-Feb-2012, 04:55 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabvla View Post
Frank4d and DoubleHelix - thanks for your replies.

As much as I concur with your statements, that still does not mean that I have to be a servant of the system.

Cost is not a factor. What I want is a vendor to sell me a Laptop which I can setup the way I want. Reformatting the HDD may not be enough. Many of the vendors setup "hidden" partitions (Dell is good example of this) with whatever they want installed. A reformat won't fix this because in many instances not even Windows can "see" these partitions. You would still have to purchase a high-end partitioning product to be able to return the Disk to a factory state.

I think it is ridiculous that I have to become a registered Business Account in order to buy a "clean" Laptop. And then I cannot simply walk into the Business section and buy it and take it away, I have to order it online and come back another day to collect it.

Let us take two examples : Toshiba - they load their Laptops with a list of software longer than my wife's grocery list. Dell like to setup at least one, often two "hidden" partitions into which they load drivers and anything else that is required to make their machine work the way Dell want it to work.

I don't want my Laptop to work the way Toshiba or Dell or Acer...... or anyone else wants it to work. I want it to work from the outset like I want it to work.

T.
Life's cruel. Buy the notebook of your choice, get the OS of your choice, and just reformat it and install your chosen OS. Sorry, this is the real world and not some Italian opera. Deal with it and get on.
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05-Feb-2012, 10:11 PM #9
I routinely set up new laptops the way my customers want them. I make suggestions, too, of course, and it's just not a big deal to do this.
Buying from Dell's business section is not at all difficult.
Dell, Acer, Toshiba, etc, know a good deal more about their machines than we do, so I don't understand your objections to their tweaking.
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managed   (Allan) managed is offline
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05-Feb-2012, 10:54 PM #10
There are plenty of free ways to delete any hidden partitions. Then you can make and format partitions however you want.

The hidden partition is for restoring the computer to 'as new' condition as far as the software is concerned. I think it saves the makers the cost of a couple of CD/DVDs.

I would shop around, PC World tend to be expensive IMO, I would at least look at Ebuyer.com and see what sort of price you can find on Ebay.
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06-Feb-2012, 04:20 PM #11
Thanks to everyone who provided positive and helpful replies.

For the past 20 years I have specified and built my PC's myself. That way I have always known exactly the operating environment of the PC's. Up until now my Laptops have been for convenience only when away from my desk.

I had hoped to finally end the days of my desktop PC's and replace these with high-end Laptops. But it seems that it may be more bother to do this than what it is worth.

I may just decide to replace my ageing Laptop with a MacBook Air and run my Windows Apps using virtulisation software such as Parallels...... could be interesting. Any thoughts from those with experience of such an arrangement would be appreciated.

T.
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06-Feb-2012, 04:32 PM #12
You can wipe the drive and install whatever version of Windows you have a license for in whatever partition configuration you want. Buying a laptop with Windows already installed just adds about 15 minutes to your configuration time.
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06-Feb-2012, 10:36 PM #13
You've already spent 10 times more time on this than it takes to fire up a free linux based partitioning tool, completely wipe the drive and set up your partitions.

Personally, when I get a new laptop, I clean out the bloatware, image the OS to an external HDD, then I completely wipe the drive and start clean.

I'm not sure why I keep an image of the original OS because I've never reused it. But, ya never know.
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SUEOHIO   (SUE) SUEOHIO is offline SUEOHIO has a Profile Picture
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07-Feb-2012, 01:16 AM #14
Ive only bought only one laptop with no operating system at all in it and i bought it used from the dell outlet.Its a dell precision m6300. I put windows xp pro in it and my other programs that i use and have been very satisfied with it.The only way i would think to buy a brand new computer without anything at all would be as a custom order say from dell, lenovo, hp, etc.
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07-Feb-2012, 09:22 AM #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SUEOHIO View Post
Ive only bought only one laptop with no operating system at all in it and i bought it used from the dell outlet.Its a dell precision m6300. I put windows xp pro in it and my other programs that i use and have been very satisfied with it.The only way i would think to buy a brand new computer without anything at all would be as a custom order say from dell, lenovo, hp, etc.
No, Sue, you cannot do that. None of the laptop manufacturers will sell a laptop without Windows. That's not an optional customization.

Every Dell laptop I've never seen in their outlet has an operating system installed. Perhaps you bought a very used one off a business lease that had been wiped, but I'm sure it came with a Windows license key regardless.
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