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Just Some 'basic Survival' Info, Please ...


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#1 MaraM

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 02:15 PM

I have a new computer with 'Microsoft XP Media Edition' on it and even after reading everything I could find, I'm afraid I'm still a bit confused (and yes, I'm a 'newbie' - gentle smile).

It did not come with any OS disc - merely preloaded at factory.

I have sent Sony an email requesting that I be able to purchase 'a disc', just the way they used to come with each new computer - so far, haven't received a reply.

Did find and use the built-in Sony program called ''Vaio Recovery' and created the 8 discs - but apparently if I need to use these, it puts the computer completely back to it's 'original store purchased state'.

Which is lovely, except so much would be lost when doing it, even though I do weekly 'back-ups' onto CDs.

So my question is:

Since I don't have the real OS 'disc' (like I had with my old Windows 98SE computer) ... and this new machine obviously doesn't come with the trusty little 'boot floppy disk' either ...

1. What exactly should I create to ensure that when a huge 'hiccup' arrives on my new computer, I can get it started once again if it should 'die'? Or is the concept of a 'boot floppy' truly out-dated and never ever needed with these new magical machines?

And if there is something I should create to cope with those future 'hiccups' with the computer, would you please be kind enough to explain how to do it very simply? Another gentle smile.

Thanks so much,
Mara
Never let your computer realize you are in a hurry or just typing the last few words of a vital document.

While outer events might make one happy or sad, happiness itself is entirely internal, and at all times completely within one's power.

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#2 need TOS

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 03:29 PM

Actualy the floppy standard isnt out dated just pushed aside a bit. Go down to your local store and buy a floppy and put it in. Then u can make a trusty boot disk again. (Not much use in my opinion for the XP bootdisk thoug)
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#3 Herk

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 06:31 PM

In order to protect yourself, you need to back up all your important data. This includes pictures, emails, favorites, document files, any files you've saved that you don't want to lose.

Your computer came with the operating system on a hidden partition on the disk. As long as the system is under warranty, if the hard drive fails, you've still got the option of going back to the manufacturer and getting the hard drive replaced. Then you can re-install programs and copy your data back into the computer.

Once the warranty is up, you're on your own.

If your operating system fails, you can restore it from the partition the operating system and restore files are on. Some computers have the ability to burn a set of CD's of the operating system, check your users manuals and look in the Programs menu to see if you can find it. It will only burn a single set of disks, then be disabled.
I don't know about Sony, but other computers do have it.

#4 jgweed

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 10:33 PM

First, Sony should provide you a Windows disk for minimal cost or for free if you push them about it.
Second, Windows has System Restore; make sure it is enabled (it usually is by default). Your HELP file will give you information on its operation. You can find System Restore in Programs/Accessories/System Tools/System Restore.
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BC has a Tutorial on creating a floppy boot disk:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/create-floppy-boot-disk-in-windows/

Regards,
John
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#5 Enthusiast

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 11:07 PM

To create an MS-DOS startup disk
The MS-DOS startup disk you create will allow you to boot into MS-DOS.

Insert a floppy disk into your computer's floppy drive.
Open My Computer, and then click the floppy disk drive to select it.
On the File menu, point to the name of the floppy drive, and then click Format.
Under Format options, click Create an MS-DOS startup disk.
Click Start.
Important

Creating an MS-DOS startup disk erases all information on the floppy disk.
Notes

To open My Computer, double-click the My Computer icon on the desktop.
The MS-DOS startup disk only allows the system to boot into an MS-DOS prompt. The disk contains no additional tools.

or you can download the set of 6 setup boot disks from here:
How to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310994

While Sony does have a restore partition on some of its models, that does nothing for you if/when the hard drive fails, so Sony should provide either a Windows operating system disk or a manufacturer's restore disk at no charge with a new machine.

You may have to go up the food chain in support, but especially since the computer is still under warranty and capable of being returned, they will provide the disk with enough perseverance on your part.

By the way, an external USB hard drive does a far better job at backups and in fact can be made to do backups incrementally and automatically with the right software (which comes with some drives made for this purpose). Format it in NTFS so you do not have a 4gig limitation.

Edited by Enthusiast, 03 May 2006 - 11:16 PM.


#6 MaraM

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:15 AM

In order to protect yourself, you need to back up all your important data. This includes pictures, emails, favorites, document files, any files you've saved that you don't want to lose.

Your computer came with the operating system on a hidden partition on the disk. As long as the system is under warranty, if the hard drive fails, you've still got the option of going back to the manufacturer and getting the hard drive replaced. Then you can re-install programs and copy your data back into the computer.

Once the warranty is up, you're on your own.

If your operating system fails, you can restore it from the partition the operating system and restore files are on. Some computers have the ability to burn a set of CD's of the operating system, check your users manuals and look in the Programs menu to see if you can find it. It will only burn a single set of disks, then be disabled.
I don't know about Sony, but other computers do have it.



Hi Herk,

Wow, I had no idea that some computers actually have the ability to "burn a set of CD's of the operating system"! I'm off to rummage around inside this new computer and see if Sony has this same option.

Really do appreciate you letting me know this may be possible ...

Mara
Never let your computer realize you are in a hurry or just typing the last few words of a vital document.

While outer events might make one happy or sad, happiness itself is entirely internal, and at all times completely within one's power.

#7 MaraM

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:21 AM

First, Sony should provide you a Windows disk for minimal cost or for free if you push them about it.
Second, Windows has System Restore; make sure it is enabled (it usually is by default). Your HELP file will give you information on its operation. You can find System Restore in Programs/Accessories/System Tools/System Restore.
.
BC has a Tutorial on creating a floppy boot disk:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/create-floppy-boot-disk-in-windows/

Regards,
John


Hi Jgweed,

I had found the Windows System Restore part of this new computer and honestly never thought to check if it was 'turned on' or enabled ... just assumed (eek!) that it would be auto.

I apologise for missing the above tutorial when wandering through this great site ... perhaps I 'saw' it but it didn't register mentally because when I think of 'floppy' I think that little square 'floppy' that I could use with my old computer and woe, this new machine didn't come with that little slot.

Thanks so much for responding to my question and especially mentioning to double-check that 'System Restore' is turned on.

Mara
Never let your computer realize you are in a hurry or just typing the last few words of a vital document.

While outer events might make one happy or sad, happiness itself is entirely internal, and at all times completely within one's power.

#8 MaraM

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:39 AM

To create an MS-DOS startup disk
The MS-DOS startup disk you create will allow you to boot into MS-DOS.

Insert a floppy disk into your computer's floppy drive.
Open My Computer, and then click the floppy disk drive to select it.
On the File menu, point to the name of the floppy drive, and then click Format.
Under Format options, click Create an MS-DOS startup disk.
Click Start.
Important

Creating an MS-DOS startup disk erases all information on the floppy disk.
Notes

To open My Computer, double-click the My Computer icon on the desktop.
The MS-DOS startup disk only allows the system to boot into an MS-DOS prompt. The disk contains no additional tools.

or you can download the set of 6 setup boot disks from here:
How to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310994

While Sony does have a restore partition on some of its models, that does nothing for you if/when the hard drive fails, so Sony should provide either a Windows operating system disk or a manufacturer's restore disk at no charge with a new machine.

You may have to go up the food chain in support, but especially since the computer is still under warranty and capable of being returned, they will provide the disk with enough perseverance on your part.

By the way, an external USB hard drive does a far better job at backups and in fact can be made to do backups incrementally and automatically with the right software (which comes with some drives made for this purpose). Format it in NTFS so you do not have a 4gig limitation.



Hi Enthusiast,

First, thank you so much for clarifying that the built-in 'System Restore' "does nothing for you if/when the hard drive fails". And knowing this makes me even more determined to keep 'gently nagging' Sony until they either provide a Windows OS disk or the manufacturer's restore disk for me to purchase. (Free would be better - grin - but I'll settle for buying one at this point).

The most frustrating part of this, for me at least, has been that when I bought this new Sony I paid far more than I would have paid for a new HP, for instance ... all because I was so determined I would not buy a new computer without a 'real disk', not just a OS pre-loaded at the factory. Got it home (with the promise that only Sony still came with the 'real disk' - and unboxed it only to discover there wasn't a disk in the box after all. Phoned the store and was told it was an honest mistake and no new computers are sold with an OS disk anymore. Huge heavy sigh.

The link you were so kind to provide above re Windows Set Up Boot Disks will be invaluable to me - and thanks so much. (Wondering if that includes the "Media Edition' part too or is that simply gone forever if the hard drive fails?). Do think these boot disks may be better for me as I'm very unconfident at using "MS-DOS prompt" ... in fact, I wouldn't know what to do if I found myself in "MS-DOS" - eek!

So off I go to do these downloads ...

And although I did buy an 'external hard drive' at the same time as this new computer, to be honest I haven't the faintest idea how to 'format' it ... nor what NTFS is either. There really wasn't any 'paper work' with it so although I figured out how to attach it to computer and download photos onto it, it's obviously time for me to learn how to do other things with it, including 'formating', etc. (Then I could simply use this external hard drive to put the above mentioned 'Set Up Boot Disk' info on - to use should an emergency arise later?).

And in the interim, I shall surely follow your advise and keep "working up the food chain" at Sony! Grin! Since they don't even send the standard non-personal 'we have received your email' message, I suspect it may be a long uphill battle - but onward I go!! I really, really, really want my disk!! Another gentle grin.

Thanks so very much,
Mara
Never let your computer realize you are in a hurry or just typing the last few words of a vital document.

While outer events might make one happy or sad, happiness itself is entirely internal, and at all times completely within one's power.




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