It's like having to choose from buying a new base model Chevy Spark, and a Honda Accord.
I don't know about all of that, but chances are that few owners of either of the above mentioned cars has read their owner's manual for much of anything, much less cover to cover. Then when something that they neglected to do caused damage & the warranty won't cover repair, they're threatening to sue GM or Honda for selling a lemon. For example, an extended warranty was purchased. On many cars, the manual recommends to change the timing belt at 5 years, or 60,000 miles. whichever comes first. In the second year of their extended warranty, the car has only 35.000 miles on it, but it's 7 years old, the timing belt breaks & causes extensive engine damage. The dealership service departments sees this, evidenced by cracks on what's left of the timing belt of dry rot & denies coverage. More than likely, if anything was noticed by the customer, it was that the belt needed changing at 60,000 miles, assuming they could ride a few more years. Who's at fault? The owner of the vehicle.
Have had only three brand new computers in my days, so can only speak for those, an HP, MSI & Dell. There were instructions on backup & recovery media creation, in fact, there were popups like crazy on the HP & Dell until the latter were created. And in the case of the first two, the recovery DVD set worked fine, so does the function key to access the Recovery Partition. I was able to create both recovery DVD set & Recovery Drive on the Dell, but these haven't been needed, as I installed an SSD & Dell sent me, at no charge, a clean install Windows 8 DVD for this purpose.
It could be that if this computer is under warranty, the OEM may send out a DVD. I know that Dell does this, as noted above.
The Information guides that ships with computers doesn't always cover everything in a small package, but normally does provide a link to the OEM site for more detailed information. Too, when many computers boots, one can see what key needs to be pressed for Recovery, if close attention is given. On my HP, which is awaiting a PSU, the key is F11, on the MSI, it's F3. On either, the OS will reload, as long as these keys are pressed repeatedly at boot.
However the fact is most computer users have no idea what to do other then open the box and start the new computer.
Yes & that's their fault. I've seen some do the same, not even having the common sense to update the OS before using the computer. Fortunately, Windows 8 will begin updating, even if the non-caring customer doesn't take the time to properly set it up & will be prompted to reboot to finish installing these.
The very same thing could happen to a Mac owner. All computers needs updating before use & whenever new ones are released.
And as far as the old school reinstall CD's (now which are DVD's), Dell sent one, as stated above, at no charge. My guess would be that if one was directly ordering from the OEM, if one asked to include this single DVD at no extra charge to "seal the deal" & to be sure it's included in "Additional Notes", so that it's documented, they'd gladly provide it. As these are often needed for warranty purposes anyway. If it wasn't provided with the shipment & purchased via PayPal or credit card, then the customer would be entitled for a refund, with return shipping on the OEM's back for not honoring their word.
I have a relative who demanded one, plus drivers on media, from Lenovo during the transaction & she received hers, though they tried to tell her to download the Windows 7 Pro DVD from Microsoft (via Digital River) & the drivers from their site, most of us knows there's a difference in the install media. Or will require more work and/or a phone activation to accomplish. She wanted it so that I could clean install w/out the junk software & excess Lenovo utilities to a SSD, rather than the turtle slow 5400 rpm included HDD.
We could go on & on about this, but unless you have a specific issue to address, I need to move on to those who needs assistance. I enjoy to conversate, but at the same time, can't make a career out of this reopened topic.
Have you tried any possible Recovery options? If in warranty, have you requested reinstall media?
Or is this just a rant?
Since you work on computers, as noted above, many you can serve as an advisor to those you know whom buys new computers as to what to do. You can even perform these things & charge for it, rather than rant, take advantage of the opportunity. If I were younger & healthier, I'd gladly perform these services for a reasonable fee, in addition to the other things that I know how to do.
Should you require further assistance, feel free to post back with detailed specs about the computer.
Should you continue as as rant, someone else will have to pickup from here. Hope you understand.
All the Best,