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Old 25th August 2012, 10:45 PM   #41
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I'm sorry to have to disagree with Pano about generic installs, but laptops are happiest with their native install.

If you attempt to install from a different version, even of a nominally identical version, you may run into registration problems. You may be required to argue your case with a Microsoft representative over the phone, after waiting in a queue, only to have them tell you to reinstall the original software.

You can cheat, and install on 2 machines using the same key that came with your installation disk, but after the 3rd.installation registration over the internet will fail, and why would you want to do this when you have 2 legal copies that you have paid for?

Laptops additionally usually have custom function buttons and keyboard layouts with special functions, such as switching from the laptop screen to an external screen.

If you install a non-custom version of Windows some of these functions may cease to work. You may be able to get drivers to make these functions work, but it may be a problem.

I have owned or used numerous laptops, 6 I think, desktops, Solaris workstations, administered laptops for colleagues, built and rebuilt numerous desktops, installed Windows more times than I could possibly recall, created dual boot installations including using Linux and administered networks with both Windows and Unix servers and clients of all flavors including Apple Macs.

My heartfelt recommendation is that you stick with the original install, that you only allow the installation of such software as you really require and that you tolerate and anticipate some loss of performance as time goes by. You can recover some of this by buying one of the many optimization tools.

The service life of a laptop in industrial use is 3 years. Expect to buy another in 3 years. If you really want one on which to install your own copy of the operating system of your choice, buy one of the ones supplied with that in mind from a UK supplier such as Novatech, who will provide appropriate technical support. Cheap Laptops and Laptop Deals for Home Laptops from Novatech
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Old 25th August 2012, 11:19 PM   #42
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I've installed Ubuntu Linux on my last three laptops (including a dual boot install on this one) and in general it has worked better than the original windows installation and never gets slower with ongoing updates...

I'm currently running win 7 on this one and have not had any problems with it running slower over the past year. Unfortunately the various service packs in XP installed on older hardware pretty much result in a machine that crawls - my wife's desktop came with XP and by the time it had SP2 on it had slowed considerably - with SP3 installed it is so slow that my wife mostly refuses to use it preferring her Kindle for most internet surfing.

Win 7 with the crapware removed should be relatively snappy.
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Old 25th August 2012, 11:24 PM   #43
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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No need to be sorry - our experience differs, that's all.

Sure, laptop computers have some special needs, but among the dozens I've had my hands on, all benefited from a clean, non-OEM install. Once all is in place and drivers and software installed an image is made that is then used for the rest of the fleet.

Basically you have to choose between some laptop specific items missing (that can be added) or the totally junked up install that most computers come with. They are crippled right out of the box, and only get worse.

Yes, there will be some fiddling to do to get everything set up the way you want it - (sometimes a longer process with a laptop) but that is much easier and faster than removing all the crud and nonsense that comes with an OEM install.

So I'll stick to my guns on this one. So far I have never found a laptop, or any other Windows computer, that was happiest with the OEM install.
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Old 25th August 2012, 11:27 PM   #44
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I would tend to corroborate Pano's comments, but in general like Ubuntu better still on laptops running relatively feeble processors. I can say it absolutely screams on an i5 or better.. I also like Win 7 64 bit home premium quite a bit and use it on two machines here.
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Old 26th August 2012, 12:44 AM   #45
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I can't disagree that a generic install guarantees the removal of unwanted software, but it also results in the removal of wanted software. I can't agree that ever replacing it is guaranteed.

How many hours of expert time are involved in a generic install and restoration of missing functions? The performance improvement could almost certainly be obtained by spending the money on a more expensive machine.

The easiest (the only) way to ensure that your laptop continues to work as intended is to leave the OEM installation substantially intact regardless of any performance hit.

Last edited by counter culture; 26th August 2012 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 26th August 2012, 01:30 PM   #46
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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CC, I'm interested in your findings because they run so counter to mine. Can you give us some details of laptop brands and Windoze versions you've had trouble with? What didn't work with a generic install? Thanks
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Old 2nd September 2012, 01:28 AM   #47
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Sorry Pano, I haven't been on for a while. Although I frequently disagree with people I find it upsetting and then I don't come on for days.

What springs immediately to mind is a Hewlett Packard machine HP PAVILION N5461 (still in my possession but requires an external monitor to access it) originally supplied with Windows ME (a hateful OS) and subsequently loaded with Windows XP when it first appeared. This was a big improvement but the row of 5 buttons above the keyboard ceased to work and I never got them to work again within the useful lifetime of the machine. They called up email and some other functions I can't remember and can't identify because I've taken the fascia off the machine and can't lay my hands on it. This was in fact a minor loss compared with the huge improvement offered by XP over ME, but that's the principal reason I caution against removing the OEM install.

It is probably possible to take a copy of the OEM installation and extract missing drivers from the reinstallation partition, but if the generic install is done without the precaution of making the copy in the first place then this could present a problem. In the case of the HP machine I think there was reinstallation CD, but the problem of identifying and extracting the necessary files still remained (unsolved).

There's no guarantee that machine specific files will be available from a manufacturer's website. They are in most cases, but in the end, who can say with certainty that they will be? It's certainly better to obtain them before starting on a generic install.

The point of view I expressed earlier is extremely conservative. The likelihood of losing important functions is small, but everybody's opinion of what is important may not be the same. If it was my laptop I wouldn't hesitate to tear into it, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to somebody who is depending on a 3rd. party to undertake the work as a good turn. There's always the possibility that with 2 or 3 hours work into the project that the goodwill may run out if a time-consuming problem is encountered.
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Old 2nd September 2012, 02:55 AM   #48
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Thanks for the response CC.
Yes, it's all trade offs. Time, function, hassles. I have not yet lost the special function keys that I can remember, but I so rarely use those things that I might not notice if I did lose them.
The possible loss of those special function buttons is something that one should be aware of with a non-OEM install.

For me the trade off of a clean, fast running install is worth the risk of losing a few gadgets. And I often find that the OEM install has a layer of software that duplicates what Windows does anyway (WiFi, anti-virus, disc scans, etc) that I can live without,
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Old 2nd September 2012, 09:49 AM   #49
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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For the sake of warranty the partition with the factory install will remain.
The factory install drivers will all remain.
I have asked that all the crapware be removed.
When I get it back, I will download/install just a few applications and try to find how to disable auto internet searching and auto updates and auto anything else that could interfere with fast operation into it's doting years. Doting years >> 2years !
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Old 3rd September 2012, 03:49 AM   #50
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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You can check out the "decrapifier" software. It works pretty well. Also be sure to get the autorun manager from MS that I linked to earlier.

I doubt that a clean install of Windows would void your warranty, but if you need to play it safe, then the OEM version might be best. I will be rife with junk, tho.
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