myglaren wrote:Most Packard Bell's have a hidden partition to restore the OS from, rather than discs.
Try booting and hitting F12 while it POSTs
There should then be instructions for a complete reinstall or a repair install that will leave your files intact.
I'm well against that kind of supplied setup, as its not good unless you can burn recovery disks.
I remember about ten years ago asking about recovery options in a well known shop and they said it was partition only, so I asked what would happen if the hard drive died completely, they did not have an answer for me.
Just another ripoff method. I have reinstalled a few direct from the partition now and it works fine but as you say, corrupt HD and you are right up the creek.
I did have one without that option and borrowed my son in laws installation disc from his somewhat more recent laptop - worked a treat
Never asked for the key or anything, didn't need activating either.
I bought a couple of HP's a while back that had that system but modified.
You had to burn that partition to 12 CDs or 2 DVDs, had only 2 attempts and had to be done within one month of setup. After that you were completely on your own.
Both of them went right back and I got a pair of Toshibas instead - with discs!
Never intended to do a reinstall anyway. Ubuntu does it for me these days although SuSE was great a few years ago.
I certainly wouldn't pay money for any version of Windows and wouldn't be comfortable with a pirate version either.