Vista Hell
March 17, 2008 11:36 PM   Subscribe

The Vista Home Premium DVD I'm using to "recover" the factory settings on my Toshiba A200-TR6 just pops open before even beginning "Operation Recovery." Save me from this Vista nightmare...!

So, I'm trying to recover my Toshiba notebook so I can sell it. Up until this point I've been running it with XP Pro (and Toshiba's sad excuse for XP drivers -- the sound driver in particular); I'm keen, however, to sell it in a factory-fresh state.

Problem: DVD #1 of 4 just pops out after booting and while "initializing partition." It boldly declares "insert next disc" prior to actually accomplishing anything (rinse and repeat, etc.). The harddrive had been wiped using the tool recommended by Toshiba here to remedy a different error that pops up when trying to recover/restore using the recovery DVD when another OS (XP Pro or Vista) is already installed.

In sum, XP Pro installs fine, and Vista installs fine when using the method and files offered here (i.e. when not using the recovery discs). This method, however, refuses the product key on the bottom of my machine and, well, I'm not so keen on the idea of having to sell a computer that requires questionable workarounds, etc. to get it working.

Thoughts? BIOS settings? SATA something or other? It's still under warranty, FWIW. Warranty recommendations? Can MSFT send me a "real" version of Vista (since I seem to have received a useless one)? Also, Toshiba has already replaced the DVDs once, since I thought that the ones that came with my computer were defective. No dice. Thanks!
posted by rumbles to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Presumably, you have a licensed copy of XP for this computer? Why not just install that and be done with it? You might get more for it, bad Toshiba drivers or no (and there's no reason to expect that Toshiba's Vista drivers aren't just more of the same).

I like Vista - or at least I can tolerate it - and use it on all three of my primary Windows computers, but it's not enough of an improvement on XP to really matter one way or the other. In some ways, it's much worse than XP.

I apologize for not directly answering your question, but hopefully this'll be helpful.
posted by me & my monkey at 12:58 AM on March 18, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks. My licensed copy of Vista is the one on the Toshiba Recovery DVDs. They don't work. Similarly, the "product key" on the bottomside of the notebook doesn't seem to work when I try to "activate" a version of Vista obtained through other means (see the link in my question); further, that version requires that I use a questionable mode of activation.
posted by rumbles at 1:09 AM on March 18, 2008

I know this doesn't directly answer your question either, but I have read that OEM activations are different in Vista versus XP. On XP systems, it used to be that you pop in the disk, feed the installer the key on the bottom, and you're done. Somehow, however, the key on the bottom doesn't relate to the OEM supplied discs. My Lenovo is the exact same way and there are messages on forums that explain how to grab the original OEM pre-activated license file so you can "restore" your system without much hassle.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't know what to do about this other than call Toshiba with the simple message that you can't restore the computer. I am not sure what they'll say. I think the reality here is that OEM and discs and keys are now not so simple. No doubt this is an answer to piracy but, man, systems are so much more locked down than they used to be. I worked on a system the other night that needs a partition in order to install a media application. That's for another time, though.
posted by tcv at 7:38 AM on March 18, 2008

For what it's worth, I should offer that I am clearly not sure that your issue is related to what you're experiencing. My apologies.
posted by tcv at 7:57 AM on March 18, 2008

just call toshiba tech support and have them give you a walkthrough. they know every last detail. this would be a routine call.

btw, this is more of a toshiba backup disc problem/user problem than a vista problem. maybe you'll think twice before biting off more than you can chew next laptop and leave it in stock condition! sorry for any snark, but it peeves me to see the wrong party blamed for no good reason.
posted by momocrome at 9:36 AM on March 18, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks. I've called Toshiba. As mentioned, they sent me new DVDs and pointed me to the TSB linked to above. This process left me in my present - unpleasant - state.
posted by rumbles at 11:53 AM on March 18, 2008

Yeah, it's a crappy state, I'll grant you that. And, yes, maybe it's a problem with copy protection schemes or bad disks or even a bad drive. It's hard to say. The bottom line is, it's a Toshiba manufactured laptop. They are supplying you with the DVDs and it's not working. Call them up and tell them you can't do it. Let the Level 1 walk you through it if they must and tell them it's the second set of DVDs and that you need to speak to Tier 2 if possible.

If it were me, I would not even tell them you put XP on the thing. Just tell them you are running the restore CDs cause you want to go back to a factory condition.
posted by tcv at 12:21 PM on March 18, 2008

« Older 10 weeks in London, < $5000. How can I do it?   |   Best on-line account for a startup? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.