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Can you please tell me if you know off hand which brands come with the Windows install media.

For instance I know Dell usually do. Where as I believe, HP use a recovery system.

Brands are: Lenovo Toshiba Dell HP Asus

or any other brands you may recommend. I am looking at $600-700 price range.

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This could be counted as a shopping reccomendation which is off-topic here and is likely to be closed. However, most laptops comes with recovery media, which enales you to restore from a image on the DVD or image on a hidden partition on the laptop, rather than install disks. – tombull89 Jun 30 '11 at 10:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Dell for sure ships regular install discs, but you have to purchase them as an option when configuring them on the Dell site.

HP, Lenovo and Asus use proprietary recovery discs.

Not sure about Toshiba, I think Dell is the last to offer regular install discs.

You can download an ISO file for your flavor of W7 in the link below, they can be used to install W7 on any laptop, you just need to use the product key on the COA sticker to get it installed. Drivers and some pre-installed software can be downloaded from the PC makers website.

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Excellent advice, thank you. I quite like starting fresh and only loading what i require to pass drivers loaded and working functionality like the track pad. – Valamas Jun 30 '11 at 22:34
Get the images soon, you never know when those Microsoft links will stop working. – Moab Jul 1 '11 at 0:03

Many 'smaller' outlets offer systems without an Operating System installed. You could consider one of these & buy the Windows installation media separately.

It may work out costlier though..

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I can't speak for all models, but I can for a few that I buy more regularly: Neither Dell nor Lenovo ship disks by default any more. With Dell, you can select it as an option for $3 as you configure it online or tell them you want to buy the disk as you placing the order. I am not sure if you can buy them at time of purchase from Lenovo when configuring online (again, you can probably purchase them when placing your order), but here is a trick:

Support will charge you if you wait more than 30 days, but if you call support early on, and tell them you reformatted your disk, or something like that, they will send them for free.

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I've had Dell ship me a disk months after purchasing the system, at no cost - that was a couple years back, so I don't know if that's still the case but it can't hurt to try. – chris Jun 30 '11 at 12:24
@chris It certainly does not hurt to ask, but to be honest, I would just buy it for the $3 when ordering...They might need it later, and in a hurry. The Lenovo ones you do save over $20 doing it the support method. For the record, I don't do that when I order every time, but it actually happened to my Lenovo when the drive died, so they told me that was how it worked. – KCotreau Jun 30 '11 at 12:29

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