Question for Dell owners re: Dell-supplied XP discs

I just bought a new Inspiron, with the $10 “Restore media” option. The system should be here in a couple of weeks.

I only need Windows for a couple of things - Checkpoint junk and Boson, mostly. I’ll be otherwise using Debian and/or Ubuntu on the thing, so I figure I can get away with 5 or 6GB for XP.

Having never dealt with a Dell for my own personal use before, I’ve got a few questions regarding the best way to approach the installation process.

Will the XP disc I get from Dell contain a regular XP installation, with the typical partitioning tools, etc? I’ve used some IBM restore discs that simply nuked any partitions you have in place and overwrote the entire disk.

Will the disc also install all the marketing cruft that Dell includes on the normal install to keep the price down? I’m talking about AOL installers, Wordperfect, &c.

I’m just trying to figure out whether I’d actually save any time by nuking the default installation from the get-go, or manually installing all the crap and using ntfsresize to shrink the default installation.


Oh, and please provide citations for any assertions you may make.

I mean, please move this to GQ.


Moderator’s Note: Moving from GD to GQ.

I don’t think they tend to repartition, or at least none of the one’s I’ve used ever have…and I have set up Linux dual boot systems on a Dell before using Dell recovery disks.

Oh, yes. Not to mention the fabulous Dell spyware and nagware.

My personal opinion is you’d be better off nuking the default installation, repartitioning and going from there instead of fiddling with ntfsresize. Probably be less aggravating for you that way.

Cool, thanks slortar. Pre-emptive nuclear strike it is.

I’ll have to look at it when I get home, but I ordered a Dell just recently and got the $10 Windows CD option, and I seem to remember it was just a plain Windows XP MCE cd, not the old “restore disk” with all the junk on it.

But I never took it out of its case, so I’ll have to check.

That could be–I haven’t actually fiddled around with one of those yet. The last time I used a Dell xp restore disk, it was before they got into the habit of using a restore partition by default. They might have come to their senses since then. :slight_smile:

Well, aside from the fact that Dell actually sent me an XP home disc instead of XP MCE (so I got to have support clear that up), the disc appears to contain a plain install of Windows XP. All the junkware is on other discs.