If you’re like most PC users, you probably got Windows Vista with a new PC or laptop. And if you’re like 99% of the population, you get your new machines from one of the major manufacturers. Dell, Acer, HP, Toshiba, Lenovo, they all have one thing in common: they don’t give you a real Windows Vista installation disc with your purchase. Instead, they bundle what they call a "recovery disc" (that’s if you’re lucky - otherwise you’ll have a recovery partition instead) with your machine and leave it at that.
It doesn’t matter that you just paid a thousand dollars for a machine that comes with a valid Windows Vista license - your computer manufacturer just don’t want to spend the money (or perhaps take on the responsibility) of giving you a Windows Vista installation DVD to accompany your expensive purchase.
The problem is, with Windows Vista, the installation media serves more than one purpose. It’s not just a way to get Windows installed, it’s also the only way of recovering a borked installation. The Windows Vista DVD has a "recovery center" that provides you with the option of recovering your system via automated recovery (searches for problems and attempts to fix them automatically), rolling-back to a system restore point, recovering a full PC backup, or accessing a command-line recovery console for advanced recovery purposes.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, OEM, Dell, IBM, HP, Lenovo, Acer, Recovery, Disc, DVD, Recovery Disc, Operating System, Download