I have a IBM Thinkpad T41 which was purchased as part of a university matriculation program. At the point of matriculation, the university uploaded a copy of the system OS (Windows XP Pro + other software) from its server. Upon graduation, it was almost unusable because the system keeps on checking with the university server which no longer acknowlege the laptop, resulting in multiple system hang.
I tried to resolve that by creating a new log-in account to the local system, but it still does not work very well, and since I don't have the copy of the Windows files, there is no way I can repair the system.
I went back to IBM - they offered to re-install the factory default image (Win XP Home), but warned me that there is no repair option and no way are they going to give me the installation disk, if anything goes wrong in future, my only option will be to reformat and reset to factory default - I am very surprised. I have a Dell Inspiron, and it came with a full installation disk. Is there anyway I can use that to repair my IBM, or has anyone has any success in persuading IBM to hand over software installation disks which I thought I purchased with the laptop.
there is probably a task set to contact the university servers, you could try seeing in the task schedular if anything looks odd
Do you have a license key of the default installation? If so, borrow an installation CD from someone, back-up your data, wipe your HD and install.
If you did not get a serial key, I would accept the re-installation offer and make an image of the HD which you keep on another HD.
I have the license key on a sticker underneath my laptop - however, borrowing an installation CD from someone with all the IBM specific drivers may be a bit challenging since all the other students who bought the IBM Thinkpad are probably in the same situation.
Hence, I am planning to accept the re-installation offer, and even enquired about paying for a copy of the installation CD, except that the IBM staffer pointed out that the only CD available was only good for recovery to factory default status and would be of no use for future repair work (and by default, customising the Windows installation, except for pre-existing files in the I386 directory). I will definitely be doing regular backups of my Thinkpad, but it is a bit unsettling that part of the maintenance and tweaking options are missing.
The drivers will be no problem at all. IBM/Lenovo has an excellent support site, where you can find all you need. Just google: "3000 n200" drivers
Could you not purchase a set of OEM install disks from Ebay or some place like Thinkpad Forums? I know people have these for sale and it would be a way to get your laptop up and running again. Just a thought...
Do NOT buy OEM's second hand. If they have been previously installed on another system, M$ will recognize them as pirated the first time you try to update them. The OEM key is locked into a motherboard the first time it updates. Thereafter, it will only 'validate' the key as authenticate on the original mobo. If you have a genuine OEM, and install it on your PC, fine. If a year from now you want to upgrade your mobo, you will need to buy ANOTHER OEM, as the one you have is locked into the original mobo. Brutal, but true. That is how Dell, HP, & others can buy Vista Home Premium for $20 per copy.
I am afraid that I disasgree with Polkadot (unless I misunderstand his post). Kite has the license key on her laptop, as long as she uses that one key she can perfectly well use another OEM disk, provided it is the same version.