To my readers: The key take-away from this post is to make sure that you have "Original Setup CD-Rom" for your computer, not just the product recovery CDs.
Wednesday, I turned on my M4 to find this error message at boot-up:
I don't hold Toshiba (or Microsoft) responsible for the above system error. Those things happen - at least on PC's. :-) What I do hold Toshiba responsible for is not giving me a simple tool that I could have used to effect my own repair - the master Windows XP install disks for my system. I know that you are not the only vendor to withhold the Master XP install CD's from their systems. I suspect that most do it and when questioned, will all point to Microsoft as the root problem. Perhaps that's true; but I'm your customer and I need to fix my system. I'm counting on you, my vendor, to equip me to succeed with your product.
Yesterday, when I received the error message, I was 100 miles from home; I had no choice but to switch from Tablet PC to legal tablet until I could return home to find my folder with all my Toshiba M4 information in it. I arrived home last night with the goal of getting my M4 back on-line. I planned to insert the disk, repair the damaged file and get back to work. That's when I remembered that Toshiba does not provide the Master Windows XP installation CD with the M4. In fact, they don't provide any CD. Shame on you, Toshiba. Even my snow blower vendor gave me a backup set of keys with my purchase.
I don't know what marketing exec at Toshiba (or perhaps Microsoft) is patting himself on the back for saving $0.09 by not including the original product install CD with the M4,
Shame on you.
Toshiba, I hold you to blame - not for my windows problem, but for failing to equip me with the master install disk so that I could take care of my own problem. Toshiba, I'm your customer and I've given you over 3950 reasons why you should have provided me with the master XP install disk with my new M4 Tablet PC. Help me help myself (and my clients) and I'll be a happy camper.
For those who are curious, I did create a set of system recovery disks as soon as I received the Tablet. I even booted up using System Recovery disks tonight to see if I could make the repair from the recovery disk. The only option provided is to restore my system to it's factory condition, complete with the Toshiba-provided spamware. No thanks.
I wonder if the folks at Toshiba and Microsoft realize that when Windows XP says it needs the master install disk to repair a damaged file, it really needs the master install disks - not a system recovery CD? If The Microsoft OS wants the original disk to do a proper file repair, then that's what I expect to be provided by the vendor. An excuse about OEM licenses won't cut it.
I can hear it now, Michael Sampson and Michael Hyatt are gonna say that I should have bought a Mac.
Perhaps. Still, I want to give the Tablet PC a good shot. I like the promise of the Tablet and I'm reasonably pleased with the M4 hardware.
Is Eric Mack just a whiner with his own blog? Perhaps. But my clients and even a few friends look to me for my experience and advice on Technology. Tablet PCs are on their minds. I want to be able to point to my M4 and say, "Yeah, I like my Tablet PC as much if not more than I like my ThinkPad T42p; get the same tablet that I have."
My clients count on me to share my experiences with specific hardware and specific vendors. They want to benefit from my experience by buying (or not buying) products I've tested. For that reason, I'll keep testing.
This is one huge step away from my becoming YABHTU. Too bad,