Windows Vista & 7 Recovery Disk
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 seems to have realized this problem, and have
thankfully made a recovery disc for this purpose. It contains the
contents of the Windows Vista DVD's "recovery center," as we've come to
refer to it. It cannot be used to install or reinstall Windows Vista,
and just serves as a Windows PE interface to recovering your PC.
Technically, one could re-create this installation media with
freely-downloadable media from Microsoft (namely the Microsoft WAIK kit,
a multi-gigabyte download); but it's damn-decent of Microsoft to make
this available to Windows' users who might not be capable of creating
such a thing on their own.
NeoSmart Technologies is hosting a copy of the Windows Vista Recovery
Disc for your convenience. It is a 120 MiB download, and in the
standard ISO format.
Windows Vista 32-Bit (x86) Recovery Disc Torrent
Windows Vista 64-Bit (x64) Recovery Disc Torrent
All Recovery Discs - Direct Download (External)
Windows 7 Recovery Discs