Laptop COA and Recovery Discs

July 20, 2012

About a year ago in July of 2011, our newsletter included an article entitled, “COA’s and Laptops” (  That article talked about how the Certificate Of Authenticy sticker on laptops often gets rubbed off making it difficult to reinstall Windows in the event of a hard drive failure.

In August of 2011 our newsletter included an article entitled, “Recovery Discs” ( That article talked about how some computers come with Recovery Discs, but many do not anymore and you have to make them yourselves.

We were reminded of both of those articles this week when a laptop came in with a hard drive failure. The COA sticker was rubbed off and the customer did not have any recovery discs. Two options remained. Either purchase a new copy of Windows 7, or purchase recovery discs from the manufacturer. Recovery discs are much cheaper, so that’s the way we went. Not only does this add expense, but it delays in the repair of your computer.

So we just wanted to remind everyone that if you have a laptop with a Windows sticker on the bottom, put some clear tape over it. You can also write down the license key and/or take a picture of it.

In addition, if your computer did not come with recovery discs, then you should create them ASAP. The process for creating recovery discs varies by manufacturer. If your computer is an HP, for example, you would click on Start and then click on All Programs and then click on HP and look for something like Recovery CD creator. For Dell Computers, you generally use Dell Datasafe to create recovery discs. You’ll want to use blank DVD-R discs to create them and it could take up to 3 discs.

One other note. Some computers come with a disc for reinstalling Windows. This is not the same as a recovery discs. The disc for installing Windows requires the COA license key from the sticker.

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