Depending on the model of Thinkpad, it may have a "hidden" recovery partition. In fact that 7MB partition may be it. The recovery partition is there to rescue the machine in case something messes up really bad. What it will do is recover the machine to a state like when it was first purchased. Including installing windows and all drivers. The bad part is that it will overwrite any user data and any user installed programs.
If there is data on the machine that your brother wants to keep, there is a way to get that off the machine before you run the recovery. It will take some time, but it can be done.
If he doesn't care, then you can use the recovery partition and have a "like new" machine!
If you need any help, PM me. It is not a difficult task to recover the machine.BTW... What model Thinkpad is this.
Also, whats the best method for obtaining a hard copy of windows? i don't remember ever getting an actual disk with my computer either
Actually, Ibm doesn't normally supply an XP disc. They have instead a 5 CD recovery set, but again it is not supplied when you purchase the computer. Instead they install the hidden recovery partition. However, you can get the 5 CD set by calling IBM. I believe there was a class action against one of the major laptop manufactures about not supplying recovery cds and now all manufactures are supposed to give out the cds if the customer asks for it. I can't remember if IBM is involved in this, but give them a call. I got my discs by simply telling them my recovery partition didn't work, and I got the discs in 2 days.
Edited by makai, 07 December 2005 - 09:17 AM.