"There's a lot to like about rescue CDs -- as long as you are
not the end-user. Microsoft wins because most rescue CDs are
suitably brain-damaged so as to be unusable on most other PCs. This
virtually eliminates the ability to create illegal copies of the
operating system, preserving the revenue stream.
"Hardware vendors win because they reduce their telephone
support burden immensely. Any nontrivial problem can be met with
the phrase, "Load the rescue CD and tell me if the problem
persists." In one swift motion, any software problem is eliminated.
And all the user's data will be eliminated as well.
"The user is left holding the bag, or, in this case, a fully
functional but useless laptop..."