too true, plus with so many places not sending disks with the computers anymore it can a be a beast to deal with a problem. That is part of why i ahve backup images of the hard drive of my computer(s) laying around somewhere. I have had a beastly HP i have abused for almost 6 years and it is still plugging along, but my poor laptops have not faired near as well :? I highly suggest Acronis ( http://www.acronis.com/)
or something like it to make an image of the hard drive when you first get the comupter just in case. you can always recover the image to a new drive later. If you have more than one drive slot you could also plug in a 2nd drive and copy or use an external drive.