I have bought a gorgeous Sony VAIO N11S laptop. Exactly the same model as Lenina did.
My VAIO came with preinstalled Windows XP Media Center, together with a couple of applications which I didn’t bother to check out. What I wanted to do is to install Linux on it.
Linux needs space on the HDD, so I needed to make some. I don’t trust partition resizing, so I wanted to clean the hard disk, repartition it and install everything from scratch. The preinstalled Windows needed to be removed.
I knew that I would sooner or later need Windows for my work, so I looked into the laptop box looking for Windows installation CDs, just like with my previous laptop, Amilo Pro V2000D. Surprise: no Windows installation CDs. Instead, there was a pop-up telling me to burn recovery DVD discs. I didn’t have any blank DVDs (must remember: buy DVDs together with the laptop next time!), so I couldn’t install Linux the first night. I bought DVDs, burned the recovery discs and proceeded with Ubuntu Linux installation.
Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft) installed smoothly. I was using it for a week, and during the weekend, I decided to try install Windows on the first partition, to have a dual-boot laptop.
I booted the recovery DVD and learned that I can, indeed, recover my VAIO to the state it had on delivery, i.e. with a single operating system on it: Windows.
On other words, they just wouldn’t let me install Windows on one partition. If there is no Windows on the laptop, the recovery disc will always wipe the entire HDD. The only thing a user can do is set the sizes of two partitions (system and data).
I think I will still be able to make it dual-boot, but it will require much more effort: Backup my current Linux installation, install Windows, repartition the disk (leaving Windows) and finally restore Linux.