At my work we sell laptop computers. All of our systems have a nifty recovery system, where you can re-set a computer to factory install (So it is just like it would be out of the box).
Setting up a PC for home use can seem scary to a neophyte. It is all about reading and answering questions with a toll free number by your side if the questions raise more questions.
Yesterday we had a member (customer) return a system, claiming that it had not been factory reset. At first glance this appeared to be the case so I took the system to a work area and began the process.
I noticed the restore option was not there. This means someone installed the OS from a disc or deleted the hard drive partition with the recovery information. You can take any given hard drive and divide it up into smaller drives (virtually). This gives you a semi-protected place for important stuff that will avoid most software issues.
Because this brand was not one of the usual ones I deal with, I decided to check the bios. Only to find it had been password protected. Further inspection showed that the computer had an admin account that was disabled and a password protected user account, that the member had no idea what the password was.
Of course the member blamed this on the computer and the staff who had reset it to factory conditions.
Computers are such magical devices that some people assume all things are possible. Further the human ego is such that admission of critical error that might put one in trouble is prevaricated upon.
So I have a good idea what happened, based upon what I observed, yet that is all beside the point. This laptop is unfixable with the tools I have at werk.