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Part VI: Appendixes > Network Identification Wizard

A.7. Network Identification Wizard

If you weren't able to add your computer to a corporate domain network earlier in the installation process, the Network Identification Wizard appears at this point to give you another shot at it. It's not an especially self-explanatory process; in fact, most of the questions this wizard poses are best answered by your network administrator. After all, adding PCs to network domains wasn't in your job description.

Using an Image Disk

It's becoming increasingly common for computer manufacturers to sell you a new PC without including an operating system CD-ROM. (Every 11 cents counts, right?) The machine has Windows installed on it—but if there's no Windows installation CD, what are you supposed to do in case of emergency?

Instead of a physical Windows CD, the manufacturer provides something called an image disk—a CD-ROM containing a complete copy of the operating system and other software that was installed on the computer at the factory. If the contents of the computer's hard disk are ever lost or damaged, you can, in theory, restore the computer to its factory configuration by running a program on the image disk.

Of course, this image is a bit-by-bit facsimile of the computer's hard disk drive, and therefore, restoring it to your computer completely erases whatever files are already on the drive. You can't restore your computer from an image

Wizarddisk without losing all of the data you saved since you got the computer from the manufacturer. (Talk about a good argument for keeping regular backups!)

But completely reinstalling Windows isn't the only time that you need a Windows CD. As you can read in various chapters of this book, you'll also be prompted to insert the original Windows CD whenever you want to install a new Windows component that wasn't part of the original installation.

In these situations, if your PC came with only an image disk, you're still covered. This image CD generally contains a copy of the operating system installation files, so that whenever you install a new Windows feature, your PC can grab it from the disk. (Furthermore, some manufacturers install a copy of these installation files right on the hard drive, so that you won't even have to hunt for your CD.)



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