"But No!" you say (if you were, let's say, an imbecilic Presario designer), "I'll just make a partition on the harddrive where the original install information will be stored, so the user can always backup off of that. I mean, there's already a partition for back ups, what could possibly go wrong?"
Well, maybe if the main partition fails, the backup partition will fail too because they are on the same hard drive.
Side note: If you ever want to see a horrible OS hardware mismatch, install Win 98 on a Presario 1200US. This really funny thing happens where it takes a few seconds of real time for a single second to pass on the system clock. And that's before Win98 finishes installing. And yet oddly enough it'll then work fine in safe mode. It's wacky!
On a happy note, this can all probably be fixed once I get the CD that I have a license for anyways. And it's my dad's laptop and he has a backup so I still have my main computer. But still...