>do I need to thump the table and insist that one of them at least supplies the CD.
Yes, or have them tell you where it is on their CD or find a CD from an older version of Windows.
Microsoft Backup Tool Is Not Installed by Windows Millennium Edition (Q264541), http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q264541:
“IMPORTANT : Unlike programs such as ScanDisk, Disk Defragmenter, Paint, and so on, the Microsoft Backup tool is not a core component of Windows Millennium Edition (Me). The Microsoft Backup tool has been included with the retail, released version of Windows Me to help maintain the functionality of Microsoft Backup after an upgrade to Windows Me. It is important to note that the Microsoft Backup tool cannot provide extensive backup functionality. Because of this, if you need to backup data, Microsoft recommends you obtain and install a third-party backup program.”