Daniel Hoelbling-Inzko talks about programming

Snappy Windows Recovery

Posted by Daniel Hölbling on July 29, 2008

Do you remember those times when you where reinstalling your OS every two weeks? Those dark Windows 98 times that have thankfully passed away?
I don't shed tears when remembering the days of old, but mainly because Windows doesn't need reinstallation every two weeks any more.

To be honest, back when I was using Windows XP: I was rarely using any restore options, because they hardly ever worked the way I wanted them.
Thankfully the system wasn't as easy to break as the 9x family (love NT for that), but still when something went terribly wrong I was pretty quick in digging up those XP cds and re-doing the system (guess that's what we were used to :)).

So, yesterday I unboxed my sweet new Dell XPS M1330 laptop and immediately started setting it up. Configuring Vista for the first time, getting Office, Windows Live and Visual Studio 2008 on the machine - all that stuff you don't want to be doing too often.
I also immediately downloaded .NET 3.5 SP1 and VS2008 SP1 (both beta), because I really liked some of the new IDE features.

Upon .NET 3.5 SP1 installation things went bad.. I mean, really bad.

Visual Studio didn't start up any more, .NET programs compiled against the 2.0 runtime refused to work any more (my pre-installed Dell Dock application).
I tried the obvious, uninstall SP1, repair 3.5.

Now, when even the setups don't start up any more, you usually flip out your OS Cds and think about reinstalling.

But, I thought, I could give Vista's recovery a try and searched for available recovery points.


And tada, there they where. Almost everything I installed added a recovery point to the system and I even had the luxury of choosing to what app I want to restore my system to - great!

10 Minutes after starting the recovery I was up and running again, having absolutely 0 problems! Perfect.
I even reinstalled Visual Studio 2008 and everything works just fine.

So I guess reinstalling Windows is completely out for now. When there are restore options available like this, I don't think I'll be ever reinstalling anything any more.

Oh, and I think I won't try the .NET 3.5 SP1 beta again, let's see when it gets to final. The new additions to the framework are pretty minor, but the updates to the IDE are definitely worth it.

Filed under net, personal
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