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I am sitting in a Microsoft TechNet event presented by IT Pro Evangelist Matt "All my mates are at TechEd" Hester. Matt is covering the Windows Vista Startup Recovery Tool. This tool is accessed by booting off of a Windows Vista installation DVD. Any version will work as all the versions contain the same bits. The install key determines which version gets installed. Once you boot up to the install screen there is a hyperlink at the bottom to launch the Startup Recovery Tool (SRT). You are then presented with several options from which to choose to diagnose your problem. You can repair the startup files, restore from a previous recovery point, restore from a complete PC backup and even diagnose potentially bad hardware. I don't know for sure but it looks like a lot of the tools have been leveraged from theĀ Winternals acquisition. This tool can certainly save you a lot of time in what would normally be a multi-hour exercise in frustration.

Matt is next highlighting the "previous versions" feature in Windows Vista that saves previous versions of all files through the Shadow Copy feature first introduced in Windows Server 2003. Now it is available at the client level automatically. This feature is not available in all versions of Windows Vista, and will consume roughly 3-5% of your hard drive space.

Some of the new auto-diagnostic features included in Vista are:

  • Resource prevention exhaustion
  • Hardware failures
  • Networking problems
  • Client performance degradation
  • Corrupted system file recovery
  • Program compatibility assistant
  • Unbootable system

Matt just showed a great video clip of a little girl washing her mommy's laptop in the kitchen sink. Priceless. I personally have been training my kids since birth that the laptop holds a special place of honor in the household and should never be touched!

Now Matt is highlighting the Problem Reports and Solutions features in Vista. You can access a control panel of all the reported crash and hang data that Vista collects and analyzes in the background. Vista then uses this data to look for updates and hot fixes to present to you for problem remediation. In previous versions of the OS this data was collected but never exposed to theĀ user for their benefit. The reliability monitor has a nice "health" timeline view that shows warnings and errors over time in a graph view. You can then select points in time and see what happened on the system.

A great demonstration of some of the new features in Vista: predictable, resilient, recoverable, proven and maintainable.

Posted on Tuesday, June 5, 2007 12:32 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Windows Vista Reliability Tools

# re: Windows Vista Reliability Tools
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The repair the start up feature is indeed a useful feature. Can't say the same about the restoration and backup features. They always give me a headache and I rather use a third party software to create my backups.

Left by Vista Geek on Jun 07, 2007 2:09 PM

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