Saturday, October 18, 2008

easier rebuild ever

My Vista laptop has gotten so broken that I had to wipe it clean after less than three months. Three hours later, I'm almost completely back to 100%, thanks to a few neat tools and tricks.

Awesomeness #1: Net install of Windows Vista and MS Office 2007
One of the perks of working at Microsoft. I can install it all over the network and it includes scripts for installing all the updates. Sweet. I started the process at about 3pm, then went to Target to do some shopping. By the time I was back it took another half hour and it was done. Now I just need to deal with reinstalling stuff.

Awesomeness #2: Windows Easy Transfer
I knew my laptop was terminal and its condition was worsening fast. Knowing that I needed to back up my settings, I turned to Easy Transfer. Easy Transfer is hidden somewhere in accessories, but it backs up all those Control Panel settings and app settings. This way I just restored and I didn't need to bother setting all my settings again. Sweet.

Awesomeness #3: Windows Live Mesh
All my documents are backed up on Windows Live Mesh. Usually this is great so I can access my files from home, my phone, your place, wherever. Today it helped me out by having an updated backup ready to go without me having to think or worry. Love it. The other folder that I have syncing is my Favorites folder. All those links to internal sites that I've accumulated have my magically restored. Sure, there's a 5GB limit, but that's adequate (for now at least).

Awesomeness #4: Exchange Server
Where are my Outlook settings? On the server. I am set and ready to go.

And if you're wondering what caused the downfall of my laptop, I'll blame the multiple installs, uninstalls, and reinstalls of pre-release software (Windows Live Clients, IE8 betas, Google Chrome, FireFox betas) and a bunch of other crap like sketchy nVidia drivers, Apple bloatware (Bonjour), and fat applications like FireFox, IE, and Live Mesh.

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