As developers, i guess were not the normal system users. I for one have a large amount of programs on my system, from those used for testing to developing software. Despite the improvements in windows,
all the tinkering and constant modifications to the system takes its toll, for me it seems to be around six months before my system is no longer stable or starts acting up and is ready for a clean install.
I think we’ve all been through this scenario, over the years i (as many) have developed many techniques for restoring all my settings after an OS re-install, from the usual separate partitions for data
to dedicated ones for program settings e.g. I run Outlook from a separate partition, after a re-install I change a few settings and alls back to the norm in no time, same goes for similar progs..
Saying that I wish there was a better way, such as an ‘Application Bucket’. In which when applications are installed they preserve all their data and settings in one location (a bucket), this may be
useful in a few ways, first apps wont clutter up the windows registry, instead will have mini-registries of their own (allowing the windows registry to be more secure and possibly protected) and secondly it would allow apps to run after a re-install without
any problems (virus checkers and system apps are a separate case).
Furthermore these buckets could hold additional windows data e.g. where you prefer the start menu items to be …etc so after a re-install windows could check for the presence of these Application Buckets
and configure them accordingly..
Well i had my rant, is it just a wishful
concept or does in have merit ?
Two things to think about:
1. .NET apps can avoid the registry by using configuration files instead, resulting in an "xcopy install"
2. The ultimate "clean room" for development purposes is a virtual machine, created with VMware or Microsoft's Virtual PC / Virtual Server. Create a virtual machine running your current configuration, do your development inside it, and then when you're done
just blow the virtual machine away and go back to your original configuration.
Didn't it work that way back in the 3.11 days? Using .ini files? My memory is cloudy, but I recall a time before the registry was introduced.
What exactly is the future plans for the registry? Is it deprecated and will eventually go away?
I really dislike reinstalling my machine. It want to be able to find the problem instead. But sometimes it's like being a car mechanic trying to find whats wrong with a car just by looking at the dashboard. Someone has welded the hood of the car shut. And I
I understand where you are coming from, but am not sure that this idea could replace the registry/profile Application Data.
An example is the big problem is that often registry degradation comes from applications writing or mis-writing to parts of the registry outwith the application's block, such as HK_Root or the Windows registry. If applications are, effectively, walled off
in buckets then you have a problem of what controls these shared areas. So, for instance, Media Player, Quicktime, Real Player (*spit*!) all were installed on a machine, and all tried to be the default application for MPEG files (in the HK_Root/.mpg settings).
If none of these applications were open and you double-click on the test.mpg file, what handles the file? I think, also, having Windows handle calls differently depending on what application was active is not helpful.
However, all those issues are just as you would have if you had a virtual OS instance running each app.
What does work is a configuration file which can be applied to an application that just sets an application to a certain state, because that is a one-off apply. This does work because its already used. I found it interesting that you mentioned Outlook. If
you were are Office XP or Office 2003, this is there! The Save My Settings wizard can save your configuration which, should you need to, can be reapplied later on, setting Office to automatically have all your settings back including Outlook settings. You
can even run this from a command line, if you are, for example, remotely trying to sort out a user who has had to rebuild their machine.
As others said this is gradually going to be deprecated thanks to .Net, but don't expect there to be any less registry or profiles in Longhorn!
Longhorn looks to be the biggest change in Windows since 95, and looks to be very innovative
What with, indigo and WinFS, so why can't the developers of LongHorn spend a while trying to make 6 month reinstalls a thing of the past. I mean, these guys must be some of the best developers on the planet (and I sure would love to meet them all ).
In my eyes the 3 greatest goals of LongHorn should be:
1) Increase security. This should include increased security against attackers and increased security against viruses. Admittedly a lot of viruses have spread because of ignorant customers (Blaster worm wrecked havoc, but wasnt a patch for the RPC bug released
6 weeks before the virus??) but making it more difficult for viruses to spread is a must. One of the reasons Linux viruses are rare is because for a Linux virus to be effective it would need root privelages, and as the Linux community will tell you, dont take
the name of Root in vain!
2) Make 6 month reinstalls a thing of the past.
3) Make disappearing files a thing of the past. I work in a customer support department for a large PC manufacturer in the UK and we get a lot of calls from customers who (for some strange reason) suddenly have blue screens saying:
File missing or corrupt C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM or NTLDR.exe
Why do these files randomly go missing?? The customers cant delete them themselves, can they??
I know I'm asking for quite a lot, but I'd much rather have those than having "My Games" on the Start Menu.
Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.