26 June 2007

System Restore Saved My Life

I can't believe I'm saying this, but System Restore saved my life, or at the very least, my sanity. When it first launched with Windows XP, I hated it's limited usefulness. One, you needed to actually start XP to access the feature. Not having any boot disk option is very limiting, because let's face it, we've all encountered the Boot Up Blue Screen of Death.

Next, it never really makes clear what it restores and what it leaves. Does it only affect programs and drivers? Or are files part of it's purview? Speaking of files, there doesn't seem to be a way to just restore an old version of one file, instead of rewinding the whole system.

So I have to be forgiven for not liking System Restore. A few years back there's a wonderful software by the name of Roxio GoBack. It's like System Restore on Steroids! You can create virtual drives of previous HDD backups, restore particular files, and invoke it at boot up. Unfortunately, Symantec acquired it, renamed it Norton GoBack, and it lost its appeal overnight. In a sense, GoBack became System Restore on Sleepy Flu Medicine. It messed with my Master Boot Record a few times, and recovery error rates got too high for my liking. So I bid it adieu and went back to more defensive computing.

Fast forward to the present. I was running out of disk space on my Windows partition on the iMac (hur hur hur, running Windoze on iMac. Laugh it out.) so I decided to uninstall Silent Hill 2. I only played like 5 minutes of it because the PC port is too laggy. But somehow, uninstalling that game affected Silent Hill 3, which I was playing through halfway. As I didn't have the game DVD *cough*cough*torrents*cough* I started panicking. Silent Hill 3 was such an engrossing game I couldn't let a bad uninstall stand between me and the ending!

As a last resort, I tried System Restore, and surprisingly, it restored both Silent Hill 2 and it's much better sequel. I guess I owe the System Restore team an apology on this. But, it can definitely be improved.

Sidenote: Silent Hill 3, IMHO, is the best Silent Hill in the series with a decent PC port too. If you haven't got the chance to play it, scare yourself silly with an original copy! Or scare yourself just as silly with a pirated one. Up to you. I'm too morally deficient to advise on life's matters.

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