back to article Windows 8 BREAKS ITSELF after system restores

Windows 8 includes a feature called “push-button reset” that restores a computer to a previous known good state, or performs a factory reset. Nothing out of the ordinary there: System Restore, as it was known in older versions of Windows, could perform those tricks. But performing System Restore did not render a PC incapable …

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Re: @beep54

All this is true. The problem was the off-by-default Windows Firewall.

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You can not break that which was never whole.

But you can blow it into chunky kibbles.

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sadly

This exact issue happened to me while testing 8.1 enterprise. That was after having managed staying clear from Microsoft pipe dream products for many years now. And I'm cured again! Although I did actually wanted to use the Windows Phone 8 emulator and as well IE 11 for testing. After the "restore to hell" ended up installing it again with some backup snapshots as virtual machine on another machine (yes the free VMware player did play nice with Hyper-V after all). In the end my hatred has grown not weakened after playing around with it. All credit of Windows 7, which at least was not worse than XP, has been lost - again, in one fell swoop or is it bloop.

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Silver badge

Oh come now, blaming Win7 for faults in Win8 ?

Win 7 is the best PC OS that Microsoft has ever made. Or will ever have made, if MS continues on its current course.

That said, I'm just biding my time, waiting for Steam OS to be released. The day that happens, I'm done with the MS world outside of work.

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I love all the "just get used to it and adapt" crap that the fanbois come out with.

Oh look, Ford have decided to put the accelerator pedal on the roof and the brake pedal in the rear left wheel arch on all their new cars. Don't like it? JUST GET USED TO IT AND ADAPT.

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TRT
Silver badge

Our studies of user behaviour have found that the natural resting place for the left index finger of a driver is actually up the left nostril, so we've put the switch for the headlights on a small bluetooth connected module that can be fitted nasally.

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Paris Hilton

So you've never driven a car with tiptronic box, environmental control or electric handbrake? Probably a good thing.

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"So you've never driven a car with tiptronic box, environmental control or electric handbrake? Probably a good thing."

Electric handbrakes are NOT a good example to make your point. Absolutely the most stupid "improvement" to cars in years. Whomever came up with that solution looking for a problem needs putting up against a wall and flogging to death with a rotten turbot.

I would dearly love anyone to come up with one convincing argument why electric handbrakes are an improvement.

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Bronze badge

just scratching the Surface

I didn't brick it but after testing restore I had to go extra way to get the keyboard cover drivers installed (basically another reset). The device made by/for MS with set hardware specs and yet they failed to do it right. Also - just like with any device that can't be taken apart to get to/replace HDD - the uncertainty of the outcome of reset may be too much stress for some users that failed to backup their data.

I was also quite surprised by how easy it was to wipe the data (without starting the process in windows/after login) - with all the secure boot crap I'd expect some extra measures to protect the content against malicious activity (I did not try the process after I "bitlocked" the device). But maybe this is MS way of forcing users into their online backup (surveillance) program.

After 2 weeks of testing it as my primary corporate desktop (no 3rd party start menu replacements etc. - unavoidable for home use) I had no regrets passing it over to another unsuspecting user. I liked the speed (but I would not pay for it out of my pocket) but it definitely did not improve productivity. The few times I tried to use it as a tablet (personal use pattern of average corporate user) I realized I had better things to do with my time - I've been using w8 for long enough not to rediscover any previously missed need for the Metro side. Sorry MS.

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Anonymous Coward

To summarise the posts so far...

1. Do not use Windows.

2. If you must use Windows, at all costs avoid Windows 8 and 8.1.

3. If you must use Windows 8 or 8.1, if at work, then find somewhere else less idiotic to work at; if at home, install Linux/buy a Mac, as soon as possible.

4. If you actually like Windows 8 or 8.1, you're a bit odd or at the very least, a masochist. There are special sites just for you. This isn't one of them.

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Silver badge

Re: To summarise the posts so far...

"If you actually like Windows 8 or 8.1, you're a bit odd"...

Guilty! Now, I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole, but it's existence has provided me with more laughs online than anything recently. Mind you, in these days of NSA revelations, that's a rare treat!

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I'm sticking with XP Pro (or Recto, Reactos ReactOS - well something like that)

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Ye know... Imaging (and restoring said images) is pretty old hat. So why is it that M$ couldn't get it right and ended up with the PoS named System Restore? Oh right, since most users have a one disk one partition setup, you couldn't go nuclear on that and plain restore the image or you'd nuke the user data too... So instead of forcing a os+apps/data split, they "developed" a new system that only seems to work when it comes to restoring malware back into the system.

M$ could sometimes GetItRightTM just by not trying so hard to come up with a revolutionary non round wheel...

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You know, the biggest issue with separate partitions for windows out of the box is one of the same reason people use it, and that's backwards compatibility. A lot of software will have a fit if you do anything outside of the norm. Now im not talking off the shelf software you download off the net by an large this is not to bad, im talking in house, or very old software, the kind of stuff companies sit on for decades because, "it just works".

MS has made some bad calls, a lot of them, hopefully they learn from each one. But the one thing they haven't done that pisses me off is to scrap all this backwards compatibility (phased over the last decade) and bring about an OS that does work out of the box across multiple partitions or in a more secure fail safe environment.

If your 15 year old printer or software doesn't work with W8 then tuff, get over it and buy a new one. Yes its shit for you but this and a stack load of other legacy considerations levered in to Windows are part of the reason it is less then ideal now! We cant have it both ways, there are too many things to consider to try and do both well and trying both has lead to neither being any good..

And the first person to say Linux is intuitive and amazing and will do everything I want perfectly will get a big e-Slap, I have a PC here that works with a live disk fine, but if I install it, it suddenly forgets how to use a network card, typically the community is of no use. So no, Linux isn't perfect, neither is windows, get over it, use whatever is best for you and stop browbeating anyone who chooses something different to you!

Are we not professionals!

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Silver badge

If you think the System Restore is bad, wait until you get a handle on the ball-ache mess that is "winsxs". It has to be on your system drive, will happily chew through gigabytes of valuable SSD space and there is very little sensible that can be done about it. In general it tends to always grow in size and never reduces.

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Anonymous Coward

Home build

If you use a home built PC with the components not fully tested together you can expect problems. It amazes me how many people moan about the OS on their poorly designed gaming rigs.

Real computer companies do weeks of QA to test their designs and tweak them to make carefully chosen kit work properly. What you put together in mom's basement is not the same thing.

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Re: "Real computer companies do weeks of QA to test their designs, etc."

Ok not going to the whole what hardware works type thing because this is a software thread. So lets put the whole "Real computer companies do weeks of QA to test their designs and tweak them to make carefully chosen kit work properly.", to a simple test from a software perspective.

1) Which company in recent times, (let's say 10 years), has had multiple published problems with loading/importing data in various formats into their consumer level products because of coding issues, (e.g. - buffer overflow,etc.), which have allowed executable code to be run from malformed data?

2) Which company in recent times, (let's say 10 years), has fixed said issue on a problem in hindsight, but hasn't the intelligence to say to themselves, (and that's all the the fuckwits there), "Oh lets audit the rest of our loading/import code to see if there is a problem."?

3) Which company in very recent times, (let's say 1 month), has identified a potential problem with loading fucking RTF files?

4) Which company in recent times, (let's say 10 years), has basically screwed up whatever goodwill they scavenged from developers/support type bods from the past.

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FAIL

It's called Windows because it's easily broken

My current laptop came (in August 2013) with Windows 8.0, but by February I had to upgrade it to Windows 7.

1) Within two weeks of getting it, a Microsoft Upgrade went wrong and trashed the OS — and only then did I discover that the stupid Secure Boot (which "solves" a "problem" which hasn't existed in years, that of boot-sector viruses), along with UEFI, was preventing my system-rescue USB stick from booting (or, indeed, boot from CD or DVD). Fortunately the problem resolved itself, but Secure Boot was disabled shortly afterwards.

2) I couldn't get the legacy Help system from the MS site to install; even the version labelled as "Win8, 64-bit" came up as "this is not compatible with your OS".

3) I tried "upgrading" to Win8.1 in the hope that it would fix this, but it didn't — and introduced a far worse problem, namely that workgroup access under Win8.1 carries the stupid and unenforceable requirement that all system clocks in the workgroup be perfectly in sync; so the main effect of the "upgrade" was that I could no longer access my network.

So, having backed-up my hard drive, I then formatted it, switched the boot mode to CBR, and installed Win7; once I got the right drivers, there were no further problems. The upgrade also cured the other major problem I'd had, of Win8 burning up far too much Internet transfer allowance (5Gb, an entire month's allowance, in sometimes only two days).

If/when Win7 is no longer supported, I'm going to migrate to Linux.

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Windows 8.1 breaks itself without using "System Restore" or "Push button reset". On my Windows 8 PC, my primary profile killed itself. Luckily, I had a backup admin profile already made. It took a while to get all of my apps working properly on the new profile, but it's working now. Not really enamored with Windows 8.1, but since I occasionally work from home and it works with the software from my job, I'm not going to mess with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Company which sells Windows 8.......

......is NOT a software company....just take a look at their products! It used to be (in the 1990's) a world class marketing company. Now it's pretty poor at software, and absolutely abysmal at marketing. Once you have grasped these facts, much of this comment thread becomes quite clear, and probably mostly redundant.

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Gold badge

Don't use common sense

"When it comes to Windows, I'm a bit of a retard... I always try to approach it based on common sense and generic principles of the past,"

First off I love your solution to use Ghost.

Anyway... I found the best approach to Windows issues is to NOT use common sense. Common sense and logic work on a system that behaves in some logical matter and some consistency. Windows does not, particularly when something breaks. I end up googling the specific problem and trying things to fix it -- all to often, it's changing a COMPLETELY irrelevant setting, or toggling some option off then on (or on then off) -- which of course should do nothing since the end result it is set exactly the same as it was. Or some undocumented setting, which common sense will never point you towards. I mean, recently I fixed *printing* from IE on someone's computer by updating the VIDEO driver!!! OK, so newer versions of IE use the GPU acceleration.. but that was already turned off due to it not working on this system! So IE (apparently) decides "what the hell, I'll just use the GPU for some reason for printing even when set to not use the GPU acceleration at all."

You would not find this poor of QA on software shipping with any MacOS or Linux version. Don't get me wrong, Ubuntu and Gentoo certainly can break, but there'll generally be a sense of logic to the root cause of the problem and solution... "Oh, the problem is with foo... I had to tweak the settings for foo... or reinstall foo... or upgrade or downgrade foo".

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