Wow. I've forgotten how much work it can be to restore a Windows PC to factory default settings.

In the two weeks since I brought home my Eee PC, I've done a complete system restore about 3 or 4 times. This is the price you pay for running through a ton of experiments. Sometimes it seems easier to start from a clean slate than to undo all the damage you've done.

And it only takes a few minutes. Because The Eee PC uses the Unionfs file system, most of the base Xandros operating system is hiding in a protected part of your memory. You can't easily touch it and mess it up. So doing a system restore means wiping the user portion of your data, but you don't have to format the whole disk or reinstall your operating system.

So you just hit F9 while rebooting, and a few minutes later your machine is as good as new. Since I only run a few third party apps like GIMP and Audacity, it takes just a few minutes to reconfigure everything the way I like it.

Now, after spending the better part of a year with my Toshiba laptop, I'm noticing that it's significantly less responsive than it was the day I brought it home. And I've been having odd glitches in my Skype calls which I wasn't experiencing using the much slower Eee PC. So I decided to do a system restore using the discs provided by Toshiba this morning.

An hour and a half later, I've almost got my OS back up and running. It will probably take me days to reconfigure all the software. In the meantime, I'll probably be using my Eee PC for a lot of day to day tasks.

Update: For a list of apps I loaded onto my Windows Vista PC right after doing a fresh install, check out my writeup at Download Squad.


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