JorgeA, on 06 March 2012 - 10:05 PM, said:
The biggest drawbacks of the existing OS recovery options are (1) you lose your installed programs, and (2) the process of reinstalling the OS and programs
Yes. It'll save you about 10 minutes compared to installing from a flash drive or such. But then, all the updates, all the optional updates, all the drivers for everything, all your software, all the patches and updates for all your software, etc. Printer preferences, pinning apps, browser extensions, codecs, licenses and activations, etc. That's a whole day gone by.Then you start setting all your preferences and general settings in all apps and so on.
Now, if you're a power user or programmer, this is *so* much worse (being both is even worse). Several IDEs and compilers (Visual Studio, SQL Server, service packs for both, Windows SDK, sample DBs for SQL Server, AVR Studio 5 -- oops gotta reinstall VS2010 SP1 again now, Eclipse, CodeWarrior, Imagecraft, Keil, eabi toolchain + CMSIS, etc). Now configure VS and others to your needs. Reinstall Resharper/VisualAssistX/CodeRush or whatever you use, SVN/Hg/Git/whatever tools (cmd line/shell GUIs/multiple IDE integration) and their "ignore" files and various settings, various VS extensions via NuGet, VMWare Workstation and several virtual machine images for testing (also, the vSphere 5 client), several JTAG/BDM-related tools and drivers for embedded folks, IDA Pro, etc. There goes yet another day.
God forbid you also use other kinds of software! Now my color profiles and prefs, my custom photoshop workspaces (and tons of other settings/presets), bridge settings, my custom pre-flight settings in acrobat, font sets in suitcase fusion, brush settings in Painter, outlook signatures, your company's templates for various CAD apps, and countless other things in numerous other apps (e.g. telling wireshark not to go crazy because of TCP checksums, extra folders in CCleaner, internal codec settings in MPC-HC, Intuos tablet settings, fixing errors in WMP's library, etc). That's assuming that nothing goes wrong on anything, not that it's uncommon for a Windows security update to fail or something along those lines. Some people would even add some games to this list.
I think you now understand why I never want to reinstall unless absolutely necessary. I just don't have that kind of time to waste. Installing Windows itself isn't the issue, it's everything else you have to do after that is. It's so much work that I used to make images of it with TrueImage but by the time I end up needing to restore them almost everything included is out of date so that is typically no help (I'd just have to uninstall everything and reinstall the new versions)
But yeah. I can now save myself a whole 10 minutes in this 3 day long ordeal! I feel so relieved.