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Windows 7 error recovery: Dueling views

This one is interesting and funny, and it also cuts to the heart of my “simple vs. easy” argument about Windows 7, so it’s kind of the full meal deal. On the one hand, we have Bryant from AeroXperience, who thinks the Windows 7 Startup Repair Utility is great. And then there’s Rafael from WithinWindows, who thinks that … well, he doesn’t really like it at all.

So what does this have to do with “simple vs. easy”? Everything. What Microsoft has done is taken previously optional repair tools (which were also on the Vista DVD) and made them a default part of the Windows 7 install. Simple! But they’ve also removed some tools that Raf and others have relied on for a long time. Hey, things don’t get simpler unless you cut away the chaff, right?

Bryant’s view:

The fact that the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) would be contained in the Windows 7 installation is nothing new.

Yes, it actually works.

In my case, my instance of build 6801 died on an “unknown bugcheck: 12b” which led to WinRE being launched. The recovery mechanism checked for issues, subsequently asked me if I’d like to use system restore to roll back to the last working point, rolled back, and presented me with full details of all of its scans (some of which you’ll see in my quick-n-dirty BlackBerry shots). After all of that, it rebooted and voila, Windows 7!

Rafael’s view:

There is absolutely no way to return to the Windows boot choices menu from this newfangled Error Recovery menu. Don’t let the menu above trick you – my choices were really [keep crashing] or [waste my time detecting the already-known problem].

Surprisingly it worked, as Bryant indicated … but that’s not the point. After everything was said and done, I felt like I just jumped through a bunch of technical support hoops to fix a problem I already knew how to fix on my own but couldn’t.

I will be finding a way to turn this “feature” off ASAP.

So there you go. :)

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