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How to restore system after installing problematic driver

Posted: Sun May 26, 2019 9:15 pm
by matthiasbasler
My question to those testers with more experience is: Is there a way to restore a broken configuration without having to re-install ReactOS from scratch?

Testing drivers on real hardware is a very time consuming thing, because if something fails I cannot just revert to an earlier VM state. And things fail quite often, resulting in ReactOS not booting any more, showing BSOD and similar. Up to now I found no way except re-installing ReactOS from scratch. (Currently with CORE-15874 open every re-install requires me to take out the HDD and replace two files in order to get it booting at all, making this process even more frustrating.)

There is a "last known good configuration" option in the ReactOS F8 boot menu, but this does not seem to do what it claims to do. What's the state of this function in 0.4.12?
Any help is appreciated.

Matthias Basler

Re: How to restore system after installing problematic driver

Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 12:39 am
by MadWolf
I do not test real hardware but what about using something like Clonezilla then you can setup Reactos the way you want then Make a backup image and then you can restore that image when you need too

Re: How to restore system after installing problematic driver

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:06 am
by ThFabba
If you need to make modifications to the system in order to get it to boot, simply build an ISO with those modifications already built-in.
Other than that, a good trick is to have two hard drives or partitions, storing the OS on one and any data or software on the other. That way you can reinstall and format without having to re-copy a lot of stuff.
Regularly breaking the OS and its filesystem is pretty much expected at this point and will only be "fixed" once we have things like journaling FSes, registry logs, a working chkdsk, SFC, system restore etc. Most folks don't bother with workarounds and just reinstall the OS when needed.

Re: How to restore system after installing problematic driver

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:31 pm
by middings
I like ThFabba's advice. When testing applications with ReactOS, starting from a clean installation is preferred. A clean installation avoids side-effects (example: registry changes) caused by previously-loaded applications. Such side-effects may introduce malfunctions that might be wrongly blamed on ReactOS and as a result, unnecessarily consume development team resources.

My understanding is that Microsoft tests the compatibility of existing applications with their new versions of Microsoft Windows by starting with a clean installation of Windows for each application. (Unfortunately, I was unable to find any document on the web that confirms that this is Microsoft's practice.)