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Press Cancel to Continue -- A full day wasted on Windows Vista

By Andrew Pollack on 10/15/2008 at 05:55 PM EDT

Last night, Ari's new laptop was issued a bunch of patches from Microsoft. This morning, the startup process ended with a blue screen. Every time.

I started working with it at about 7am. I'll spare you the longest and most boring part of the story and just say that I was finally able to get a normal boot out of it by about 4pm.

Here's a few things I learned:

1. If you start Vista in safe mode, you cannot use the Windows Installer to remove software. Brilliant.

2. Vista does have a better interface for System Restore. It shows you more information and is better at showing you what changed since that time. It does not, unfortunately, fully restore the system to its previous state.

3. Vista includes a utility called "System Configuration" that allows you to set the next boot to be a safe boot, or a diagnostic boot that loads only system drivers, and those services and startup programs you select. Unfortunately, the services aren't grouped into any kind of dependant list or other useful manner.

4. If Vista fails to boot some number of times -- and fails in just the right way -- something new comes up called "Startup Repair". This is actually a pretty effective tool. It seems to check the boot sequence and the ability of each driver that loads, one at a time, for stability. It takes a while, but it does actually seem to fix things.

HOWEVER -- It is still Vista.

What I mean by that is, Once you select to go ahead with "Startup Repair" and it runs for a bit doing something deeply secretive, you get a prompt that asks if you'd like to use "System Restore" to go back to a previous configuration. You are given a dialog box that the options "System Restore" or "Cancel".

If you want to CONTINUE to use "Startup Repair", you have to hit "Cancel".

Yes folks. That is, click "Cancel" to continue with "Startup Repair". See, you're cancelling the "System Restore" so that you can continue with "Startup Repair".

Do you get that?

By the way, from what little I can tell, if you do choose "System Restore" at that point, there is no indication that it can actually be done from there. There's no real GUI loaded, and the one time I tried it did nothing at all.

So remember, "Click Cancel to Continue".

By the way -- at 4pm I had determined, finally, that the problem was with one of those updates. I'd been able to get the system up and running, but reloading the updates crashed it again. That means I'll spend this evening loading them one at a time until I know which one fails, then locking that one out.

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Press Cancel to Continue -- A full day wasted on Windows VistaBy Eric Mack on 10/15/2008 at 07:49 PM EDT
I feel your pain. If you have the option, rather than spend another 8 hours,
consider XP.
re: Press Cancel to Continue -- A full day wasted on Windows VistaBy Dwight Wilbanks on 10/15/2008 at 08:14 PM EDT
Better you than me, I'm still Vista free since the release candidate. I like
a good techie took a look before the release. I have heard nothing since then
to sway my original opinion.

I hope that they get a redesign in place before I really have to use it.
re: Press Cancel to Continue -- A full day wasted on Windows VistaBy Scott Marchione on 10/16/2008 at 09:09 AM EDT
uh-oh... I fired up my Vista laptop this morning, and it started the update
process while I was eating breakfast, I ignored it while it locked me out to do
the updates, and thought nothing of the fact that a nice screen popped up and
asked me what I wanted to boot too... it never did that before, but no big
deal... I left it in the care of my wife while I dropped the kids off at day
care... I sure hope that sucker didn't crash.. I don't have 8 hours to spare to
repair it due to a M$ update issue!
re: Press Cancel to Continue -- A full day wasted on Windows VistaBy Andrew Pollack on 10/16/2008 at 09:27 AM EDT
Well, hopefully the words here will help you skip my 8 hours of
re: Press Cancel to Continue -- A full day wasted on Windows VistaBy JohnR on 11/16/2008 at 11:20 PM EST
Update got me 2.First one 11/12/08 & then again yesterday 11/15/08.I'm BSOD no
matter what I do.No Vista Disk.I dont even get to the repair.Good luck...
re: Press Cancel to Continue -- A full day wasted on Windows VistaBy Dejan Petrusic on 12/03/2008 at 06:57 AM EST
I am writing a manual for latest version of software we make and I got stack
with a small linguistic problem.

As you most likely already know the lenguage in manuals is often as good as in
a teenage chatroom, although without swearing.

The reason for this is obvious. I'll give you my example: my mother tounge is
Serbian, I work for a Swedish company present in Germany and Denmark. That's
why we need to write manuals, in English.

Anyway, I am really trying to do a good work so I started looking for an answer
to a question wheather to use "press cancel" or "click cancel" in our manual?
Google led me to this text on your blog and I whish it didn't.

What am I supose to do now when I got three alternatives: "press cancel",
"click cancel" or even "hit cancel"?

I figured out that there are two different perspectives. If I can predict if
user, at this point, is angry or not then I may choose between "press" and
"hit" giving a user an oportunity to let out his frustration.

The second perspective is the sound perspective. "Click" refers to the sound
your computer may make when you click/press/hit the button. What makes this
alternative favorable is that "click" is more real then "press". You don't
really press a button. It's all virtual. I mean you press the mouse button but
not the button in the dialog. Neither the "press" or for that matter even the
"button" are real. It's all make pretend.

Then again I am choose to walk the "angry/calm user" line but I need an angry
"click". Maybe a "boom" or something. I figured out that an empty gun makes a
"click" sound while a loaded makes a "boom". Or?

I don't know.

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