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Issue #119: November 1, 2009

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Q: On my laptop I have two operating systems.  Vista Home Premium 64bit came with the computer and Windows XP was then installed, with the help of VMware Server.  This was necessary to support an application which I use that currently does not operate on 64bit.  My question is this – When a Restore Point is created, does it affect both operating systems or just Vista?  In the listing of Restore Points it only gives such info as “Windows Update” when Restore Points are automatically created.

– Bill B.
Fort Walton Beach, Fla

A: Nice segue from last week’s question about dual-booting, Bill!  The answer to your question is that restore points in dual-boot system apply only to the operating system that is booted.  However, due to an incompatibility in Windows (thanks, Bill – not you, Bill B. – the OTHER Bill) what tends to happen is that the older OS — in your case, XP — deletes all the restore points of the newer OS.  There isn’t really a fix, but there is a workaround.  It’s far too complicated for me to describe in my limited space, but I found at least one good web page that describes the problem, the fix, and provides links to Microsoft Knowledge Base articles on the topic.  Start by going here:  http://tinyurl.com/2muwyw.

Q: I installed JAVA 6 Update 15.  Their Website says to remove old versions.  Does that include updates?  My add/remove program listing shows JAVA 6 Updates 3, 5 and 7 at about 300 MB each.  I am afraid there may be some shared files and removal will mess up the program.

– John S.
Niceville, Fla

A: I have never understood why a Java “Update” installs a whole new version, but that’s what it seems to do.  If you look at the amount of storage taken up by the older versions, it can add up to quite a bit of disk space.  Rest assured, John, it will not mess up the program to uninstall the older versions, even though they are called updates.  Besides, if it does, you can always download it again.  After all, it’s free.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Windows 7 – Chances are that you’ve heard of the new Windows 7 by now.  I’ve been getting a lot of e-mail from people asking me my opinion about it, so I thought I’d share a few quick thoughts.  First of all, Windows 7 is not the clean break fromVista many are hoping for, because Win7 is built using many of the same components with whichVista, and XP before it were built.  Remember thatVista was highly hyped too, and initially met with rave reviews.  With that in mind, Windows 7 does offer some nice improvements.  Home networking has never been easier, including sharing media files among networked PCs.  The Aero interface, first introduced inVista has been refined even further with it’s “Peek” and “Snap” features.  Use them a few times, and you’ll wonder how you ever got along without them.  The new Device Stage provides a single console for managing external devices from mobile phones to webcams.  The new Jump Lists are like the old Most Recently Used file lists on steroids.  Still, I can think of a lot of things I’d rather spend my computer upgrade dollars on than yet another new version of Windows that will still have half a dozen security patches out before you can even say “Thanks again, Bill!”

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