Friday, February 02, 2007

Vista editions and disaster recovery

There may be too many editions of Vista (as I explained previously).

People have been lampooning Microsoft's number of editions, some more seriously, some less so, but the point is well taken: it is just too confusing.

Given the choice, here's what I recommend: get Vista Business or Vista Ultimate. The Home editions do not include built-in hard disk imaging, which is a great backup mechanism. You should routinely make backups, but imaging is fantastic.

Are you familiar with those "system restore" discs? The ones that you can use to wipe out your computer and make the hard disk like you just took the computer out of the box? That's a disk image.

So, get your computer set up the way you like it (backup and remove your documents), then make a disk image. If you ever have problems, restore the image and then restore you documents. It will probably only take you one hour.

The only edition which does not support Aero and the Flip-3D eye candy is Vista Home Basic. Vista Home Premium addes Aero and Media Center (which you don't need if you Tivo). Vista Business adds imaging but removes Media Center. Vista Ultimate has all of the above, plus BitLocker Drive Encryption (for the enterprise user, or the hyper-paranoid).

If you participated in the PowerTogether promotion, you're getting Vista Business (way cool). That's probably what I would recommend for almost everybody.

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