win7 system restore … aaarrrrgggh

Warning: this is mainly me just ranting about Microsoft stupidity and a warning for anyone using junctions.

About a month or two ago I built myself a new PC (old one was dying) and installed Win7 on it. ┬áSince I was previously still on WinXP there were a few things to get used to, but all in all I enjoyed the update. There were of course some strange Windows pitfalls involved, moving your users directory to a different drive really isn’t straightforward, but works if you use junctions to link the directories.

Since Virtualbox drops the guests in a subfolder of the users directory I decided to move my users directory to one of the larger mechanical disks in my system, to keep the windows drive (a SSD disk) with plenty of space.

Now fast forward to yesterday, where some software I installed decided to clear out most of my Start->All Programs folder, leaving me with lots of installed softawre, and no Start Menu links. After trying some stuff out I finally caved in and used System Restore to get my Start Menu working again. System Restore actually worked fine, I got my Start Menu back … unfortunately it also corrupted my profile, and while googling to find out how to fix it I found a whole lot of people with the same problem.

Junction + User directory + System Restore = corrupt user, non repairable. Hello Microsoft, this is all original system software, no 3rd party stuff, breaking my user is totally uncool.

So after trying all kinds of crazy tips I found I gave up and followed the official instructions (a.k.a. You are fucked, haha bye bye user registry). And right now I am copying stuff from my old profile to my new one and setting up all the software that had stored stuff in the registry. This time my Profile stays on C: without any junctions, it’s easier to repair Virtualbox if it breaks over the images being in a non-standard path than worrying about windows corrupting my whole profile if I touch System Restore.