Posted 20 March 2007 - 05:08 PM
I see your point there. I guess what I'm after is trying to avoid the constant "bit rot" that the OS seems susceptible to. Certainly the more programs that run, the slower things get. And it gets harder and harder to ride herd on those programs. When I open Task Manager I'm just amazed at some of the stuff that gets loaded without my being asked. And that's the stuff I understand, like ipod helper and quicktime. Even stuff I explicitly say "don't run" and they still load.
"Bit rot" is a term I've heard before and I don't know if it's a real phenomenon or not, but it seems to imply that after time there is some degradation in the system files of the OS. How the OS can function when this happens, I don't know. Perhaps it has more to do with fragmentation of system files that defragging doesn't fix. Perhaps the OS slows because of trojans or spyware that has crept into your system. The idea would be to have a pristine copy of the OS that you know is uninfected and can be loaded without fragmentation. You would do this regularly. You have a new program you want to load. Instead of loading the new program (game, Photoshop, whatever) onto your current OS, which you, say, loaded 3 months ago, you first reinstall the pristine copy of the OS over the 3 month old version. Then you install your new program. Then, I guess, you would now backup the OS with it's new registry information and this becomes your new pristine version. I'm trying to think this through as I write, which is not always a good idea, so I don't know if this would work or not. The goal would be to know that you always have a clean version of the OS, no bit rot, no corrupt files, no viruses or spyware. Always up to date with the latest patches, always recoverable at a moments notice if the hard drive fails, and recoverable without having to reinstall every bloody program you've ever loaded.
I guess partly what brought me to this is the number of times my total system backups have failed me. They take forever to do, and never seem to work when I need them. And if you've backed up a crappy system, then the best you can do is restore a crappy system. I want something better, even if it is more work.