A few weeks ago I accidentally installed the wrong Cisco VPN Client while trying to set up a VPN connection and as a result I lost all network connectivity.
I wasted a good 45 minutes uninstalling the bad software, reinstalling my laptop’s network drivers, and fiddling with the various network settings before I remembered about Window’s System Restore functionality.
I had never actually used it before and was a little hesitant because I remembered it having a really bad reputation for not working back in the early days of XP. However, I was tired of troubleshooting the problem, so I figured it was worth a shot.
I simply typed in ‘System Restore’ in the Run menu (still one of my favorite Windows 7 features) and was soon greeted with a plethora of possible rollback points, since Windows automatically takes checkpoints on both a scheduled basis as well as before every program install and windows update.
I selected the rollback point prior to the bad install and within a few more clicks I had my internets back!
If you’re like me and prone to F’ing up your computer from time to time, then you’ll be happy to know that this handy feature is available in Safe Mode as well as from the windows installation disk.
I also discovered that you can even manually create checkpoints with Powershell using the Checkpoint-Computer cmdlet, which I thought was pretty cool only because I’ve been getting my PowerShell freak on all week with build automation scripts.
Mostly, it was just nice to be pleasantly surprised by a piece of Microsoft software, which in general has been pissing me off more times than not lately.
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