The discontinuation of Windows SteadyState led to the search for numerous alternatives, of which Reboot to Restore technology is quite prominent. The ability to instantly restore system functionality in a manner that matches and exceeds the effects of employing Windows SteadyState, explains its overwhelming acceptance.
Multi-user computing environments are perhaps the most difficult to manage. Every user interacts with machines per their specific requirements.
Institutions offering public computing environments, such as public libraries, classrooms, business centers and offices, cater to individuals whose proficiency with handling computers vary wildly. They may download, accidentally or otherwise, malicious files or alter system settings determined by IT administrators.
Infiltration by viruses, slow performance, and other forms of malfunction pose a real threat to the optimal functioning of these machines. Naturally, IT personnel have to devote a large chunk of their time and energy to debug systems and keep them usable without major interruptions or restrictions.
Windows system restore tools like SteadyState formed a critical part of IT departments’ arsenal. It allowed administrators to roll a computer’s configuration back to a predetermined state, to keep workstations safeguarded from long-term consequences of user-inflicted changes across multiple sessions.
With its discontinuation, a major void was created. Multiple third-party applications came up to fill it to an extent.
Among them, the solutions leveraging Reboot to Restore technology deserve special mention as Windows SteadyState alternatives as they have exceeded the expectations of IT teams with its effective functionality.
Windows SteadyState: How it Worked
Windows SteadyState by Microsoft is an excellent tool for protecting multi-user computing environments like classrooms, airports, healthcare centers, and public libraries. When deployed, it enables IT admins to select and preserve a configuration that the machine can be reverted to in the event of a malfunction.
This helps to keep systems away from long-term effects of unwanted changes made to the baseline configuration.
After being enabled on a Windows computer, SteadyState begins to save user-made changes as a temporary cache. IT administrators can choose between discarding or retaining these changes.
With its ‘discard’ mode, the cache clears on restart. The device is taken back to its previous configuration, and all changes are eliminated.
This mode is thus useful for removing any kind of detrimental changes in the system.
The ‘persist’ mode of SteadyState lets IT administrators save the previously made changes for a particular stretch of time. IT admins can save these changes permanently.
If not saved within a specific period, the changes will be eventually deleted. Switching on SteadyState’s ‘commit’ mode saves user-made changes permanently from the beginning.
SteadyState was available for 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Vista. Along with regulating what was to be done with changes to the configuration, it also allowed for the imposition of restrictions to certain sectors of the system’s settings.
For example, disabling Windows Command Prompt or switching off Control Panel.
Discontinuation of Windows SteadyState
2010 witnessed the discontinuation of the Windows system restore software. This system recovery tool was primarily operational on 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Vista.
The emergence and popularity of 64-bit versions of Windows operating systems made SteadyState redundant and obsolete. Windows 7, however, did come up with some native features like ‘System Restore’.
However, it did not act as a viable alternative to the discontinued software.
IT departments found themselves grappling with a void in terms of solutions to preserve and protect systems that operate on Windows 7, 8, and 10.
Reboot to Restore: The Optimal Windows SteadyState Alternative
The functionalities of Windows SteadyState are not simply replicated, but exceeded by solutions leveraging reboot to restore technology. When enabled, a reboot to restore-based solution preserves the existing configuration as the baseline within its system.
Changes made by users during their sessions are written to an allocation table. When restarted, this data stored in the allocation table is no longer referred to.
Consequently, the system is restored to the baseline configuration that was originally established.
Of course, it is entirely possible to save the desired changes permanently. In that case, IT admin can simply disable the reboot to restore software, make the required changes, and activate it again.
After enabling, the updated configuration is saved as the baseline. Henceforth, each reboot reverts the configuration to the newly decided configuration.
Reboot to Restore lets users access an unrestricted computing environment. Users can make whatever changes they deem necessary because with each reboot the system is cleansed and reverted to the pristine configuration.
Unless authorized by the IT personnel, changes are undone and eradicated. This offers great flexibility to the end-users as they can continue working on the machine without any concerns.
At the same time, IT professionals can also be assured that system configuration remains intact and that users are getting the workstations in its clean and optimal state with each reboot.
Along with its user-friendly nature, Reboot to Restore can also boast of its swift execution. Any malfunction can be resolved in few minutes, which is the time a computer takes to restart.
This ensures that systems do not have to suffer prolonged downtime. In turn, productivity, deadlines and other factors depending on fully functioning devices are not adversely affected.
Latest Reboot to restore solutions work on all the latest versions of Windows OS editions, which provides IT professionals managing diverse shared computing environments extended and tamper-proof coverage. These solutions also extend the capabilities of Reboot to Restore with features like Auto Updates and Maintenance tasks, Central Management Console, Power Management options, and more.
Naturally, the deployment of Reboot to Restore solutions significantly ease the workload for IT departments. Instead of having to summon IT support to attend to every malfunctioning machine, users can just restart it and resume work on a perfectly functioning interface.
Major and minor issues, such as configuration drifts, sudden system failure, and a slowdown in system performance, can be rectified with a simple reboot.
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