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I am looking for a program that can restore the system to a pre-configured state for every boot.

Requirements:

  • under £10, no subscription
  • lets me make a 'snapshot' of the system whenever I want
  • as quick as possible
  • resets files, settings, programs, etc. (essentially restore the 'snapshot')
  • runs on Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • restores every normal boot (I don't want to specifically say 'restore on next reboot'!)

This is basically for me to run a kiosk computer (shared with everybody). I need to make sure after somebody has finished using it, it resets.

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    I am not aware of any free solution for both Windows Vista and 7, so I added one solution for each! – Franck Dernoncourt Jul 24 '14 at 16:57
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Reboot Restore Rx is a Freeware utility that makes it easy to maintain PC’s in small public access computing environments (classrooms, computer labs, kiosks, internet cafes, libraries, etc.). Every time you restart the PC’s - they will automatically reset to your desired baseline settings

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For Microsoft for 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista, you can use the freeware Windows SteadyState (theoretically incompatible with Windows 7 and later, although some people made it work with Windows 7)

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SteadyState can revert a computer to a previously stored state every time it reboots, or on administrator's request. When Windows Disk Protection (WDP) component of SteadyState is turned on, changes to the hard disk are redirected to a temporary cache. WDP offers three modes of protection:

  • Discard mode: The cache is cleared upon every reboot, thus returning the system to its previous state.
  • Persist mode: Changes saved in the cache remain intact across reboots. An administrator may later opt to commit these changes. Alternatively, at the specified date and time, the cache expires and its contents are cleared.
  • Commit mode: Contents of the cache is written out to disk and become permanent. In addition, new changes to the system are no longer redirected to the cache.

SteadyState can prepare user environments. User accounts can be locked or forced to log off after certain intervals. A locked account uses a temporary copy of the user's profile during the user's session. When the user logs off, the temporary profile is deleted. This ensures that any changes the user made during his session are not permanent.

SteadyState provides simple control of more than 80 restrictions covering both individual users as well as the system as a whole. Many of these settings are based on Windows Group Policies, while others are implemented by SteadyState itself. Using SteadyState, an administrator can forbid a user from performing actions that may be undesirable for that environment. Some settings include the ability to turn off the control panel, disable Windows Registry editing tools that come with Windows, disable Command Prompt and stop the users from executing batch files or programs outside pre-approved folders.

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Note that Microsoft has discontinued SteadyState. As of 31 December 2010, SteadyState is no longer available for download on the official website.

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  • lol. Did you actually mean For Microsoft for 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista, you can use the freeware Microsoft for 32-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista. ? – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Jul 24 '14 at 16:54
  • @ṧнʊß Whoops :) sorry my voice commands mixed up the copy pastes! – Franck Dernoncourt Jul 24 '14 at 16:56
  • Looks like Dragon is upsetting you ;) – ᔕᖺᘎᕊ Jul 24 '14 at 16:58
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    Yeah looking forward trying version 13! – Franck Dernoncourt Jul 24 '14 at 17:03
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For Windows 7 Enterprise® / Windows 7 Ultimate, you can use the freeware Steadier State.

Steadier State freezes the computer as an image and creates a snapshot of the current activity as a virtual C:. Restarting gives the option to roll back or keep the new snapshot by creating a new option at boot:

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  • you can create a snapshot any time you want
  • select "Roll back Windows" to go back to the previous snapshot, "Windows 7" if you don't want to restore the previous snapshot. Change boot order according to what you need.
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  • @Izzy Sure, it is always hard to find a good trade-off conciseness and enough information. I added some more information, let me know if the answers need more extension! – Franck Dernoncourt Jul 25 '14 at 1:01
  • @Izzy Sure, details added! – Franck Dernoncourt Jul 25 '14 at 14:36

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