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Insider Power Techniques for Microsoft® Windows® XP by Austin Wilson, Scott Andersen, Geoff Winslow, Paul McFedries

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Step 7—Run the Automated System Recovery Preparation Wizard

The worst-case scenario for PC problems is a system crash that renders your hard disk or system files unusable. Your only recourse here is to start from scratch, either with a reformatted hard disk or a new hard disk. This usually means that you have to reinstall Windows XP and then reinstall and reconfigure all your applications. In other words, you’re looking at the better part of a day or, more likely, a few days to recover your system.

However, Windows XP comes with a utility called Automated System Recovery that, with a little advance planning on your part, can help you recover from a crash in just a few steps. What kind of advance planning is required? Just two things:

  • You must run ...

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