Windows Deployment Servers and Desktops

W23 Rebuilding SteadyState: Tips and Free Tools for Creating a More Robust Windows

August 22nd, 2012

4:45pm - 6:00pm

Mark Minasi

IT Consultant, Author, Speaker


As any operating system -- Windows included -- gets more complex, it also gets more fragile. Wouldn't it be great to add the virtual machine notion of "snapshots" to physical Windows 7/R2 systems, like Microsoft's now-defunct SteadyState did for XP and Vista? Or how about being able to take a working system that no longer boots and restore its ability to boot in under three minutes? And while we're at it, why not add a smaller "maintenance version" of Windows to your Windows 7, Server 2008 and 2008R2 systems, an on-disk "emergency platform" for examining, diagnosing and repairing troubled systems?

Two years ago, veteran Windows techie and writer Mark Minasi set out to build something like SteadyState, using some of Windows 7 and R2's new storage and boot technologies. Along the way to creating his free "SteadierState" (he couldn't resist) tool at, he had to develop several new Windows repair and installation techniques, and in this session you'll learn how they work and how they can make your systems somewhat more robust.

SteadierState is aimed at folks in libraries, classroom laboratories, publicly-available kiosk machines, and the like -- systems that are created to be "just so," and that need to have every single change wrought by one student/patron/client un-done in a bit over three minutes in a one-click-and-walk-away scenario. (It's a free tool.)

Come to this session to learn how SteadierState can simplify YOUR job!

You will learn:

  • Master new WinPE install and implementation techniques
  • Gain a complete understanding of how Windows boots (and how to repair Windows boot problems) in the pre-winload phase
  • Understand how to implement a SteadyState-like rollback solution