Can the decision to discard/save changes be made at shutdown?

Discussion in 'Returnil releases' started by VanguardLH, Mar 29, 2010.

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  1. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Registered Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    Returnil 2010 Home Free v3.1
    Windows XP Pro SP-3

    I've had RVS 2010 Home installed for a couple months now but only had a couple occasions in which to use it (mostly because of the lack of remembering the virtualized state across restarts of Windows). In the past, I only activated it when I wanted to trial some software on my real host after having already tested it inside a virtual machine (or the emulated hardware inside the virtual machine made it impossible to test the software). Way too often, however, the software's install requires a reboot so the test gets aborted or I have to save a partition image to provide for restoration back to a known state before installing the software under test.

    In RVS 2010 Home, and when I activate the Safe System virtualization mode, it is then that I need to decide if changes are discarded or saved when I shutdown Windows. That works when testing software (that doesn't require rebooting); however, that sucks when it comes to wanting to have RVS load on Windows startup. If I wanted to use RVS to protect the state of my host, obviously I don't want to default to saving changes. There would be no point in wasting the disk and memory resources for RVS if all changes get saved. I can get that without ever installing RVS. Having RVS load on Windows startup only makes sense if I get the choice at the end when I shutdown Windows. If RVS is always going to load on Windows startup, I'd like the opportunity to decide on shutdown if any changes made during that Windows session get discarded or saved. I obviously won't know beforehand how I want all Windows sessions handled.

    Asking me to choose the discard or save changes mode on shutdown but making that choice when RVS is activated seems arse backward logic. It makes sense when you don't leave RVS enabled all the time (i.e., when you want to use it for a specific software test, when tweaking the OS, or doing something now that you know should be temporary). It doesn't make sense if RVS is configured to load on Windows startup -- well, it doesn't make sense for a single user of a host (i.e., only me using my host) but it makes sense when sharing the host (i.e., with kids or as a kiosk host).

    ColdMoon mentioned in about some new multi-state feature that might show up in some later version of RVS. However, I don't know if that will show in the Home (free) version or just in the payware version or how long before that feature shows up. Apparently that will let users save the virtualized state across multiple Windows sessions so, for example, users don't have to leave their computers powered up 24x7 while trialing unknown software since powering off at night to go to sleep or a power outage (longer than their UPS can handle) would result in a reboot that results in loss of the changes in the virtualized state. It will be nice if that feature shows up. It would be nice if it was included in the free version. But I'm really not going to wait around looking for a solution that I need now.

    Maybe I'll go back to investigating Microsoft's SteadyState again. That was overkill for what I wanted, though, and its configuration just seemed clumsy. Other options would be to use Comodo's Time Machine (although it seems still a bit too flaky) or continue using Acronis TrueImage and use backup images to restore my host to a prior known or preferred state. The lack of having the decision at shutdown to discard or save changes relegates RVS 2010 Home to just trialing software but only if it doesn't require a reboot for its installation.
  2. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    Sep 18, 2006
    Hi VanguardLH,
    We have discussed this quite extensively and are working to realize it with future upgrades in the virtualization engine. The thrust of what you are detailing is part of our thinking for the planned improvements in program automation that will make the software more attractive and useful for novice to average users.

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