Time for other Vista options?

Drat! System stability on my production Vista PC is again becoming problematic. Over the past four weeks, my stability index has declined from its best-ever value of 9.72 to the dismal 5.65 it settled at yesterday, after a desktop freeze forced me to fire off yet another “disruptive shutdown” on that system the day before.

Here’s a breakdown of what I’ve dealt with over that period:

  1. 3/09/09: iexplore.exe stopped working
  2. 3/15/09: ClientInfo.exe stopped working (part of the WHS software for my HP MediaSmart server)
  3. 3/21/09: Disruptive shutdown (desktop hung)
  4. 3/22/09: TrueImageMonitor.exe and WHSTrayApp.exe both stopped working, plus a disruptive shutdown
  5. 3/23/09: Explorer.exe stopped working
  6. 3/24/09: Ditto above
  7. 3/25/09: fm3032.exe stopped working (part of the software for my Dell AIO 968)
  8. 3/27/09: Disruptive shutdown
  9. 3/29/09: Core PaintShop Pro and ipoint.exe both stopped working, plus a disruptive shutdown
  10. 3/31/09: Disruptive shutdown
  11. 4/04/09: SetPoint.exe and ipoint.exe both stopped working
  12. 4/06/09: Disruptive shutdown

The way I see it, I have a few options to try to clean things up. First, I can try to roll back to a system image dated on or before 3/8, the day before this decline kicked in…goes off to check the WHS backup info…3/1 (index 9.18) is as close as I can come. Second, I can blow my system drive away and reinstall Windows and all the applications…goes off to check Revo Uninstaller…73 of them altogether, including numerous items I think I could do without. Third, I can spend $60 on a copy of Laplink PCmover and transfer my programs, files, and settings to a different PC. I’ve got a big, noisy, recently upgraded QX6800 box I could switch to for the time being, after which I could do a reinstall of Vista on my current QX9650 box, then Laplink back from the QX6800 to the refurbished QX9650 for another $60 onto a presumably cleaned-up and less shaky installation as my schedule permits. I want to  move my QX9650 into an Antec 900 case I purchased for it anyway, so this would also give me a perfect opportunity to do so, without unduly compromising my productivity.

Thus, to me the question becomes: do I want to spend more time and less money (grab newer PSTs and other files from current image, roll back to 3/1 image or reinstall Vista and all apps…Ouch!!) or spend less time and more money (take the Laplink route and spend $6o or $120 to go one-way or both ways respectively between current and other machine).At this point, the roll back to 3/1 image after grabbing everything I need from last night’s backup, or the current machine itself (PST files for sure) appeals most, because I am shy about spending money that isn’t absolutely necessary to expend right now. That said, the key questions then become “How long will this take?” and “When will I have/find the time?” Good ones, both of them, given a crazier than usual working schedule this week!

I’m still pondering this choice, and probably will for at least a couple more days, so please: feel free to chime in if you’ve got a better idea or different approach to recommend, or a relevant “war story” to share. Thanks!

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