OK, I knew that there was this thing called System Restore in Windows XP... however, I've never really needed it.... well, until now ;-)
I installed an application developed by a co-worker and it basically destroyed “something” that caused the SDK for one of my hardware devices to stop working. After some cussin'... someone suggested I tried to use one of the System Restore options. So started digging around looking for it. Tried to rollback the driver for the device... no previous state available. So then started looking at doing an actual System Restore. As luck would have it, I installed something else (Windows Media Encoder 9) yesterday and there was a nice restore point for me. I was a little skeptical about this; mainly since I have no idea what System Restore actually does.
It worked!... great... so what exactly does System Restore do? I couldn't just leave it at the 'it's voodoo' stage.
So doing a little more digging around, I found a document on MSDN that discusses some of the specifics. It then points to further documentation within the Platform SDK; but to save you the time, all you really need to do is check out an XML file located at <FONT color=#008000>%windows%\System32\Restore\Filelist.xml</FONT>... this has what is included and excluded from the list ;-)
Now... since there are several shareware applications out there that allow you to double click and set a restore point (around $15)... I guess I'm going to have to create a sample that shows how to do this ;-) That way I can double click on it to set a restore point automatically before installing questionable software.