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Restore Windows PC applications state

Is there an application out there that will automatically restore a Windows PC to the applications "state" just prior to a reboot?  What I mean by state is the open applications, files, directories, IE sites, etc.  In other words, everything on the Windows Task Manager "Applications" tab.

I did run across the open source application "Cache My Work".  It does some of what I'm describing, but has certain limitations.

Thanks.
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cftalley
Asked:
cftalley
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4 Solutions
 
ComputerTechieCommented:
There are software like rollback rx http://www.horizondatasys.com/169614.ihtml

CT
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cftalleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks CT.  Not quite what I had in mind.  Looks like rollback rx is for disaster recovery.  I just want something that will restart all the applications, open files, etc. that were active just before I reboot my machine.  The specific scenario I'm thinking of is when I install patches via Windows Update that require a reboot.  It's such a time consuming pain to get everything back up and running the way it was before the reboot.
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siddagrlCommented:
Can you list those limitations?
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
See if SteadyState is closer to what you need
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/sharedaccess/default.mspx

But what you seem to be describing is more a hibernation state.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibernate_(OS_feature) 
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ComputerTechieCommented:
One option could be to create a script with something like autoit3 http://www.autoitscript.com/ to open folder and programs when you run the script.
CT
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edbedbCommented:
Isn't that what hibernate does?
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cftalleyAuthor Commented:
@ saddarql

Limitations of Cache My Work are here...

http://www.codeplex.com/CacheMyWork > Documentation tab > Current Limitations of CacheMyWork v1.3

Just to give a specific and very simple example, say I have two PDFs open.  In Windows Task Manager I will see...

file1.pdf - Adobe Reader
file2.pdf - Adobe Reader

In other words, Task Manager is aware of the files AND the application that opens the files. So, ideally, after a reboot I would want both those files to automatically come back up.

On the other hand, in Cache My Work, I see this...

Adobe Reader 9.2

That is, one instance and no files (just the application).
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cftalleyAuthor Commented:
@ MASQUERADE, edbedb

Hibernate might work to a degree.  But using it in the particular situation I described above (reboot after installing patches) just doesn't feel right. Hibernate saves the contents of RAM to non-volatile storage (e.g., hard disk). I'm not an expert in Hibernate, but I just get a sense that there could be some strange and unexpected side effects if I patch/update an app or the OS and then bring it back up from a state that was created from the "old" version.
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edbedbCommented:
Sorry, missed the "installing patches" part.
I don't think it would hurt but it certainly wouldn't help. The system would still have to be restarted.
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cftalleyAuthor Commented:
@ MASQUERADE

No, SteadyState is not what I had in mind either.

The ideal application would be very simple and do one thing: effectively "read " the Windows Task Manager "Applications" tab, and build a script that's automatically executed upon reboot to recreate that state.  There might be a little more to it, but that's essentially what I'm looking for.

Hardly a week goes by that I'm not in the middle of something using 5 applications with 15 open files, 10 browser tabs, Windows Explorer windows, etc., etc. and corporate IT forces a patch that might require a reboot. I then have to shut everything down, do the patch, open everything back up.  It takes a lot of time. I know many people have this same problem.
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siddagrlCommented:
just a pointer for some alternate solution (i have to investigate it more and then I will update you)

command line tool tasklist could be explored to store all the running application / processes in a text file & could be run on next startup.

you may get error "ERROR: Class not registered when running" when you run tasklist (from command line)
This link should solve the problem [mine got resolved :-), I am running WinXP SP3]:
http://www.winhelponline.com/articles/244/1/ERROR-Class-not-registered-when-running-Tasklistexe.html
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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
>>and corporate IT forces a patch that might require a reboot.
Will thay allow you to change your configuration to accomodate this?
If they are pushing the updates with a forced restart then I'd talk to them first about the issues it causes for you.
Dependng on them and the way your network is configured you could get a permission set to postpone the restart until it is more convenient.
Otherwise for browser windows both IE8 and Firefox retain the page detail on a restart and allow you to recover them.
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siddagrlCommented:
@cftalley

Bad luck when exploring tasklist :-)
Seems like tasklist does not have option to display command line of the process!

I tried command line tool "pv" bundled with PrcViewer (http://www.teamcti.com/pview/prcview.htm) with the following arguments.

pv -l -w

This gives the list of applications (not processes) running in following format...
(please note that it gives all the file names without path also opened in Acrobat reader)

***********
AcroRd32.exe        3172 "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe" "D:\_Downloads\CDXS22.pdf"[Adobe Reader - [CDX-S22S/S22]],[CDX-S22S/S22],[Linux Capabilities_hallyn-reprint.pdf]
***********

which could be formatted, stored in a batch file & could be run at startup, BUT this again will have limitations similar to Cache My Work.
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cftalleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks ComputerTechie, edbedb, MASQUERAID, and siddagrl for your efforts.

You would think that someone somewhere along the line would have solved what seems like a very straightforward and common problem.  Must not be as simple as I think.
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cftalleyAuthor Commented:
No single answer was complete.
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