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#370200 - 17/12/2017 01:14 Windows restore points and Device Manager state
Faolan
journeyman

Registered: 08/11/2017
Posts: 56
Windows 10 specifically, does a system restore point also preserve devices disabled in Device Manager? Even when the hardware attached to the system is changing due to PCIe busses being added or removed?

Pretty sure it does based on my interperatation of the support info here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12415/windows-10-recovery-options but curious if anyone knows for sure. I think a parallel here would be if anyone has dealt with such on servers with hot plug PCIe slots and Windows Server.

Scenario: Iím wanting to take a system restore point before I change out a USB-C dock for a ThunderBolt 3 dock. All with a TB3 eGPU box in the mix. Trying to go from a 2 cable to one cable setup, though due to the not quite full support for this setup on my notebook, been tripping some blue screens due to the hot plug nature of TB3, and PCIe resource reservations. Having some system restore points will help narrow down what devices to disable to keep the overall setup functional.

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#370201 - 17/12/2017 03:06 Re: Windows restore points and Device Manager state [Re: Faolan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31138
Loc: Seattle, WA
I donít know but Iím curious which dock you got.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#370202 - 17/12/2017 18:54 Re: Windows restore points and Device Manager state [Re: Faolan]
Faolan
journeyman

Registered: 08/11/2017
Posts: 56
To answer the system restore question: it appears itís not quite suited for what I was looking to do, a quick way to preserve and restore device enabled and driver state when hardware is changing. It looks like itís mostly for a non changing machine to recover from bad drivers, or other issues. I think a system image approach would be more my needs, if I was still poking at the overall setup. Good news though is Iíve stabilized what I need to do to dig out of non boot situations, and when hardware shifts around to keep a stable gaming setup.

Whatís been slick is to see how awesome Thunderbolt 3 solutions can be and what they can do. Simplifying and accelerating our base tech layers is leading to some nice improvements, and Iím glad to see hot plug PCI tech from 2000 era servers finally becoming widespread in the consumer market. Now I just need to work off some more debt to then afford some slick TB3 enclosures with NVMe SSDs. I donít need that at home yet outside the built in SSDs, so the wallet should be safe for now. smile. I may investigate NBaseT NICs though, to at least boost the home LAN above 1gbit next year. Mostly to move the drives away from the setup and across the network. SSD SAN/NAS setup is probably in my home networks future. Especially if I attempt some network booting setups.

Working with the Win 10 recovery tools, and the automatic times Iíve seen Windows detect an issue and try to self heal has been impressive. Iíd place the level of what they are attempting at Appleís point with Mac OS X recovery at the ~2006 era, right before bootable internet recovery. Considering the challenges Microsoft had to tackle to get to that level due to the complexity and fractured nature of the PC market is impressive. Apple had a leg up for being the hardware and software creators. And itís shown me Microsoft has really adopted EFI practices as I saw it leveraging possibilities I saw back on Itanium servers. The new competitive Microsoft coninues to impress. And itís clear where they are taking in experiences they learn from the retail support stores, and their phone lines to improve consumers lives. The old MS (90s-00s) seemed to exclusively focus that energy on OEMs and enterprises.


Iíll keep bumping this thread with more details of the setup slowly. My goal is to have a single plug that can attach to a TB3 equipped laptop, and let the laptop boot to an external SSD with a complete install of Windows 10 and several games, all attached to a 27 inch monitor/keyboard/mouse. Stretch goal is to get it working with two plugs (TB and power) into older TB1-TB2 notebooks. Itís also a bit of a minimizing project, to turn a space into a gaming den, or convertible into a dining area or guest sleeping area. Not having a 50+LB tower in the way helps so much.

What Iím doing with it overall is taking parts from my 2008 Mac Pro, and spending just a little more money to extend the lifetime of the newer bits. The video card in my eGPU box is the NVidia 970 I got a good deal on 3 years ago, and itís still cranking out solid high quality 1440p gaming experiences. The two SATA SSDs I had in there for a combined 1.5TB are now living in an external dual bay USB3.0 enclosure with UASP support. (Had wanted 3.1 Gen 2, but eh, itís hitting a USB 3.0 bus on my one plug setup anyhow). The entire setup can also revert to macOS on my laptop, to allow me to keep chipping away at the 750GB of 720p video footage from 2012.

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#370203 - 17/12/2017 19:22 Re: Windows restore points and Device Manager state [Re: tfabris]
Faolan
journeyman

Registered: 08/11/2017
Posts: 56
The two docks Iím working with:
USB-C dock from Frys: Kensington SD4600P
(no DisplayLink chip in it, the video out is DisplayPort over USB-C. Donít need display outputs on the dock for my eGPU setup, and was okay with the lower 60W charging for my home 13 inch laptop)

Thunderbolt 3 dock: Elgato TB3 Dock
(Focused on getting a solid Mac focused one, 87W charging, and dual display out were all work requirements)

Any specific questions/interest Tony? My usage and yours will be a bit different here, so we can see what you might want to test before I potentially return the USB-C one, and buy my own TB3 one.

Mostly only tried the Kensington since Frys had an open box one, and it was convenient with the other parts I needed to pick up. I also read Kensington jumped into the dock market with two feet and has been making some excellent and stable units. The one knock I have against it is the NIC in it requires a manual driver install in Windows 10, macOS worked fine with it out of box. To their credit, the driver does come down via Windows Update, and most folks will be docking a laptop with working WiFi. I had it disabled to save resources to keep the eGPU hotplug ability when I first bought the dock.

The work TB3 dock has an Intel PCIe NIC in it, and both Windows 10 and macOS works with it out of box, as likely would any Linux distro. Intel NICs are generally pretty great, wish I could find an NBaseT equipped dock though.


Edited by Faolan (17/12/2017 20:23)
Edit Reason: Added driver details about the USB-C dock

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#370206 - 20/12/2017 11:17 Re: Windows restore points and Device Manager state [Re: Faolan]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4146
Loc: Cambridge, England
One thing which doesn't exist yet, which seems like it should, is "NUMA over Thunderbolt", where you dock your laptop to your desktop, and the laptop OS sees hotplug events for everything in the desktop from CPUs downwards, and executes as a single system image (using the better CPUs, GPUs and memory) for as long as you're docked, and then when you want to make a move again the undocking process sends hot-unplug events for all the desktop's peripherals again.

Peter

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#370265 - 29/12/2017 23:33 Re: Windows restore points and Device Manager state [Re: peter]
Faolan
journeyman

Registered: 08/11/2017
Posts: 56
Originally Posted By: peter
One thing which doesn't exist yet, which seems like it should, is "NUMA over Thunderbolt", where you dock your laptop to your desktop, and the laptop OS sees hotplug events for everything in the desktop from CPUs downwards, and executes as a single system image (using the better CPUs, GPUs and memory) for as long as you're docked, and then when you want to make a move again the undocking process sends hot-unplug events for all the desktop's peripherals again.

When I first read this, my mind wandered through so many possibilities, would be great to see this. GPUs are so close with how they handle TB3 eGPU boxes or situations like the Surface Book and itís power base with a discreet GPU. Starting to look into some RDMA tech coming into the commodity server space which also has me excited for the possibilities there.


On the TB3 dock side, awaiting delivery of what I finally settled on. NBaseT is too new and pricy at a few hundred still for TB3-NBaseT NICs, which explains why no docks offer it yet. Thereís still a mess in the market where many docks only supply 60W of power to the notebook, instead of 87W. Though for my personal non work needs, 60W is plenty. Odds are the partners next notebook will be a 13 inch MBP as well. With all that factored in, I considered I wanted more then 2 USB ports, a Mac compatible dock, and solid chipsets for driver support in Windows. USB-C wth a 3.1 gen 2 port on the dock would be nice beyond the outbound TB3 port but wasnít mandatory.

Went with another Mac brand with the OWC TB3 Dock. I figure with the mDP out, FW800, and SP/DIF for possible future use with my Sonos PlayBASE, it was a good fit. Itíll serve as a good legacy device, letting me still read from older Macs in target disk mode over FW400/800, or TB1-3. All without having to keep as many adapters on hand. Or needing to drag out the Thunderbolt monitor Iím pondering selling, as itís less useful then the same display with mDP.

Down the road, I can reevaluate my desktop computing needs, and my network situation. Still need to replace the NAS first, and the SATA SSDs I still have can work via USB 3.1 Gen 1 for now via a cheap dock into the TB3 dock. Long term Iíd like to move to higher then 1gbit LAN speeds and SSDs in the NAS for caching/taking large copies before migrating the data to spinning disks that can sleep most of the day.

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