XP's No-Reformat, Non-destructive Total-Rebuild Option
Fred Langa from Information Week (Free subscription to the paper version of the magazine right here) pubbed a very interesting article showing the many ways people can rebuild, repair, or refresh an existing XP installation without losing data, and without having to reinstall user software, reformat, or otherwise destructively alter the setup. This is one of the most useful tutorial I've read in a long time. A must read for all of you IT tech wannabes out there.
It's one of those software design decisions that makes you scratch your head and wonder, "What were they thinking?" The "it" in this case is XP's most powerful rebuild/repair option, and yet Microsoft chose to hide it behind seeming dead ends, red herrings, and a recycled interface that makes it hard to find and (at first) somewhat confusing to use.