System Restore

By duku ยท 14 replies
Feb 18, 2002
  1. One of the coolest features of WinXP is System Restore utility. Unfortunate (like many other MS utilities) it's not customisable.

    What I mean: SR does much of a "backup image" job, it takes a snapshot of the monitored disk at the given time, then, when needed, perform a rollback. The problem is (especially if you use only one partition) that SR monitores ALL the files and folders on a specified partition. For that reason, if you do a restore, beside the replacement of the corrupted files, you will lose ANYTHING new you added since the restore point! I have personally the pleasure to lose a 25MB d/l file after such an operation :mad: .

    So my question is if there is a way to make SR to monitor/restore only specific folders/files on the disk (like Windows, Program Files, Documents and Settings)?
  2. DaveSylvia

    DaveSylvia TS Rookie Posts: 107

    I don't think there is a way to do that. I personally always disable system restore.
  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    System restore is a disk image? Ha! No...

    You will not lose files from system restore unless they are on your desktop. I've used it quite heavily, both out of need and curiosity. It works very well.

    Ever try to make a system restore point? It takes about 5 seconds at the most... It must not copy much. I've often wondered what goes on behind the hood of System Restore.

    One thing I can gaurantee you is that it isn't a disk image, does not delete or replace your personal files and does not fix disk errors.
  4. duku

    duku TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Perhaps it does a "disk imaging" job only on NTFS drives?

    I am talking from my personal (sad) experience when I say that after a System restore I lost all the directories with files that I 've added since the last restore point. In fact, it also moved back some files I've moved from one folder to other...

    The truth is I didn't try it on FAT32...

    I don't think is actually copying files to Volume System... directory, but is rather making a list with files/directories/sizes/versions/CRC, then compare it with what is currently on HDD. I think it make a registry copy and perhaps some other vital files...
  5. PHATMAN5050

    PHATMAN5050 TS Rookie Posts: 593

    all i know is that i LOVE the feature. For someone who screws up their computer as often as i do, its a savior. I would have to have formatted over 10 times since i first installed WinXP Pro but thanks to this feature i have only needed to once (damn virus!! :mad: )
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    And then the Immortal One eates them.

    Again from Microsoft we see an inferior version of a popular third party product, put on in there to try to squash the competition.

    Where we have Winamp and Easy CD Creator, we have Windows Media Player 8.

    Where we have Zone Alarm, we have the built in firewall in XP.

    And where we have Drive Image ( ) , we have this system restore feature.

    Take a good look at XP, and you will see that its basically Windows 2000 with all the good software utilities and media programs that you always installed already on there in an inferior Microsoft manifestation.

    Drive Image will restore the whole partition on the binary level, very quickly and easily. And it works with Windows 9x, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Linux, FreeBSD, etc, etc....

    If Microsoft was to actually come out with something new, it might be getting my respect again. But not today.

    Hmmmm Hmmm.....

    I screw up my computer often too. Often. Thusly Drive Image is my favourate software.
  7. duku

    duku TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Allright, this one is really annoying me! I understand that for our own good, in their infinite wisdom, Microsoft doesn't allow us to customize System Restore. But in their mercyfullness, they gave us in System Properties, the System Restore tab.

    I drag the slider to the leftmost (for me says "Disk space to use: min 3% (200MB)"). All is fine, until after several checkpoints, my space was running low. I checked System Volume Information (the storage folder for System Restore), just to find out that is occupying 284MB... I think you get my point here :D

    Now I like System Restore feature and don't want to turn it off, but if I couldn't keep it under control, I might take that step ;)

    Any suggestions?
  8. eddy05

    eddy05 TS Rookie Posts: 152

    I do not use System Restore, but...

    I used Norton Ghost :D

    Norton Ghost is the one which creates a total parition image of ur partition. I had 2 partitions, my C: is the OS and D:, the backups + mp3's + My documents. Whenever I havoc my computer I can restore my system in DOS! Even if I were to format my C:, Norton Ghost can recreate my OS and everything (at the point of backup) in minutes. Plus the whole programme is stored in a single bootable floppy disk, which means it saves space, doesn't require Windows, and it's easy (u can auto set the settings using switches ie. ghost.exe /a /b /c) :)

    Edited: "...If I will" changed to "...If I were"
  9. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    One little tip too, if you only save the last day or so of Restore points and delete the rest you can save gobs of hard drive space.
  10. duku

    duku TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    Yeap, true, but only for a FAT32 partition.

    And the best solution will be to keep only the Checkpoints you want (regardless of itme/size, but from their importance).
  11. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    Mabee I am not understanding you Duku, I have mine NTFS'ed and I deleted my checkpoints. ?

    I only save about a weeks worth.
  12. eddy05

    eddy05 TS Rookie Posts: 152

    Well I've never liked System Restore, because you need to enter into Windows to use it. What happened if your system croaks up and you can neither go into Windows nor Safe mode? I personally prefer one that you can use in DOS too. I liked Windows, but I liked DOS too. Another reason why I didn't choose Windows ME.
  13. duku

    duku TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41

    But yes, you understand right... I have here two systems with WinXP and NTFS and I can't access on neither of them the System Volume Information folder, says Access denied or smth...

    Or you are using a DOS NTFS driver, like NtfsDos?
  14. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    I don't think I am, I just installed it straight from the XP Pro disk. Let me do some checking and find out where I read the procedure on how I deleted my Restore points and I'll post it.
  15. sniper4u

    sniper4u TS Rookie

    Need Help

    Hello All,
    i need some help with the sys restore...
    i have some prob in my windows...
    my windows\drivers folder had been completly deleted...somehow...
    can i at any way retrieve the file,by using the sys restore..
    the windows is not bootable..
    i can use dos only...
    Please help.. :confused:
    i dont know dos very much so if what i asked is posibble
    please write the full commands i need...
    Thank You.
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