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Encyclopedia > System Restore

System Restore is a component of Microsoft's Windows Me, Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems that allows for the rolling back of system files, registry keys, installed programs, etc., to a previous state in the event of a failure. System Restore is a specific and systemic implementation of personal computer backup. Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me (IPA pronunciation: [miː], [ɛm iː]), is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... An operating system (OS) is the software that manages the sharing of the resources of a computer and provides programmers with an interface used to access those resources. ... For other uses of Backup, see Backup (disambiguation). ...


The Windows Server 2003 operating system family does not include System Restore. The System Restore intended for Windows XP can be installed on a Windows Server 2003 machine,[1] although this is not supported by Microsoft. Windows Server 2003 is a server operating system produced by Microsoft. ...


In Windows Vista, System Restore features an improved interface and is based on Shadow Copy technology. In prior Windows versions, it was based on a file filter that watched changes for a certain set of file extensions, and then copied files before they were overwritten.[2] Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ... Shadow Copy in Windows Vista Shadow Copy (also called Volume Snapshot Service or VSS) is a feature in recent versions of Microsoft Windows that allows taking manual or automatic backup copies or snapshots of a file or folder on a specific volume at a specific point in time. ...

Contents

Overview

System Restore in Windows Me.
System Restore in Windows Me.
System Restore in Windows XP.
System Restore in Windows XP.
System Restore in Windows Vista.
System Restore in Windows Vista.

In System Restore, the user may create a new restore point manually, rollback to an existing restore point, or change the System Restore configuration. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me (IPA pronunciation: [miː], [ɛm iː]), is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ... Image File history File links Windows_XP_System_Restore. ... Image File history File links Windows_XP_System_Restore. ... Windows XP is a line of operating systems developed by Microsoft for use on general-purpose computer systems, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, and media centers. ... Windows Vista is a line of graphical operating systems used on personal computers, including home and business desktops, notebook computers, Tablet PCs, and media centers. ...


New restore points are created:

  • when a piece of software is installed
  • when Windows Update installs new updates to Windows
  • when the user installs a driver that is not digitally signed by Windows Hardware Quality Labs
  • every 24 hours of computer use (10 hours in Windows Me), or every 24 hours of calendar time, whichever happens first
  • when the operating system starts after being off for more than 24 hours
  • when the user requests it.

System Restore can be configured to use up to a maximum of 15% of the hard disk drive volume's space. Old restore points are discarded in order to keep the volume's usage within the specified amount. For many users, this can provide restore points covering the past several weeks. Users concerned with performance or space usage may also opt to disable System Restore entirely. Files stored on partitions not monitored by System Restore are never backed up or restored. Windows Update version 5 through Netscape Browser 8. ... A hard disk drive (HDD), commonly referred to as a hard drive, hard disk or fixed disk drive,[1] is a non-volatile storage device which stores digitally encoded data on rapidly rotating platters with magnetic surfaces. ... In computer operating systems, disk partitioning is the creation of logical divisions upon a hard disk that allows one to apply operating system-specific logical formatting. ...


System Restore backs up system files of certain extensions (.exe, .dll, etc.), with the exception of files in My Documents folders, and saves them in a large compressed block for later recovery and use. It backs up the registry and most drivers. It does not back up or restore user data. System Restore does not monitor changes to file types commonly used for users' personal data files, such as documents, digital photographs, e-mail, etc. Further, it does not restore Windows logins, in order to prevent changes to personal data, documents, e-mails, etc. from being undone when performing a System Restore rollback. Microsoft recommends that if a user is unsure as to whether certain files will be modified by a rollback, they should keep those files under My Documents. When a rollback is performed, the files that were being monitored by System Restore are restored and newly created folders are removed. On Microsoft Windows operating systems, My Documents is the name of a special folder on the computers hard drive that is commonly used to store a users documents, music, pictures, downloads, and other files. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


In comparison, Apple's Time Machine and Gnome's TimeVault are systemic backup utilities that archive the user's personal documents. For other uses, see Time Machine. ...


Limitations & complications

Unwanted software installations and especially in-place software upgrades may be incompletely reverted by System Restore, because only certain file types are restored, instead of the full changed contents of folders.


If System Restore fails to completely remove a new program, there may be little or no practical impact (aside from wasted disk space) because the Start Menu, Registry, and DLLs are restored.


However, if an existing program is upgraded without first being uninstalled, and then this is "reversed" by System Restore, the result can be an unusual mix of old and new program files and folders. Since the restored Registry will reference only the original program version, which may no longer be intact, issues may arise when attempting to run or remove that application.


Various other utilities have been designed to provide much more complete reversal of system changes including software upgrades. For example, by tracking all changes, Norton's GoBack allows complete restoration of the file system's state to the way it was at any of hundreds of available restore points per day. However, obtaining full benefit from such utilities typically requires more knowledge and effort on the part of the user. Frequent or continuous monitoring may also adversely affect system performance, whereas System Restore's restore points are generally created quickly and sparingly. Norton GoBack (previously known as Wildfile GoBack, Adaptec GoBack, Roxio GoBack) is a Microsoft Windows based disk utility, that can record up to 8Gb of disk changes. ...


If disk space is used up by other files, System Restore fails to create restore points, so one may find that there is not a single restore point available when one wants to restore the system.


There does not seem to be a way to make a permanent restore point that will not get deleted after a few days when automatic restore points need the disk space. So if one does not notice a new problem for a few days or a couple weeks, when one does discover it, it may already be too late to restore to a configuration from before the problem arose.


Windows Me

  • System Restore in Windows Me is known for archiving computer viruses that cannot be removed by a virus scanner.[3] The only way to delete the virus is to disable System Restore, which will result in losing all saved restore points, or simply wait until Windows deletes the restore points to make room for new restore points.
  • A System Restore update for Windows Me can be obtained from Microsoft's website[4] that fixes a problem when restoring a checkpoint after September 8, 2001.

Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows Me (IPA pronunciation: [miː], [ɛm iː]), is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ... A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. ... is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...

See also

For other uses of Backup, see Backup (disambiguation). ... Shadow Copy in Windows Vista Shadow Copy (also called Volume Snapshot Service or VSS) is a feature in recent versions of Microsoft Windows that allows taking manual or automatic backup copies or snapshots of a file or folder on a specific volume at a specific point in time. ...

References

  1. ^ How to install System restore on server 2003
  2. ^ System Restore in Windows Vista and other backup features
  3. ^ Antivirus Tools Cannot Clean Infected Files in the _Restore Folder. Microsoft Corporation.
  4. ^ Checkpoints that you create after September 8, 2001 do not restore your computer. Microsoft Corporation.
  1. ^ Microsoft Windows Backup and Restore Team Blog

Sources

  • Microsoft Corporation, (2001). Use system restore to undo changes if problems occur. Retrieved Jun. 12, 2005, from Microsoft Corporation Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/helpandsupport/learnmore/systemrestore.mspx.
  • Windows System Restore. MSDN. Microsoft (August, 2000). Retrieved on 2006-04-28.
  • Using System Restore to Remove a Virus or fix a Computer Problem
  • MSDN System Restore Reference: Monitored File Extensions
  • How to Disable System Restore
  • System Restore: Limitations and Complications
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  Results from FactBites:
 
Windows System restore - Tech Supersite.com (256 words)
You can use System Restore to remove any system changes that were made since the last time you remember your computer working correctly.
System Restore does not affect your personal data files (such as Microsoft Word documents, browsing history, drawings, favorites, or e–mail) so you won't lose changes made to these files.
Windows XP also creates restore points at the time of significant system events (such as when an application or driver is installed) or you can create and name your own restore points at any time.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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