Don't use RVS on XP, unless ...

Discussion in 'Returnil releases' started by CloneRanger, Apr 12, 2010.

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  1. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

    There is a known issue with System Restore points on XP

    Currently there is NO solution.

    Much as i'd like to keep on using it, i can't. If SR is important to you, then please be aware, as if you need them and the've gone, you're in the **** as i have been before :(

    Unless you have FULL backup, and/or images, i would advise against using it.

    When this will be finally resolved, i can't say, but it doesn't look hopeful for anytime soon :(

    End of public service announcement.
  2. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

    System restore on XP let me down time and time again and it's just not reliable. So what's the problem. Use a free imaging solution instead of pouting :rolleyes:
  3. Thankful

    Thankful Registered Member

    I never used system restore either. Returnil working great.
  4. ratwing

    ratwing Guest


    without being a smart mouth like home boy above,plus I use a different
    system virtualization solution, If you like Returnil,maybe it would be worthwhile to look at ERUNT.

    When I add or change things on my real system,I make a ERUNT backup,and add a notepad entry describing the cause for the backup,if I ever need to restore.
    (Sure I admit compared to many,my system is rather static)

    System restore has been disabled for years,mostly to save resource,and
    secondly because all it ever restored me too was a broken system.
    With Returnil,or other system virtulaization ERUNT beomes at least as
    workable a solution.
  5. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

    The problem is NOT with System Restore on XP, it's RVS that loses the SR points. They just dissapear, so if you should ever need them, as i have and others i know, we would be, have been and are in the S**T.

    Having images, or not etc from another product, has nothing to do with the serious problem that RVS still has.


    Yes i always said i would disable SR before i got XP, but i found out the hard way i wished i hadn't :(

    Thanks, yes ERUNT could indeed provide a suitable alternative, but my point is, we shouldn't have to do things like this if RVS was fixed. And the've had plenty of time to fix it as they have been aware of it since well into last year.


    Just for the record, i am NOT against RVS, i loved it when it worked properly. But we shouldn't have to tolerate unreliability in this way. If it was all sorted today, i would be right back using it, and spreading the word, as i have in the past. Unfortunately people have come back to me and blamed me for recommending RVS to them, when they needed SR and they didn't have any :(

    I'm a fan and i want them to succeed, that's all :)
  6. tobacco

    tobacco Frequent Poster

    If your relying on XP SR, you and your friends are in for a rude awakening man. The constant failing of SR is what led me to imaging and programs like FD-ISR. If you need further proof, i would suggest starting a thread or a poll asking others their experiences with system restore under windows xp.
  7. Boost

    Boost Registered Member

    System restore is the first thing I disable when I reformat my computer.

    Have absolutely no use for it.

    When I was using Returnil,I never used system restore,had no reason to.
  8. cyberdiva

    cyberdiva Registered Member

    Hmmm....this is the first I've heard about a known issue with SR on XP. Certainly my experience with SR has been very different. I use System Restore quite a bit on my WinXP Pro desktop, and I have never had a problem with it. The restore points have been there and they've restored my computer to the state I wanted. As for using RVS with SR, I guess I've been lucky. I use RVS only on occasion, and I guess I've never used it at a time when I then had to use System Restore, so if RVS somehow does something nasty to System Restore, I haven't had occasion to notice this. Is this a known problem with RVS?
  9. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

    Well myself and the people i know have never had ANY problems with SR, until we started using RVS.

    If people don't use SR or rely on other methods, then :thumb: for you. Everybody has a right to choose their way ;)

    However, RVS as a pro company should be able to be relied on NOT to kill SR, and therefore drop people right in it, if and when they need SR, as sometimes we do, which they must know.

    Why they can't fix it yet after all this time is very strange, to say the least. I would have expected this would be a High Priority issue. I wish they could fix it, and would, very soon ? Then i will fly the flag for them once again.
  10. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    Hi CR,
    We are working on it. One point you need to keep in mind however, is that when used as intended, System Restore points become redundant at best and only repairs Windows system files in the event of corruption or exploitation. And with the latter, it has been shown to be weak at best; especially with many of the new types of rouges and Trojans.

    RVS virtualization will return any/all files on the system partition to the state they were in when you turned it on. If the user ensures that he/she has a clean system, then activating virtualization and restarting is akin to a System Restore with every restart.

    So this discussion does not become one-sided however, a form of System Restore can be useful, just not in the way you are thinking at the moment. The OS and programs can always be reinstalled, what is more important is that your data and files are backed up and something like Karen's Replicator can be quite useful for this purpose if you are not using Win Vista or 7 where replication is a native feature of the OS. You will need to turn System Safe off to make the backups, but you have already stated that "always on" mode is not optimal for your environment.

    Further, we are working to include System File restore in RVS itself that can restore these files from different sources rather than relying on a one-size-fits all restore POINT. In RVS, you will be able to restore from a factory partition, the Windows installation disk, or other images you have already made. This will support the ability to be selective about the restored file and where you get it from...

  11. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

    Mike thanks for replying, at last :D

    Really :D Well hope you get it sorted very soon :thumb:

    I'm not bothered about malware, i'm pretty well protected without RVS. The main reason i used RVS is for privacy reasons. Surfing etc with RVS enabled allows us not have ANY junk/files etc etc saved to disk.

    I don't want to have to reinstall OS and programs etc thanks :p

    System Restore has been more than just useful, a number of times for myself and others.

    I was fortunate to win ParagonDrive Backup in the recent Wilders givaway, but i'm waiting for an additional new HD to backup to so i can install and use it.

    Yes "always on" mode is not for me, as i need to update/save etc things to my C Drive daily.

    Anyway i took a gamble, i'm like that sometimes :D and after checking if i had SR points, which i did, i briefly enabled RVS. You may remember the special build you gave me would not accept my previous password. You suggested using a blank, i did and after about a minute of the busy bar scrolling o_O it worked. Saved a test folder on the desktop, exited RVS, and rebooted. The test folder had gone, and the SR are points still there :eek: Now i'm wondering if losing the SR points "might" be related to having RVS active on booting ?

    The other curious thing, which is not a problem as i delete them every day anyway, is my Zonealarm logs had been completely wiped, not just the additions after i enabled RVS. I only activated RVS about 30 mins after i had switched on the comp. So what i'm wondering is, could it be a problem with OPEN saved work in general that is added to after RVS is enabled, say if people forgot it was enabled, which sometimes is easy to do ?

    By the way, RVS2008 was much better in the fact that Everything was deleted on shutdown, rather than on reboot as it is now. If you could return the newer versions with this IDEAL feature, it would be Most welcome.
  12. Thankful

    Thankful Registered Member

    This feature should remain on restart, as it currently is.
  13. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member


    If you're happy with it that's fine, but that's not a secure way of operating.

    Imagine people have been working/surfing etc on very confidential, highly classified material etc, or just regular nobody elses business private things. They shut down their comp and go out, on return they have been burgled, or if a laptop, whilst out it gets stolen/lost.

    ALL that material and a record of everything they have been doing etc etc, is available to be discovered. Admittedly by someone who knows how to, but these days it's not hard to find someoneone who knows someone who does know how. Now imagine the potential consequences :eek:

    I realise that using encryption could take care of "some" things, but not all, for example, surfing history, registry entries, logs, MRU etc etc, plus not everybody does use it or knows how to.

    For some people these things might not be an issue, but for others it will be, and is.

    That's why RVS2008 was much better in these respects.

    If RVS could offer us a choice for secure deletion on either shutdown, or reboot, that would keep Everybody happy :) This might only be possible if the choice for either was made on install ? But that's fine with me :thumb:
  14. Thankful

    Thankful Registered Member

    CloneRanger, I see your point and agree with you. You're assuming potential thieves can recover your data without restarting the computer. They would have to move your hard drive to another computer.
    Actually, the language in the System Safe area of the current version is slightly misleading. The top part states changes will be removed at restart. The middle part states drop all changes on 'computer shutdown.'
  15. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member


    Thanks :thumb:

    Yes exactly. They have, can and some will, so that's why RVS2008 was much better in these respects. It Totally eliminates that potential insecurity.
  16. Thankful

    Thankful Registered Member


    When is the virtual disk erased, at shutdown or restart?
    It seems to me it should be erased at shutdown. Turning off an infected
    computer for the night with malware on it doesn't make sense to me.

  17. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    Hi Thankful,
    Once you turn off the computer, RVS has already dropped the changes. This means that any malware that was in the virtual system is gone. The remnants left in the cache are neutered and inactive. Once Windows starts, RVS just begins at the start of the cache again with a new virtual session, overwriting what was there from any previous virtual sessions.

    For malware to be dangerous, it must be "activate-able". With the drop of changes, Windows cannot see any previous information in the cache and any malware remnants in it are neutered/harmless.

    The cache Wipe is there as an additional privacy feature that overwrites anything in the cache; with the primary focus on destroying personal/sensitive information that might be there. It has nothing to do with security...

  18. ratwing

    ratwing Guest

    So coldmoon,if I run my compter in Returnil protected mode,for 10 days,and only reboot within protected mode,and if before I began,I cleared my Event viewer of entries,under both application,and system,I should find entries only for day 10 in both event log records?

    See,my current solution commits all changes to the real system,up to the welcome screen.
    So I will get Sytem entries in event log for each day(each reboot),I am in my solutions protected mode. The entries under application will be for the current day only.
    This concerns me for MBR if nothing else.
  19. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    Hi rat,
    While virtualized, and if the computer is not restarted during those 10 days, you would have all event entries for the entire 10 days. When restarted however, you would roll back to what was there just before you turned System Safe on.

    If the computer is running 24/7, then you would not loose any entries during the 10 day period.

    RVS virtualization includes MBR protection that turns on automatically when you turn on System Safe.

  20. ratwing

    ratwing Guest

    Thank you very much for your detailed reply,Coldmoon.

  21. Valder

    Valder Registered Member

    Let's put this straight: do you still support XP? I can't use your recent version of software with it, I got the infamous "Blue Death."

    I don't need any kind of space for a file vault, it just eats my memory, right? Can I turn it off at all? It says all the time the memory is over and I shall restart or something.

    All I need is a simple lock on the system drive, which does not eat resources.

    Do you provide older versions of Returnil?
  22. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    Hello Valder and welcome to the forums :)


    No, RVS does not negatively effect memory.

    This is related to insufficient room remaining in the virtualization cache. There are two distinct ways you can address this with XP:

    1. Increase the size of the cache (preferences > System Safe TAB) until you arrive at a point where you can perform your normal activities without encountering a "delayed write" or similar error from Windows. This simply means that the cache is full and Windows believes it is out of disk space.

    Windows tends to throw obsucre errors that do not always provide an intuitive description of the actual cause or causes for the error.

    2. On some XP systems, the cache actually needs to be decreased in potential size (default is 50% of available free space on your System partition - usually the C:\ drive). Try setting the slider for ~20% and let me know if this provides relief here...

    Please send the following information to support (dash) tech (at) returnil (dot) com:

    * C:\Windows\rvs3.log
    * C:\Windows\rvs3-inst.log
    * C:\Windows\MINIDUMP +
    * C:\Windows\MEMORY.DMP ++
    * MSINFO32 report**

    + Select the most recent file with the same time and date as your most recent Blue Screen with RVS installed.

    ++ This file (if it exists, may be too large to attach to an e-mail. If this is true in your situation, please let me know and will get you alternate instructions for submitting the file via FTP to our servers.

    **Click START > RUN > Type MSINFO32. On the System Information screen click FILE > Export and then save the file where you can find it to attach to your reply.

    No and yes. We do not support older versions of the software when replaced by a more recent series (ex: 2x support dropped in deference to 3x). We do however support (limited) the Labs Beta version for evaluation and testing of the new virtualization engine upgrades we plan to introduce to the 3x series.

  23. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

    Quote Valder

    Quote Colmoon

    In what way ?
  24. Coldmoon

    Coldmoon Returnil Moderator

    Hi CR,
    RVS is fully stable on Windows XP. Further, most of our users do not experience any issues using RVS on XP. Though there is an issue with Restore Points on some systems, they are irrelevant when using RVS virtualization so creating and maintaining file backups and/or updated restore images is more important.

    This does not mean that we are ignoring the reports, quite the contrary, but SR points on XP are not an urgent priority as opposed to other work and features that are important to our customers.

  25. Firebytes

    Firebytes Registered Member

    Or you can use RVS 2008 (if you can still find it) which does not suffer from these least on my systems.
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