System Restore does not work

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by dcdc, Jan 21, 2006.

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  1. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    I have used Win XP System Restore off and on for a year and a half with no apparent problems. The last few times I have tried to use it I get a message at the very end of the restore process that it could not complete the job and no files were changed. I know bigC does not like it from another thread, but I as a relative novice find it very useful sometimes. Fortunately I got Norton Go Back as a freebie when I renewed NIS 2006, and that seems to work fine and gives you a lot more options, but it is sloooow.

    Can anyone suggest why System Restore has stopped functioning? I know Spy Sweeper 4.5 gives me a dialog box every time I restore asking me if I want to allow the startup, and I check yes; that does not seem to be an issue since the restore process seems to go to completion. Could other antimalware aps be blocking file changes somehow? I have NIS 2006 and a lot of AS apps.

    Is it relatively straightforward to reinstall the System Restore portion of the Win XP OS if in fact the file(s) have been corrupted by malware or hardware problems?

    Thanks for your assistance.
     
  2. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Your first 'port of call' for System Restore problems should be the System Restore Troubleshooter, which you'll find here.

    However, it's also possible that one of your Restore points has become corrupt, in which case you'll need to disable SR (which will delete all existing Restore points) and then re-enable it. To do so, right-click My Computer on the Start menu or desktop and choose Properties -> System Restore tab. Tick the ‘Turn off SR on all drives’ and click Apply – you'll be told that all existing Restore points will be deleted, so click Yes, at which point the Restore points will be removed. Now remove the tick and click Apply again to re-enable it.

    You can now test that SR is working properly by creating a new Restore Point and then immediately attempting to restore your computer to that point in time. Hopefully, now you'll be successful.

    Good luck, pv

    PS. GoBack is a resource hog and has been known to corrupt partition tables! There are much better 3rd party alternatives to SR.
     
  3. dfdf

    dfdf Guest

    like ERUNT?
     
  4. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Thanks, pvsurfer, for your post and the provided Microsoft link.

    I ran through the test procedure that MS suggested there, although I have not tried to run System Restore in Safe Mode as yet. Apparently SR is running, which seemed to be my experience in that it went through the whole normal restore process - it just could not complete it for some reason.

    I am holding up on the effective reinstall of SR because at the moment I do not necessarily want to lose all the restore points I have set, but I will certainly maintain that as an option. I can't provide a specific reason why I want to hang onto these restore points - human nature I suppose.

    I think you are probably right that GoBack is a resource hog in some sense; certainly it slows down my startup quite a bit. I have looked using that handy Process Explorer application, and GoBack does not seem to be doing much, but maybe it's a different story when it is logging a system change event, and it does that quite often. It seemed to consume a lot of memory on the hard drive, but with 145 Gig I don't have that as an issue.

    What applications, paid or otherwise, do you like as alternatives to SR or GoBack?
     
  5. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I use sys restore. But I realize it's limits. At least how it responds for me. Example on preparing to install a new program. I get everything cleared away using various diagnostic tools. Then I set a SRP (system restore point). Call it like Before Program X. Then I delete all other SRP's. SR works best for me when I have only 1 SRP. Then I install the new program. Play with a couple hours or days. If the new program messes up my system I choose SRP Before Program X. Rinse & repeat. Never fails unless I mess up the steps.
     
  6. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Whie they all work somewhat differently, there's ShadowUser, DeepFreeze, RestoreIt and quite a few others - which are discussed in this forum.

    Erunt, mentioned above, is very good for registry backup, but won't do much to protect your personal files.

    Imho, you would be best advised to get and dilligently use a good backup program, especially one that's capable of creating a disaster recovery CD (most Image backup apps can do that)! If you will be backing up to another hard drive (internal or external), I recommend Acronis True Image v8. If you will be backing up to optical disk (DVD), I recommend NTI Backup NOW Deluxe Suite v4. Together with System Restore, you will then be in good shape!

    Got to go to see family now. ~pv
     
  7. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    First Defense by Raxco is also a reliable and effective alternatvie to System Restore.
     
  8. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    In my opinion, System Restore is OK if you realize and are willing to live with its limits; GoBack is very good if you are willing to trade safety for system slowdown (which I was; computerdom was teaching me "patience" at the time); FirstDefense is simply excellent; I have not used any of the other instant recovery programs, they may be just as practical. Good luck.

    Acadia
     
  9. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    A belated thank you to all who have posted on this thread. There is a lot to consider here.

    This would be a good time for me to think about a better backup system than just my hard drive. It has plenty of room at 145 Gig, but if there is more than just a bad sector or something i.e. a real disc crash, I could lose what I have altogether. It's not much really, just the OS, some antimalware and random other applications, and an extensive list of favorites, but it would be a hassle.

    I am thinking about an external hard drive as an alternative to the CD and DVD drives, which from what I understand do not store data reliably for long periods of time.
     
  10. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    something to think about, if you have had a failed startup or shutdown it will render system restore unable to complete a restore. You would have to shut restore down and then reboot and reenable restore to start with new restore points that wern't corrupted by the bad shutdown or startup.

    bigc
     
  11. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    That makes for a big vote for First Defense. I had this very thing happen today on my laptop. System hung and I had to power it off. When I turned it back up it wouldn't even boot into windows, all though it did boot to Safe mode. I just did an Outlook backup,while in Safe Mode and then booted into my other FDISR snapshot, and did a quick copy. Was back up and running in about 6 minutes.

    Pete
     
  12. Heco

    Heco Registered Member

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    I encountered the same problem. For me, the culprit was "sweeper.cfg" file in windows/system32 folder. This file is installed by Spy Sweeper and seems to prevent System Restore sometimes to complete its job.
    Cheers,
    Herve
     
  13. dcdc

    dcdc Registered Member

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    Heco, thanks for that idea. I do have Spy Sweeper installed and SS itself has not been running well for a while now - most notably it fails to load at startup for a few days at a stretch, and oddly enough, it will only come up full screen, not the normal size.

    I wonder how you discovered what was causing the problem, and better yet, what if anything did you do to correct it?
     
  14. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    I didn't have any problem w my system restore... but the only problem was that you can only restore those things that has a restore point or the one you made, so if still I am not satisfied after I used the built-in XP's system restore then I use ERUNT to restore more... it makes daily back-ups and I just delete those old back-ups to free up some space in my drive. ;)
     
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