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General System Restore Questions


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#1 joseibarra

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 01:18 PM

I am curious to expand my knowledge of System Restore and how to answer some questions.

Assume my drives are all NTFS and my boot partition is C and my secondary drive is D (but could be more).

I have chosen to let SR monitor C but not D.

I know how to maintain SR, troubleshoot problems of my caliber, done the reading about what SR does and doesn't do, and all that, but I do like to learn, but don't need too many warnings about my questions :thumbsup: I am quite happy with my SR situation.

I seek repeatable ammunition to successfully explain/disarm issues that have some up more than once for me. I can get past most of them eventually, but more opinions/experiences are welcome on how other folks handle these situations:

I will mix in some of my own questions as I play the belligerent, uninformed consumer:

This is my computer, I payed for it, everything is legal and why can't I open this SVI folder and why are these things hidden from me as an Administrator, etc. I am not in control here. Whatever this SVI folder is, it is huge and I don't like it.

(That part I can deal with)

I turned off monitoring on my D drive, but I still have see an SVI folder with some RP folders that contain change.log.1 and RestorePointSize files. I am not monitoring D so why are these folders and files even here?

If I turn off SR and do whatever I have to do to delete the SVI folders from both drives will the SVI folders both be created again automatically on reboot? I don't like it.

Is there a way for me not to never have SVI folders created on either or both drives? How about maintaining just SR on C and never have an SVI folder on my unmonitored drives? I'll never want to use SR for my unmonitored drives (I don't think) and don't want this SVI folder.

What are these two files doing in every RP folder on my unmonitored D drive? I don't like anything about this SVI folder on my unmonitored drives.

Tell me the good reasons to enable SR on my secondary drive? If I restore, isn't it just things on the C drive that are restored?

(This one slays me:)

System Restore failed and I don't know why. I was advised that I can do a "manual" system restore by just copying the 5 registry files from my RP\snapshot folder into C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG. This is what a System Restore does anyway, right?

Edited by joseibarra, 05 August 2009 - 01:46 PM.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 03:38 PM

SVI folders are system folders, related to using the Windows System Restore function.

I don't use SR, so my SVI folders are always empty.

There's a SVI folder on each existing partition...because SR monitors the system, not a given partition.

The SVI folders are analogous, IMO, to the Recycler folders (which are related to the Recycle Bin function).

Because they are system folders, they are created upon boot and no user can delete them and keep them from existing. Same for My Documents, My Videos, etc...they are all system folders and will be created upon reboot as the default boot setup.

<<Is there a way for me not to never have SVI folders created on either or both drives?>>

No...I explained that.

<<How about maintaining just SR on C and never have an SVI folder on my unmonitored drives?>>

The key is...remembering thst System Restore is the basic/default setting. It can be disabled AFTER the system boots but those folders will appear whether it's disabled or not.

<<I'll never want to use SR for my unmonitored drives (I don't think) and don't want this SVI folder.>>

As we used to say when we were kids "People in hell want ice water". The wants and whims of a user of Windows...have little, if anything, to do with the basic design and manner in which Windows works. If users don't like it as it is....try something else.

The basic code is not about to be rewitten to suit every one who has bought a legal copy of an operating system that has sales in the billions. Anyone who would think differently...ought to become a coder and develop their own O/S, if they want something created with a myopic view.

I've never used SR, but I see the value of it for many users. I'm not smart enough to create my own O/S nor would I want to...but users who wnat idiosyncratic opportunities need to either read up on all the registry edits/tweaks which already exist for the various versions of Windows (and remember those accompanying disclaimers)...or become seriously interested in alternative operating systems.

My opinion of Windows...has always been that it was developed upon sound premises.

One of the most basic premises is that clueless persons like I (not a coder, did not like working in DOS, am not motivated to play with linux distros) want a very simple, yet almost foolproof way...of using computers without fear.

One of the premises is that most Windows users do not want a lot of options and have difficulty making choices when presented with options.

One of the most key basic premises of Windows is...the average user is not going to be diligent/wise and will not backup the system or even highly valued files. Although there is a wealth of information available on the Internet for solving problematical situations, the average user is not going to be willing to lo research issues and take it upon herself/himself to solve the problem.

The answer to the latter is Windows System Restore, functioning as it does.

Even with whatever faults one may acribe to it...it's saved much frustration among users who either don't have a clue...or don't have the interest...or don't make the time...to do effective backups and troubleshoot system issues, small and great.

If it doesn't suit you, it's OK.

It wasn't designed for one person who wants Windows to be her/his personal valet.

It was designed for users not as knowledgeable, not as ambitious to brand a personal touch on an O/S created by others....users who need the comfort and protection afforded them on their systems...by System Restore.

Louis

#3 joseibarra

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 04:47 PM

Thanks, hamluis.

The example of Recycle Bin and the My... folders is the example I need to it better explain it.

I have never used a RP myself, but have it enabled on C. Some people seem to take System Restore as their first option for problems. It is close to the end of troubleshooting options for me (I will come here first).

I do have MBAM installed on D, and MSI and mbam show up in the silly little log files in the SVI folder on my D drive. MBAM had an update a day or two ago that went through their install and not just the typical definition update. I used to monitor D.

I may whack the little folders out there just to see if any new RP folders under SVI get created and try to figure out why. There are also some MBAM looking icons out there - I just manually created a new RP now. I'll figure it out.

I know SR is there for a purpose and should run just fine properly tended to, and it might just come in handy some day, but it is also ABused. Some folks think it is some kind of personal data backup or something... I dunno... :flowers:

"I was doing my usual system restore today and got an error. It usually restores just fine, but not today. The message was something about nothing being changed." Huh?

I am not clear on what the good reasons there are to enable monitoring on other than the C drive. I don't remember if I enabled it on D a long time ago and turned it off or if XP did it for me. I get the inevitable SVI folder creation. Unless it is because I have installed programs out there?

Have you ever encountered this "manual" system restore concept I mentioned of copying the 5 registry files from the latest snapshot folder (you know the 5 I'm talking about) when SR fails to restore? Do people think that is a good solution to their problem? To me, it is like - don't bring a knife to a gun fight :thumbsup:

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#4 hamluis

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 05:00 PM

LOL...

<<I am not clear on what the good reasons there are to enable monitoring on other than the C drive. I don't remember if I enabled it on D a long time ago and turned it off or if XP did it for me. I get the inevitable SVI folder creation. Unless it is because I have installed programs out there?>>

I would think that having programs installed on that partition...means that SR would monitor it. Remember, it's "system restore" and I don't know how you can restore programs (regardless of location of files) to a prior time...if you don't track them.

<<Have you ever encountered this "manual" system restore concept I mentioned of copying the 5 registry files from the latest snapshot folder (you know the 5 I'm talking about) when SR fails to restore? Do people think that is a good solution to their problem?>>

I believe in a backup program or either cloning a partitition, nothing else. Back in the says when I played with all these "snapshot" programs (before SR), I formed the opinion that they were not the answer. I first used Norton Ghost, then quickly became a Powerquest customer (Partition Magic and Drive Image).

If users really value their data, they will do complete backups or clones. If not, chances are they will end up at forums like this, asking for help....more than once.

As long as it's not catching...I don't mind :thumbsup:. The human species is somewhat entitled to experience delusional moments.

Louis

#5 joseibarra

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 06:44 PM

Gratitude.

Okay, thanks for the entertaining dialog.

I will figure out my D drive SVI sometime later maybe. From looking at Program Files, the only thing I have "installed" there is MBAM and I don't even remember why I did that.

Sometimes I just have to say, here is my recommendation and if you want to do it some other way, just go right ahead. If your way works better than my way, I sure would like to know about it - see you soon... :thumbsup:

I also predate SR. I know how to thread a tape.

Thanks!

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#6 Stang777

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:29 PM

If SR is not monitoring a drive, it cannot undo any changes made to it. I have SR monitor my C drive, but not my second drive. At one time it did monitor the second drive, but then it ran low on disk space and SR was turned off on both drives because of it. After that, I only enabled for my C drive. Whenever I use SR to retore my computer to a previous point in time, I get a little message telling me that since it is not enabled on the one drive, it cannot restore it, it does however restore my C drive.

I had no trouble deleting the things in the SVI folder on second drive, but I did leave the folder there. Just now, just to find out if I could delete that for the purposes of your questions, I deleted it, with no problems.

It is very easy to be able to gain access to the SVI folder. It backs up a lot more than just those five files you mentioned for the registry. Not only does it back up things not in the registry, but the things it backs up for the registry consist of a lot more than the five files you mentioned. On my system, it backs up 16 files in the snapshot folder, plus one folder that is for the Repository.

I have used it mostly for minor problems that there doesn't seem to be any reason for why they occured and really is not any known fix as they are just minor annoyances. One time the contents of My Computer and the Control Panel showed up differently and even though I could change them back by changing view, the next time I opened those folders, the view was back to the weird way. I cannot even recreate the weird way that they were appearing as there is no setting to put them that way. I use SR to put things back to the way they were a few days earlier, and that fixed the problem. Another time my temp internet files were suddenly being stored in a strange place even though the setting for where to store them had not changed. I used SR and all was well. I have used it for strange things like that many other times, it just makes life easier.

I have read articles that say you cannot remove things from the individual restore points in SR without causing problems, yet I have done that on several occassions without incident. The articles say that each restore point is dependant upon the previous ones and that does not make sense considering the fact that restore points get FIFO'd out. I have even removed single restore points, from dates that fall somewhere in the middle of my restore point dates, without any problems. Sometimes things you remove from the recycle bin will show up in there and that kind of defeats the purpose deleting them, so for the things that show up in there that I have deleted, I remove them from there as well. I had an old pagefile that was over a gig big and I wanted that space back, so I deleted it. Well, I did not get that space back until I deleted it from the restore point. Besides the fact that I wanted that space back on my disk, I did not want to keep it in that restore point as having it in there would have made my restore points get FIFO'd out way before they should have as it was using too much space in that particular folder.

I also back up one restore point about every week or two just in case something gets on my system and cleans them out of that folder, I still have one for each week or two. Just to show that each restore point does not rely on any other restore point, at one time when I ended up with a huge restore point on my system that caused all my restore points to be FIFO'd out, I put in one of the older restore points and used it, it worked.

One thing that I see quite often causing confusion is when someone uses SR and then gets the message that no changes were made to their system. Many seem to think that means SR could not restore the computer to a previous point in time because no changes had been made on their system since that time, it does not mean that. It means that since, for whatever reason, SR was unable to restore the computer to a previous time, SR has made no changes to the system during the restore attempt.

Edited by Stang777, 06 August 2009 - 03:46 PM.


#7 joseibarra

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:12 PM

Thanks, Stang777 - that is good information.

With some testing, my conclusion at the moment is that even though D is not monitored, SR will still create RP folders out there to match at least the new RP folders on C. At least two files will always be created in the new RP folder.

I also conclude that even if D is unmonitored, SR will put more stuff out in SVI if things in Program Files on D are changed. Hence the other files MBAM looking files out in the RP folders after my MBAM went through a update/reinstall (from them) a couple days ago - D was still unmonitored, but "extra" files appeared in the RP folders afterwards until SR got caught up.

Even folder manipulations on D shows up in the little binary log files on D.

I am just not clear on why to monitor a D drive - is is a good idea only if you have installed stuff in Program Files (like my MBAM). Can I say, enable SR on D only if you have programs installed there, otherwise it is safe to turn it off on D. Or, it is best practice to just monitor all drives to be the safest just in case (yes is probably the answer).

I know SR is misunderstood and abused and I also know it behaves the way you set it up. If your problem isn't malware related, it is probably not configured properly (and here's why and how to fix it...).

I don't think my SR is afflicted in any way, I am just trying to understand it better.

Okay - thanks yous guys.

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#8 Stang777

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:52 PM

You are welcome. I have no idea why SR would be putting anyting in your SVI folder on the D drive since you do not have it monitoring it. Nothing has been put in my SVI folder on my second drive since I turned it off for that drive.

Personally, I do not see much point in having any drive but the system drive monitored.

#9 joseibarra

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 05:00 PM

I know D was monitored at one time because I remember turning it off.

One thing I thought was I don't know if I installed MBAM on D while it was being monitored or after I quit monitoring. Could have been while. Maybe there is some link somewhere that MBAM is on D, so if the MBAM install changes, do something on the installed drive.

The only thing I did on D yesterday was copy and paste some folders to another computer. I know the folders and they are visible in the small binaryish log file from yesterday but not today. I did not look at all the older log files. Any new RP on C at least touches the log file out on D even if I create two RPs back to back :thumbsup: A new RP folder creation on C also creates a matching RPnn folder on D.

I think I will just leave it as is since it is not causing a problem, the log files are <200 bytes per RP folder. It is one of those "problems" only a nosy person would find. :flowers:

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#10 Stang777

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 05:07 PM

Have you checked to make sure SR really is off for your D drive?




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