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Thread: How Does XP System Restore Work?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Question How Does XP System Restore Work?

    Hi everyone.....

    I was wondering if you all could clear up some confusion I have about the built-in system restore feature that Windows XP has?

    By the way, I did a search on google but couldn't find too much detailed info as to how it exactly works.

    Anyways, I'm curious how it exactly works?

    Does it just take an image of critical system files? Or does it actually back up these files? I know it backs up and restores the registry, but what else does it do?

    Thank soooo much!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    System Restore

    Here you go :-

    To restore a previously declined update
    Open System in Control Panel.
    On the Automatic Updates tab, click Restore Declined Updates.
    If any of the updates you previously declined still apply to your computer, they will appear the next time Windows notifies you of available updates.


    To open System, click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
    You can always install specific updates from the Windows Update Web site. Open Windows Update in Help and Support Center.


    To restore the registry
    Open Registry Editor
    Click Options, and then click Print to print these instructions. (If you are using the Help and Support Center, click Print above the topic area.) They will not be available after you shut down your computer in step 2.
    Click Start, and then click Shut Down.
    In the list, click Restart, and then click OK.
    When you see the message Please select the operating system to start, press F8.
    Use the arrow keys to highlight Last Known Good Configuration, and then press ENTER.
    NUM LOCK must be off before the arrow keys on the numeric keypad will function.

    Use the arrow keys to highlight an operating system, and then press ENTER.

    Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on your computer.

    To open Registry Editor, click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
    Choosing Last Known Good Configuration provides a way to recover from problems such as a newly added driver that may be incorrect for your hardware. It does not solve problems caused by corrupted or missing drivers or files.
    When you choose Last Known Good Configuration, Windows restores information in registry key HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet only. Any changes you have made in other registry keys remain.


    What is System Restore?

    Answer: The System Restore feature of Microsoft Windows XP enables administrators to restore their PCs, in the event of a problem, to a previous state without losing personal data files (such as Word documents, drawings, or e-mail). System Restore actively monitors system file changes and some application file changes to record or store previous versions before the changes occurred. Users never have to think about taking system snapshots as System Restore automatically creates easily identifiable restore points, which the users can use to revert the system back to a previous time. Restore points are created at the time of significant system events (such as application or driver install) and periodically (every day). Additionally, users can create and name their own restore points at any time. For more information please visit:


    Which versions of Windows have System Restore?
    Answer: System Restore is available in Windows Millennium (Me) and the Windows XP (Home and Professional) Operating Systems. This FAQ addresses questions and issues with System Restore in Windows XP only.

    How is System Restore different from Backup?
    Answer: Unlike System Restore which monitors only a core set of specified system and application file types (e.g. .exe, .dll etc), the Backup Utility usually backs up all files including users personal data files, ensuring a safe copy stored either on the local disk or to another medium. System Restore does not monitor changes to or recover users' personal data files such as documents, drawings, e-mail, and so forth. While system data contained in System Restore's restore points are available to restore to for only a limited period of time (by default restore points older than 90 days are deleted), backups taken by the Backup Utility can be recovered anytime.

    Do I as a user have to do anything to ensure I have System Restore protection? Answer: System Restore is enabled by default and will run upon the successful completion of either the Windows XP Professional or Personal x86 version installation. It does require a minimum of 200 MB of free space available on the system partition. If there are not 200 MBs available, System Restore will install disabled and will enable itself automatically once the required disk space is available. With System Restore, you also never have to worry about taking system snapshots as it will automatically create easily identifiable restore points, which allows you to revert the system back to a previous time. Restore points are created at the time of significant system events (such as application or driver install) and periodically (every day). Additionally, you can create and name your own restore points at any time. You also never have to worry about System Restore filling up your hard drive with these restore points. By default it only takes up to a max of 12% of your disk space and has an automatic restore point space-management feature that purges the oldest restore points to make room for new ones, so that a rolling safety net is always kept under the user, enabling you to recover from recent undesirable changes.

    Does System Restore cause any performance loss on my System?
    Answer: No, System Restore does not cause any noticeable performance impact when monitoring your machine. The creation of a Restore point also is a very fast process and usually takes only a few seconds. Scheduled System Checkpoints (every 24 Hrs by default) are also only created at system idle time so that their creation never interferes with any user using the machine.



  3. #3

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Thank you so much!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    BTW, yes, Summer, it does work. I recently restored my XP Pro box at home because of a badly behaving app I installed. Worked like a charm.

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