System restore for windows xp?
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Thread: System restore for windows xp?

  1. #1
    AO's MMA Fanatic! Computernerd22's Avatar
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    System restore for windows xp?

    Hello fellow members of AntiOnline. I have a quick question about system restore. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using 'system restore for Windows XP (home/pro/mce). I work for a company as a tech support specialist.

    It seems everyone depends on using 'system restore' for ALL resoultions. One customer couldnt get online wirelessly so a tech used a system restore when that didnt work they did a format on the hard drive and erased everything.

    Reformating the hardrive and using system restore was NOT neccessary in resolving the customers issue. Tech got customers IP address. Customers IP address started with 169


    The tech told me it meant windows defaulted it.

    I informed the other tech. When IP addresses issue PCs starting with 169.x.x.x it means it cannot find the DHCP server. So its assigning 169 to it.

    Now, I also, stated to the tech to disable the customers Norton firewall, then try reconnecting. He didnt listen and followed with 'system restore when that didnt work he reformatted.


    so what are the benefits and advantages of using this feature? Also, the disadvantages thank you.

  2. #2
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
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    It's a resource hog. Typically it'll claim 12% of your hdd. I like running 'thin' so I disable it. For most users though, it can be a boon. I've seen System Restore save many a day. I recommend it for most users.

    One big disadvantage is SR will sometimes backup and restore viruses (including spyware). On a badly infected PC, you'll usually want to disable SR, knocking out your restore points. So it's pretty useless against viruses, and even a liability.

    Here's a nice paper on it:

    http://www.xpforum.co.uk/forums/archive/t-874.html
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I think that brokencrow has some good points there.

    1. It is a resource hog and will eat up HDD space................. this was a real issue on Win ME, when HDDs were a lot smaller. I have seen 10Gb out of 20 taken up by it back then. The solution is that you should manually "manage" it, and delete very old instances.

    2. In a stable home or office environment the restore points are likely to be identical, so you don't really need more than a couple of them. On the other hand if you are always messing around installing and uninstalling stuff then making a manual restore point before you do it can be a lifesaver.

    3. You will lose your updates if you use it, so you have to remember to reapply them.

    4. It can reinstate malware, however, if you had followed your AV providers instructions, then this would not be a problem. If the malware was undetected then the issue would be irrelevant

    As a support technician, there is always a pressure to get things to work immediately? well, format and reinstall generally does the job, and restore is only one move above that. It may look like the lazy way out, but time is money?

    The thing about restore is that you must have a working environment to restore back to. If you try to install something new and it doesn't work, then restoring and even reformatting and reinstalling are not going to help you unless your existing installation is corrupted.

    Just a few thoughts
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
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  4. #4
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    well I agree with both of you nihil and borkencrow ( I am sorry but I didnt break u....just kidding)...But I have seen one of my friends do something with this service which I think was its limit...I want comments over qwhat he did:

    He has a Windows CD integrated with SP1. So he tried to ijnstall SP2. I was sittin gthere while he was installing and chattin with him...for no apparent reason his pretty good system HANGED with a system beep. The installation had failed while it was "REPLACING" files. Now after he restarted, may things were weird...no icons, explorer was crashing all the time, computer shut down almost 7 times just after it logged in and many other...somehow after 2 hours we were able to RESTORE it back using a restore point...but that too didnt solve all problems. I know that a service pack is a MAJOR and BIG upgrade...so is it likely that the system restore will not be able to restore things back when a SP installation fails??? If yes then where is the problem...afterall it does store the states of all the files and their dependencies on each other...then why does it fail?? Or is that it will be able to restore the system fully even after a SP upgrade failure?? If yes then how??
    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."

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  5. #5
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    System restore can be a life saver, if used properly, I usually go around and wipe out old restore points after ensuring the PC is clean and then set a "Manual" point, if this is done on a regular basis, then it makes it that much easier when troubleshooting stubborn PC's. I liken it to a "get out of Jail once free card".

    I use it as a last resort though, I try to resolve the issue by other means before doing the system restore.

    This site has some useful info on System restore... http://bertk.mvps.org/

    Edit: If your machines have Windows Defender on them, they may be making too many restore points and limiting how many days it will retain them.

    Registry fix for Windows Defender problems and Restore Points
    PC Registered user # 2,336,789,457...

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  6. #6
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    With a severe shortage of good technicians, it's not surprising that
    they latch on to this as if it were the magic bullet, and if all fails
    format and reinstall. Users have gotten used to the idea that
    you lose everything every few months, even if they do whine
    and moan when it happens.

    Hey, it's only a computer. It's not like the fridge died and let the beer
    get warm.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  7. #7
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    Originally posted here by rcgreen

    Hey, it's only a computer. It's not like the fridge died and let the beer
    get warm.
    lol...now that would be a legit crisis...
    PC Registered user # 2,336,789,457...

    "When the water reaches the upper level, follow the rats."
    Claude Swanson

  8. #8
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    My take on SR..

    -- Pro's --
    Being an IT support tech I deal with a lot of staff who really abuse their systems, a system restore point makes life nice when they've downloaded the latest "Zwinky" or "Smiley Central" crap. Windows does make it nice to do a system restore, and they're able to do it on their own. (Usually I set my systems to do a restore point after I get my settings all put in) Then I disable the system from making any more, yes my staff may loose all their zwinkies, but my restore point isn't taking up a lot of resources, and I've got my point pretty much when it was new. The staff can do it on their own (They think they're being schneeky!) and then they just continue to jam along.

    --Con's--
    Does take up resources, people jump to doing it WAY Toooo soon, it's not gonna help if you lose a partition, or have bad sectors...and my biggest CON to SR....No Learning....you get a weird error, without "System Restore" and without formatting, you gotta do some research, look it up, and that's where a LOT of knowledge comes from, System Restore doesn't make you think... it's like learning how to use a calculator before you know even how to add...


    I dunno mainly like to know what's happened so I can make sure it doesn't happen again, not just do the "Etch-a-Sketch" thing....just "UNDO!" and continue "Possibly" messing up again.
    Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes"; They will say, "Women don't have what it takes".
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