Effect of disabling System Restore?

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by sohara, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. sohara

    sohara Texas TallOne

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    I have to enable my AVG virus manager to delete some trojans. I've been advised to disable "system restore" first in order to insure that they don't reinstall themselves (etc.). Does anyone know of a good knowledge article or a complete description of the consequences of disabling system restore temporarily? AVG keeps finding them but is unable to DELETE them permanently?
    Thanks for your tips...
     
  2. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    The reason AVG's asking you to disable it is so that it doesn't create backups of any infected files. Temporarily disabling System Restore will also delete all saved restore points, so if any infected files were backed up, they will be removed too.

    You can do that by right-clicking the My Computer icon, selecting Properties, then the System Restore tab, and checking the Turn off System Restore on all drives box.
     
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  3. ray_gillespie

    ray_gillespie Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    I know this doesn't completely answer your query, but turning system restore off for a short while will do you no harm, especially if you're running XP. I've had mine turned off for about 3 years now :lick:
    As Netryder said, it'll delete your recovery points so far; the only thing you'll notice is a bit more free space for a while. :)
     
  4. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    There is no adverse effect to disabling system restore. It is a convenience feature added to XP to save the inexperienced from technical mistakes. Since the virus writers figured out it is a great place to hide malicious code so it never gets deleted it is now a liability.

    Turn it off. Reboot. Do your virus clean up following the recommended procedure. Reboot again. If all traces of the malicious code are gone turn system restore back on and create a new restore point.
     
  5. gonaads

    gonaads Beware the G-Man Political User Folding Team

    The only possible problem that could arise in a "worse case senario" is that after AVG does it's thing with "system restore" turned off is that a or some system files were to be corrupted. And if Windows doesn't reboot, well you have no restore point to back to. Kinda sucky but it is possible.

    But again, this is a "worse case senario". It's not likely to happen but you know what Murphy's Law is, rite? "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."

    Good luck and... don't worry, it should be just fine. Just remember to turn "system restore" back on after everything is done.
     
  6. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    the effect of disabling system restore is getting a good chunk of your disk(s) back and increased gaming performance (since windows thinks a gaming machine is idle it will start moving huge chunks of data around during a session... annoying)
     
  7. ming

    ming OSNN Advanced

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    I dont know why i keep mine on to be honest... i've created backup images of C: after installing certain apps just in case I mess up windows. All my other data files are kept on different partition. :)
     
  8. Lee

    Lee OSNN Proxy

    Windows restore sucks eggs big time, just remove it and ghost a full image of a good working windows environment to a spare partition or a rewritable DvD or 2.
     
  9. vivid_vibe

    vivid_vibe OSNN Senior Addict

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    I agree. Just use a DVD backup or two. Windows restore is a huge resource hog (along with indexing). I've disabled both services completely with no side effects.
     
  10. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    I love system restore...it's saved quite a few reformats, and it's much more effective then a registry export import, and much faster then an image.

    it uses hardly any of this disc at all...you can lower amount of disk it uses in the applet to whatever percentage of the disk you want.

    in addition, I don't even think he should dissable it for his anti virus unless it shows that the system volume folder is infected...then there's no choice, but as netryder said, you'll loose your restore points when you do that.

    if your system volume folder is infected, you have to dissable it to get rid of those files, but don't keep it dissable it unless you do daily backups off then box...(backup off the box is ALWAYS a good idea, however both going is a better idea)

    even then I'd keep it going anyway.

    as far as indexing, it's really only a hog untill the volume is indexed...just like the desktop searches everybody loves to install...then once the drive is indexed, hardly a notice all.

    before the msn and google desktop search which is even better then the native disk search, it was a VERY good tool that too many people told others not to use just because they didn't understand the disk activity became almost unoticealbe once the drive was indexed...it was excellant, though now the google and the msn are better
     
  11. sohara

    sohara Texas TallOne

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    Thank you one and all. Each answer addressed a different aspect of the beneficial (?) system restore provided to us by Microsoft. Thanks especially for the responses from "across the pond"!
    :cool:
     
  12. Lee

    Lee OSNN Proxy

    6 years of using imaging software from PowerQuest drive Image to Norton Ghost v9.

    Only ever formated 4 times. 2 times was to install a slipstream.

    Let me tell you how long it takes Perris to restore a 14 gig image with Ghost, 21 minutes with file checking added in.

    I have a basic image stored over 2 DvD's which amount to 8.4 gig just incase of HD failure.
     
  13. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    what good is a basic image when you consider the everyday changes in a persons computer?

    systrem restore on the other hand is excellant for this reason because it monitors most important changes almost real time.

    to match system restore, you not only need an image every day, you also need an image with every change you make, every driver, everything needs an image almost real time...that's how effective system restore is.

    it's without any doubt, the easist first line of recovery, and it is an excellant tool.
     
  14. Mastershakes

    Mastershakes Moderator

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    System Restore is a hog. I've been on the same install of Windows XP for 2.5 years. It's been through the ringer. It runs real fast b/c I've turned off the bells and whistles Windows throws at you --- as I'm sure all of you reading this post have done.

    Perris, you are right. It's an invaluable tool for the masses who don't think before they click, and a quick fix for the technically inclined who like to tinker a little with their setup.

    "systrem restore on the other hand is excellant for this reason because it monitors most important changes almost real time." - you should be monitoring them yourself. Simple Excel file will do.


    But the flip side - imaging a good Windows install - if done correctly is almost as valuable. Yes, I have lots of programs installed - but I've got an image with all the key ingredients - the office suite, adobe cs, ftp server, client, teamspeak server, client, daemon toolz, ccleaner, spybot, msantispyware, adaware, and oh... BFV (cuz I've been addicted to it for a year now ... BF2 soon) So if the need arises, which it never does... I'll flash the image on. I keep a small repository on a partition that has the install packages for the additional programs I've installed since I established the pristine image - complete with updated favorites, a backup of my documents, and the usual assortment of save game files, game profile files.

    Bottom line is with a good P4, vid card, and a gig of RAM on a 533 FSB board ---- I start XP SP2 with 1/3 of it's services, and start up crap.... I have 17 processes running at boot. It's blistering fast. Thanks to Black Viper, and a nasty habit of trying out registry tweaks .... it's going to be fast for a long time. Shame on MS for continuing to release bloated up systems that until tweaked, underuse the potential of a system with lots of resources to spare.
     
  15. Johnny

    Johnny .. Commodore .. Political User

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    I only used restore points one time. It is good to keep you in check. I found when running avg that it will delete the restore the poin tthat is affected. I haven't had a problem with it as of yet. I'm not sure if you can gow through it and delete the ones you know you will never use or not .. I haven't tried that yet ..

    I also have an image made with acronis true image ..
     
  16. Perris Calderon

    Perris Calderon Moderator Staff Member Political User

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    how is system restore a resource hog?

    you can lower it to any disc percentage you like.

    as far as memory or cpu, the service is only invoked once a day if you've been computing for a while, and then when you are about to make changes which you're going to have to back up anyway if system restore didn't do it for you, so it's not a resource hog at all, it's resource saving.

    as far as services running, a service that runs but isn't referanced doesn't use resources.

    I do backups off the box, and I've never had to use one of those, however I have often used a restore point...it is the first line of recovery for me and it is excellant at what it does

    I love it...but this is circular.
     
  17. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    System Restore works really nicely for smaller, less complex problems. On the other hand, it won't save you from bigger screw ups. That's where drive imaging tools come in. Like many of you, I have two CD's that contain an image of a fresh XP installation with only the essentials like Office 2003 installed. Those are there just in case something really bad happens and I have to start over with a clean slate. System Restore is there when I run into a small problem that it can fix. Starting over with a clean image in such a case would just be silly.

    The way I see it, System Restore and drive imaging are complementary - one isn't a replacement for the other.
     
  18. xtweaker

    xtweaker Tweaking Monkey

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    I have to side on Perris's side for this when he says that a service is only a hog when it's being referenced. If system restore is only working when something major is being updated (registry changes, driver installs and system updates) then I don't see how it's a problem, especially since like Perris mentioned you can change the max amount of disk space to use for the system volume information folders.

    It did too, save me from a reformat once or twice, but if my system is messed up to the point I need a restore, I'd usually just do a clean reinstall cause I'm used to it and it takes me no time at all.

    I do have mine disabled though, cause I want nothing to interfere with my gaming experience (I'm a major BFV player...) and want as few services running as possible in the background. Thing is, I don't NEED system restore, I do know what I'm doing enough not to screw up my system with system updates, and if I ever need to do a major one that I'm unsure about, then I'll temporarly enable it, create a restore point, do the update, test everything, and if everything is fine, I disable it again. I just don't like having services lurking around in the background, I'd rather enable it when I need it rather than when Windows thinks I need it. It's mostly a personal preference though...

    The impact is what? well... If it's always enabled, and you screw up, you have a chance to go back and salvage your system (depending if a restore point has been created before the change or not) and avoid a reformat... But if you're careful enough and use your brains... you shouldn't have to use it at all. IMO, having System Restore on all the time is like wearing a parachute when you're on the ground... you don't always need it, but it's nice to have when you're in the air about to jump off a plane!
     
  19. Mastershakes

    Mastershakes Moderator

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    Enable on Demand - I like it.

    Would have been great to have System Restore back in the 95 days. With XP's stability, the service is rarely needed.
     
  20. gonaads

    gonaads Beware the G-Man Political User Folding Team

    The better side of "system restore" is when ya do or get small to mid sized problems or a crapped proggy. I have had to use it on three or four occasions since I installed XP (which is since day one of XP realease) and it has never ever been a hog. I have my system tweeked from here to hell and back and I have also set "system restore" to a small percentage so I don't have a gazillion points.

    As for turning off the "bells and whistles", I have don't that to. Now "system restore" is not a "bells and whistles" thing it is a good useful tool for many. And unless you are using a few and I did say a few, different types of "backup" for the system, then you are looking for trouble. "System restore" on it's own is not good. You have to use other means of backing up. From your Registery to the OS and all yer proggies. Imaging, off box backup, remote online, whatever.