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System Restore Problem (XP)


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#1
Wrinkly Pete

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Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions please? :D

I wanted to use System Restore on my Desktop PC (Windows XP Home Edition SP3) and ALL of the Restore Points have vanished!
They dated back many months, and were there the last time I looked a couple of weeks ago, but now there aren't any.

I then thought, no problem I'll use one of my weekly Backups that are stored on an external USB hard drive.
I've never actually tried to use the restore side of things from the backup before, but it seemed straightforward... I should be so lucky! That didn't work either! All those hours of backing everything up for the last couple of YEARS was totally pointless!!! ;)

The thing that worries me the most is: WHY have all the restore points been erased? I would NEVER delete them. On the contrary, I am often ADDING extra ones myself as a safeguard, and I have the MAXIMUM allowed space for storage for these allocated.

I'd appreciate any suggestions, but please keep them as non-technical as possible, as I'm no Bill Gates. Even binary confuses me, honest.

Thanks.
WrinklyPete
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#2
Macboatmaster

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http://support.microsoft.com/kb/301224

See above link - the most likely reason is a lack of free space on the HDD.
but I presume that is not the reason, looking at what you run, so please do not be insulted by the suggestion, as I have no way of knowing your level of knowledge. Open My computer right click the HDD, click properties - free space on GUI.

Another possible cause.
http://support.micro....com/kb/310353/
msconfig - clean boot and clear box to load system services also clears all restore points

Backup on external - what back up software - can you see the backup files - is it an automatic restore, as in XP backup or many others AND if of course the backup was only a backup of certain items it would never restore the restore points.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 09 January 2011 - 06:54 PM.

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#3
Wrinkly Pete

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http://support.microsoft.com/kb/301224

See above link - the most likely reason is a lack of free space on the HDD.
but I presume that is not the reason, looking at what you run, so please do not be insulted by the suggestion, as I have no way of knowing your level of knowledge. Open My computer right click the HDD, click properties - free space on GUI.

Another possible cause.
http://support.micro....com/kb/310353/
msconfig - clean boot and clear box to load system services also clears all restore points

Backup on external - what back up software - can you see the backup files - is it an automatic restore, as in XP backup or many others AND if of course the backup was only a backup of certain items it would never restore the restore points.


Hi Macboatmaster,

Thanks for the suggestions, but no joy.

I would say my level of competance is basic. I am Administrator by default, not by choice!

I had already looked up possible causes on Microsoft website. None of their suggestions really applied in this PCs case.

It's not a HDD space problem, as the PC still has several hundred GBs of free space.
I've not used msconfig recently, nor done ANYTHING that would explain the loss of all the Restore Points. I am VERY careful about that, as I have had to use System Restore several times in the past and realise how important they can be.

I do use CCleaner, but I make sure I don't remove anything I shouldn't, and have had no trouble with any of my other PCs using it.

Regarding the Backups not working. I do a weekly manual backup. By manual I only mean that I run it on demand, not a scheduled backup, as I previously found this didn't always run the task as scheduled. I use the backup wizard and follow the on screen instructions. The last month or two I have just added incremental (verified) backups rather than backing up everything.

Hope that clarifies things?

WrinklyPete
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#4
Macboatmaster

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I do know what manual backup means, the point I was trying to make is, are the backup files visiible on the external drive and now will not restore using the wizard, presuming it is XP backup or are the backup files themselves missing.
If it is XP on restore are these files visible as per my screenshot and if so is it a case of the RESTORE then not working, or ARE you saying that it does restore but NOT to reinstate the restore points.

Also are the actual restore folders still contained within Windows or have those been deleted as well as the dates on the restore calendar.

CCleaner is a marvellous utility, although GeesktoGo do NOT recommend the registry cleaner aspect of it.
Unless you really know what you are doing and understand the full implications of editing the registry it is a minefield.
I am sure you know that the registry may be likened to a tree. The trunk, branches, twigs and leaves are all interdependant on each other for their health and none can exist without the other.

There is generally speaking no such thing as a TRUSTED registry fix.
See this:
http://miekiemoes.bl...weaking_13.html

and this
After running 'PC registry Cleaner' on my laptop with Win7professional I now cannot access windows explorer [returns a no association message] and some programs will not install.

And there is the proof in the pudding that Registry Cleaners do more damage than they solve.

OR THIS - on a brand new computer
Registry Errors in brand new PC
Scanning Report
Total scan items: 296239
Total errors found: 132
High risk error count: 12
Count of errors recommended to ignore: 0
5 Add/Remove Programs
0 Browser Helper Objects & Configuration Files
10 Custom Controls
43 Deep Registry Scan
0 Device Drivers
20 File Extensions
0 Help and Resource, & History Lists
6 Invalid ActiveX
42 Invalild Files Path
and here is the reply from a Geek-with ack to "gerryf"

Quote
"You can install a brand new, pure OEM copy of Windows straight from Microsoft and it will likely find 120 "errors"
What I am saying is they are not really errors, they are conditions a programmer has decided are errors"


and I - Macboatmaster, would add that the errors found by these programs are far too frequently not errors, but the deletion of the registry key by the program, causes REAL errors, insofar as the deleted key corrupts the registry due to the inter-association of multiple keys amongst the hundreds of entries in the registry.


Registry Structure: The Tree, Nodes and Keys
The data is stored in the registry in a tree structure format, for those who have never opened the Registry Editor, you'd find its layout is similar to what you would see when you open your Windows Explorer. Each node within the registry tree contains a key which may have both subkeys and data entries (called values). Depending on the application you run, the application may need only the associated key while others may need the value data set for that specific key. A hive in the registry is a group of keys, subkeys, and values in the registry that has a set of supporting files containing backups of its data. The Windows boot process automatically retrieves data from these supporting files.

AND my attempt to explain it in simple terms - therein lies the problem with the so-called registry cleaner/optimizer programs. the program decides what is not needed and can be deleted. However, frequently the inter-dependance of the various branches of the tree are not recognised by the program AND this is where it goes horribly wrong. - MACBOATMASTER


That all said, it is YOUR computer - the decision is yours.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 10 January 2011 - 12:38 PM.

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#5
Wrinkly Pete

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I do know what manual backup means, the point I was trying to make is, are the backup files visiible on the external drive and now will not restore using the wizard, presuming it is XP backup or are the backup files themselves missing.
If it is XP on restore are these files visible as per my screenshot and if so is it a case of the RESTORE then not working, or ARE you saying that it does restore but NOT to reinstate the restore points.

Also are the actual restore folders still contained within Windows are have those ben deleted as well as the dates on the restore calendar.

CCleaner is a marvellous untility, although GeesktoGo do NOT recommend the registry cleaner aspect of it.
Unless you really know what you are doing and understand the full implications of editing the registry it is a minefield.
I am sure you know that the registry may be likened to a tree. The trunk, branches, twigs and leaves are all interdependant on each other for their health and none can exist without the other.

There is generally speaking no such thing as a TRUSTED registry fix.
See this:
http://miekiemoes.bl...weaking_13.html

and this
After running 'PC registry Cleaner' on my laptop with Win7professional I now cannot access windows explorer [returns a no association message] and some programs will not install.

And there is the proof in the pudding that Registry Cleaners do more damage than they solve.

OR THIS - on a brand new computer
Registry Errors in brand new PC
Scanning Report
Total scan items: 296239
Total errors found: 132
High risk error count: 12
Count of errors recommended to ignore: 0
5 Add/Remove Programs
0 Browser Helper Objects & Configuration Files
10 Custom Controls
43 Deep Registry Scan
0 Device Drivers
20 File Extensions
0 Help and Resource, & History Lists
6 Invalid ActiveX
42 Invalild Files Path
and here is the reply from a Geek-with ack to "gerryf"

Quote
"You can install a brand new, pure OEM copy of Windows straight from Microsoft and it will likely find 120 "errors"
What I am saying is they are not really errors, they are conditions a programmer has decided are errors"


and I - Macboatmaster, would add that the errors found by these programs are far too frequently not errors, but the deletion of the registry key by the program, causes REAL errors, insofar as the deleted key corrupts the registry due to the inter-association of multiple keys amongst the hundreds of entries in the registry.


Registry Structure: The Tree, Nodes and Keys
The data is stored in the registry in a tree structure format, for those who have never opened the Registry Editor, you'd find its layout is similar to what you would see when you open your Windows Explorer. Each node within the registry tree contains a key which may have both subkeys and data entries (called values). Depending on the application you run, the application may need only the associated key while others may need the value data set for that specific key. A hive in the registry is a group of keys, subkeys, and values in the registry that has a set of supporting files containing backups of its data. The Windows boot process automatically retrieves data from these supporting files.

AND my attempt to explain it in simple terms - therein lies the problem with the so-called registry cleaner/optimizer programs. the program decides what is not needed and can be deleted. However, frequently the inter-dependance of the various branches of the tree are not recognised by the program AND this is where it goes horribly wrong. - MACBOATMASTER


That all said, it is YOUR computer - the decision is yours.


Hi again Macboatmaster,

Fistly, I am more concerned about finding out where and why all my Restore Points have gone.

My use of CCleaner has not involved these Restore Points, and I cannot understand your lengthy diatribe about using it. I don't play with Registry. It would be like letting a cat perform brain surgery!
By the way, I have used CCleaner on all my 3 PCs for years without a single problem.

Anyway, I thought I'd explained, but I'll try again. The failure of the Restore from Backups is a secondary issue.

All the backups, which are stored on an external USB 1TB hard drive, appear as per the attachment. So they HAVE been copied successfully to that drive but FAIL to be restored when I follow the same Wizard to restore them.

You also wrote:
"Also are the actual restore folders still contained within Windows are have those ben deleted as well as the dates on the restore calendar."
I don't know where the System Restore Points are stored within Windows, so I cannot check them. All I know is that they NO LONGER APPEAR to be any listed and no dates on the callendar are highlighted. So I have to assume they have been deleted somehow - NOT by me.

Do you understand now?

The main problem is that PC System Restore Points have been removed.
The fact that I was unable to use the Backup (from my External Weekly backups) to try to replace the missing files is a secondary issue.

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#6
Macboatmaster

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"Also are the actual restore folders still contained within Windows are have those ben deleted as well as the dates on the restore calendar."
I don't know where the System Restore Points are stored within Windows, so I cannot check them. All I know is that they NO LONGER APPEAR to be any listed and no dates on the callendar are highlighted. So I have to assume they have been deleted somehow - NOT by me.


I cannot understand your lengthy diatribe


Do you understand now?


Well I wish you the best of luck.
After your reply, I will not be offering any further help to you.
Maybe someone else will assist.
Your attitude MAY suggest that you SHOULD know where they are.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 10 January 2011 - 12:21 PM.

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#7
Wrinkly Pete

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Macboatmaster Wrote: "Well I wish you the best of luck.
After your reply, I will not be offering any further help to you.
Maybe someone else will assist.
Your attitude MAY suggest that you SHOULD know where they are."

To be honest Macboatmaster, I'm really unsure why you answered my post in the first place, as most of your "reply" was not even related to my original posting.

I would politely suggest YOU read my original post again, and then read YOUR reply. Very little of it was anything to do with my posting and seemed to target isssues not mentioned by me at all.

You spend ages refering to registry cleaners. I do not use it as a Registry Cleaner. CCleaner can be used as one, but must of it just removes all the fluff of unused detritus all PCs collect with normal useage.

Your attitude also leaves a LOT to be desired, and I would suggest you see a therapist of some sort before attacking total strangers requesting assistance.

Edited by Wrinkly Pete, 10 January 2011 - 12:42 PM.

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#8
Spyderturbo007

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Can't we all just get along. :D

Let me make sure I have this straight, you are using the built in Windows utility to run manual backups to a 1TB external HDD. But when attempting to restore files from those backups, the restoration fails. Is that correct?

If so, can you give us the exact error message or a more detailed description of what happens when you attempt to restore a file? Is there something that needs to be restored, or were you just testing a backup to make sure it was functioning correctly?

As for the system restore, I have read about Malware issues disabling system restore.
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#9
Wrinkly Pete

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Can't we all just get along. ;)

Let me make sure I have this straight, you are using the built in Windows utility to run manual backups to a 1TB external HDD. But when attempting to restore files from those backups, the restoration fails. Is that correct?

If so, can you give us the exact error message or a more detailed description of what happens when you attempt to restore a file? Is there something that needs to be restored, or were you just testing a backup to make sure it was functioning correctly?

As for the system restore, I have read about Malware issues disabling system restore.


:D

Hi Spyderturbo007,

Thanks.

I'll try to explain again.

The MAIN reason I posted this question was because I'd a problem with an application that worked fine a few days ago, so I thought I'd see if using System Restore cured it.
I intended restoring the PC to the last checkpoint to see if that cured the problem... Horror of horrors - there are NO restore points whatsoever. They have all vanished for some unknown reason. I most definitely hadn't deleted them myself. The last time I'd checked these restore points (they were all there then) was a few days ago.
Their disappearance was not due to hard drive storage space being low, as there is 576GB of free space on the C drive.
I looked on the Microsoft website but none of the suggestions/remedies seem to apply to my problem.

This is what I'm trying to find out about:
Why/where have the System Restore Points gone? Are they still in the system but not showing up for some reason, or have they been deleted due to something going/gone wrong with my PC?

The secondary (and much less important issue at present) part of my original posting was - when I found I no longer had any Restore Points I tried using one of the (many) weekly Backups I make (on an eternal USB 1TB hard drive), to see if I could restore the lost files from that. Only when I tried to restore the last backup on the external hard drive (something I'd never done before) it failed to work, DESPITE using the Backup or Restore Wizard.

Is this explanation any clearer? I've read it over several times, and it makes sense to me, however I doubt if Macboatmaster would agree! ;)
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#10
Spyderturbo007

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The old restore points would be located in <local disk>\System Volume Information folder, but to find that folder you would have to show the protected operating system files and then take ownership of the folder. Unfortunately, if they aren't listed in the restore wizard, they cannot be used for a system restore. You could extract individual files from the restore point, but I suspect that wouldn't solve the problem you are having with your program.

Provided you didn't turn off the system restore, you may want to head over to the Malware Removal Forum, because personally, I've only ever seen system restore turned off by the user, or malware.

As for your backup, can you give me the exact error message associated with the restore problem?
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