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WinXP: System Restore Points -- Do you use them?

By TomSal ·
Recently it came up for my group and I to start using system restore points on our Windows XP boxes, up to this point we really didn't even think much about them. We have users data going to network drives that are on a tape backup rotation, plus we have ghost images for the desktops with all the apps and patches included in them.

Do you use System Restore? Do you think its a good feature? Do you trust it? What don't you like about it?

I'm just trying to get general experiences and opinions on the worthiness or "un-worthliness" of system restore in a production envrionment.

Thanks.

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Mixed

by JamesRL In reply to WinXP: System Restore Poi ...

In some instances where users have messed up thier configurations, trying to do a system restore is a timely method of resolving the issue, with a relatively high degree of success.

The downsides are that system restore point seem to take up a lot of space, and that when you are doing virus cleanups, if you don't turn system restores off, you could end up not being succesful in thoroughly cleaning.

If you had an organization with zero customization on the desktop, then you wouldn't need this function. But every org has users with specialized software/hardware/drivers etc. For those people system restore can fix things without causing them to reinstall all their custom stuff.

James

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edcopacific

by edward_hallett In reply to Mixed

can be usefull (at times) but 50% unreliable

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Similar

by dafe2 In reply to WinXP: System Restore Poi ...

Actually.....we do much the same as yourself & use the same approach as James Linn.

We've implemented restore points on certain 'important' &/or 'troublesome' workstations.

In 90% of desktops it is NOT used. All user data is on the servers........and it's generally easier & faster just to re-image the box anyway.

In cases where we have implemented restore points - Laptops & Scientific Workstations we've recovered these easily with Winternals & restore points without much grief.

We've limited drive useage to 3% on all systems we use restore points on.

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Drive usage at 3% ?

by TheVirtualOne In reply to Similar

Don't you find that to be a huge waste of resources? How does that weigh out in comparison to using thin clients?

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Sure

by dafe2 In reply to Drive usage at 3% ?

You have to know your users. The guys & gals are scientific users & engineers....most, if not all know just ennough to be dangerous. LOL

In these cases I care more about a grief free recovery than disk space & the OCASIONAL sap on (other) ressources.

Thin clients.....we use them for KIOSK or shared systems. As for the rest of our nodes they are PC based using folder redirection.

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handy to have

by chusome In reply to WinXP: System Restore Poi ...

We use it on occaision but not from the gui. Its good for corrupted registry's because all you have to do is boot to the recovery console copy the repair registry to the working registry and then restore the last good working registry/restore point.

Without this a failed registry usually means your SOL, unless you have another recovery system in place.

P.S. Checkout these tools. Incredibly handy!

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

http://www.ubcd4win.com/

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PartitionMagic and system restore

by Gunnar Klevedal In reply to WinXP: System Restore Poi ...

I just got Win XP Home. Right now system restore is active. I wish to use PartitionMagic to shrink the partition C: and to create a new extended partition with three new logical drives (FAT16 2GB). This will bring changes to the Master Boot Record of my hard drive. I guess system restore could cause some trouble, if I do not delete all system restore points. What Caveats do you see?
Regards, Gunnar

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Can be useful

by greyseal96 In reply to WinXP: System Restore Poi ...

I would say that it does have its uses. There are things that you have to be aware of to use this tool properly, ie clearing restore points when cleaning out viruses, etc. But there have been a couple of times where it has really saved my bacon. A couple of times I had to restore because of some driver conflicts. System Restore got me back up much quicker than restoring from our backups or re-imaging my drive. The second use that I've had for it was actually recovering from some Trojans. I was stumped one day trying to clear out a trojan from one of the computers. It just wouldn't get cleaned. In thinking about how the Trojan works, I realized that part of what it does is to change registry settings, among the other things that it does. Part of System Restore is to restore a previously good working copy of your registry. To me, it made sense that running system restore would restore the registry back to the time before the trojan had been installed and it would reverse the settings that it had changed. Since I was out of options, I tried it and it worked. After verifying that things were working normally, I dumped the restore points and ran my anti-virus software to clean up any remnants. I've done this process several times and it has worked very well for me.

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Creates more problems than it's worth....

by carlsf In reply to WinXP: System Restore Poi ...

I have for about six months been turning this option off, both on my own network and clients systems.

Since I have been doing this I have had less problems with machines.

Whay I found was happening was clients were using this feature after a problem ond compunding the problem, ending up with a crashed system.

It would appear that the restore will after a couple of attempts just load the last configuration.

Has anyone else had this problem ???

Regards Carl

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XP restore points

by Info-Safety, LLC In reply to WinXP: System Restore Poi ...

These are very useful in saving us from ourselves, especially with failed installations, registry changes, etc. They should be used in addition to backup data and images. BTW, if your system gets infected, you will need to temporarily disable system restore.

Craig Herberg

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