dcsimg

System Restore Utility in Windows XP

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Apr 9, 2002


Christopher Rice

          One of the brighter guys that I work with brought this cool little Windows XP utility to my attention this past week.  I was really impressed with it and decided to share what it's designed for with all of you.

One of the brighter guys that I work with brought this cool little Windows XP utility to my attention this past week. I was really impressed with it and decided to share what it's designed for with all of you.

          Basically, it is supposed to be able to bring your system back to the state it was in at some prior point in time.

          From what I have been told, it is advisable not to make this restore from a really long time ago (in the case that you have made many changes to your PC).  For instances like this, I would advise using a regular backup.

          Anyway, if you want to take a crack at this, all you have to do is go to:

Start\Programs\Accessories\System Tools\System Restore

          This tool now provides a calendar interface allowing you to roll your operating system back to the system state of any previous date on which a system checkpoint was taken.

          Windows automatically takes a checkpoint (snapshot) prior to any MSI installation so there are quite a few to choose from at any time. If you click on the date of a checkpoint it shows the programs you installed on that day. Rolling back to a prior date undoes registry and dll and system changes but leaves all other files alone.

          The restore action is also reversible -- if it doesn't fix the problem, you can undo the restore.

          I am going to provide a link to an article which will discuss the following topics for consideration when developing applications with the optimal interoperation with System Restore.

  • Design overview

  • System restore components and locations

  • Automatically created restore points

  • System and application file change monitoring

  • Restore process

          An important note is that some pieces will be restored and some will not.  Here is a list:

Restored

  • Registry

  • Profiles (local only-roaming user profiles not impacted by restore)

  • COM+ DB

  • WFP.dll cache

  • WMI DB

  • IIS Metabase

  • Files with extensions listed in the <include> portion of the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK

Not Restored
  • DRM settings

  • SAM hives (does not restore passwords)

  • WPA settings (Windows authentication information is not restored)

  • Specific directories/files listed in the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK

  • Any file with an extension not listed as <included> in the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK

  • Items listed in both Filesnottobackup and KeysnottoRestore (hklm->system->controlset001->control->backuprestore->filesnottobackup and keysnottorestore)

  • User-created data stored in the user profile

  • Contents of redirected folders

 

Here is an article on the MSFT site that will prove useful if you are planning on using this tool:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnwxp/html/windowsxpsystemrestore.asp

Let me know if you have used this tool and what you thought of it.  Also, if you have any other tools like this that might help others out, drop me a line and I will publish it.

Page 1 of 1


Comment and Contribute

Your name/nickname

Your email

(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.