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Poll: Do you use Windows System Restore?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / March 22, 2013 8:46 AM PDT
Do you use Windows System Restore?

-- Yes, I use it quite often.
-- Yes, I use it occasionally.
-- Yes, but I hardly ever use it.
-- No, because it is useless.
-- No, because I take care of my system.
-- No, because it doesn't work.
-- I don't use Windows.
-- Other. (What is it?)

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Why I hardly ever use system restore in Windows
by bill_patton / March 22, 2013 11:59 AM PDT

More times than not I've found that for whatever reason System Restore just decides not to work whenever you need it. It's always at a crucial time, something crashed, a virus is running crazy destroying files and that's when System Restore decides not to work. I give it one try and then I stick in the clone of the drive and re-clone the clone to the back drive after re-booting with the clone and formatting the bad system drive.

I have restore points set, but it really seems useless; I can count on one hand the number of times it has worked.

The method I use, is to use Seagate Disc Wizard to make a clone of the system drive to another small drive. I used to have 750 gb to 1 tb drives as system drives, and now I've changed to 80-100 gb SSD's for the system drive only. Anything else like music, converted video files, etc. is saved on other drives. About a week after the latest Windows updates are installed, I refresh the clones to include the latest Windows updates if everything is running smoothly by using a USB 3.0 dock. Once the clone is made, it's removed from the dock, and shelved. I don't leave it in the computer to be possibly be written over or corrupted. These clones are usually a 80 - 160 gb sata II drive; it doesn't have to be fancy it just has to work. Then if the system becomes corrupted it's no problem, nothing but the most recent info needs to be redone. By not storing any daily work on the system drive very little new data would be lost.

Works for me, Seagate Disc Wizard is a free download from Seagate, and all you have to have is ONE drive in your computer that is Seagate and it will work. Hope that helps. For some reason there are times when Disc Wizard will not clone to a USB 2.0 dock, but it will always work with a drive using a motherboard sata connection.

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I use it occasionally
by wpgwpg / March 22, 2013 12:08 PM PDT

I don't need it very often, but when I do, it almost always works well for me. However I don't leave it to chance so I have Norton Ghost make a full system backup weekly with incremental backups every 4 hours. I've been using it since it was first available with Windows ME about a dozen years ago. I don't understand why some people have problems with it, but then I'm careful what sites I go to and what I download.

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Perfect For Corrupted Windows Updates
by Hovi1768 / March 22, 2013 2:28 PM PDT

This is where system restore shines.
Many don't realize that every time we get an update from windows
or for any software for that matter we are depending on the stream
There are times where information is lost in that stream because it cannot be perfect.
This is where I love to use system restore.
I just do this before every windows update

Then if there is a problem after the update
I start in safe mode then Start button then right in search box type rstrui.exe
Works great!

Many times people will have all kinds of funky problems after an update & never put 2 & 2 together.
If you use this method it keeps you aware & always prepared for a bad update.

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Always create a point before installing software
by wobblyo / March 22, 2013 6:39 PM PDT

I always create a restore point before installing software or making changes to important settings, eg. graphics. On several occasions I have found this invaluable, either because I screwed the settings up, or the software has made changes I don't like, or installed something additional and when I uninstall the changes are still there. A quick restore and everything is back as I left it. Not used often, but when you need it, you need it and it's there!! Going back a few years it was the restore option that caused me to fork out for Windows Me!!

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System Restore is imperfect but useful.
by harster / March 23, 2013 9:10 AM PDT

It usually works like it should, but once I got the "could not restore" message. It always says "data has not been affected", but sometimes it has been. One program's data is usually left about a week behind it's current status and other quirky things happen from time to time - so I avoid using it when possible but sometimes one just has to bite the bullet. It makes sense to use checkdisc and system file checker before doing a restore.

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