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How useful do you find the Windows System Restore utility?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / May 25, 2005 7:07 AM PDT

How useful do you find the Windows System Restore utility?

Very useful, it's saved me many times
Somewhat useful (tell us why)
Not useful (tell us why)
I use other system restore utilities (tell us what you use)
I'd use it more if it worked properly
I have no idea, I've never used it

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Restore method

I have not found XP system restore to suit my needs. I use Roxio GoBack or the daily image file created by Acronis True Image. If I am going to do something real hairy then I will do a full partition image with True Image. Same method is used on all the WIN2K units as well. Been bitten to many times by system restore.

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I use other system restore utilities (tell us what you use)
by jule98 / May 26, 2005 7:32 PM PDT

I use acronis TrueImage Backup and restore. I do not trust Backup/restore from Windows XP. I also sometimes use Norton Ghost 9.0 from symantec. The two software mentioned above have been working for me for quite sometimes now.

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I use other system restore utilities (tell us what you use)
by Jim Wheel / May 27, 2005 2:55 AM PDT

I use Acronis True Image. Has saved my life more times than I can count. Get it and use it. You want be sorry.

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I use other system restore utilities (tell us what you use)

I use "tuneup utilities" for system restore and all my computer's quick, thorough and does not harm your system. in addition other , you create a restore point automatically each time you add or remove any program or make any change to your computer. all restores can be viewed in detail and reversed, as can any other changes made with other utilities..absolute a must have for any computer owner!!!

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I use other system restore utilities (tell us what you use)
by paul_5114 / May 27, 2005 10:30 PM PDT

Because I don't have Windows XP, I don't have the feature...instead, I frequently use Powerquest Secondchance for my Windows 98, it has always done wonders for me and also you can get the info straight hand without rebooting!

Well worth it for any non-Win XP users

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Windows Restore did not work when needed.
by lhowk / May 27, 2005 2:34 AM PDT

I had an issue that required the use of the Windows Restore to recover. When I tried to use it, it would not work at all. I ended up re-spinning the operating system and reloading from back up media.

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System Restore is very unreliable.
by mrsb7333 / May 28, 2005 4:09 AM PDT

System Restore is very unreliable, so much so that I consider it worthless. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn't. Most often I get a message that System Restore was unable to restore to such & such a date, and none of the date choices work. I have tried it with several different Windows operating systems and several different computers - consistently unreliable.

GoBack is outstanding, and extremely reliable. You can choose from multiple restore ('go back') times - every few minutes usually, retrieve files that were created after the time you restore to, if you still need them, and even retrieve older versions of files that have been updated in your system, i.e. an older version of a document before you made changes to it!

I have used Go-Back numerous times, and it has worked perfectly every time! If the ability to restore your computer back to an early time is important to you, then GoBack is worth paying for. Don't rely on System Restore.

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System Restore is useless if you use a backup external drive
by T Davidson / June 7, 2005 10:02 PM PDT

I back up info to an external hard drive which I disconntect and reconnect only when I back-up. Apparently when system restore set a ''set point'' the hard drive was connected, it does this without warning. Now anytime the external drive is connected or not connected, it can't do a restore. I just get a warning that says something to the effect that the (external) hard drive was not connected during one of the set points and that I may no be able to restore information. It says that no matter which way point I click on, even ones that I know the external hard drive was connected when I set the way point.

No matter which set point I choose, after the computer chews on it for some time, I get the ''cannot recover set point''.

What a waste of time.

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by Sugie / May 27, 2005 3:30 AM PDT

I have used System Restore many times with no difficulty. In fact, it has worked very well and I have accomplished exactly what I wished. When working with hairy downloads, I establish my own restore date and have used this aspect on numerous occasions successfully.

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System Restore
by johnburnand / May 27, 2005 3:39 AM PDT

Like Sugie, I have used System Restore many times without error (in SP2 mode, SP1 was a bit hairy), but I must admit to feeling the need for a back-up back-up (if you get my drift).

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Restore not useful
by Bageech / May 27, 2005 3:46 AM PDT

1. I have Windows 98SE on my main computer.
2. I use Go Back which I find much more useful than system restore which is on the second computer I have that runs XP.

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by Veeger / May 27, 2005 4:59 AM PDT

I've used GoBack for a number of years and it has saved my system from me, from virii, and from Windows.

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GoBack has some serious problems not in System Restore
by jackjack / May 27, 2005 5:21 PM PDT
In reply to: GoBack

I would prefer to use GoBack but it has one serious problem. It alters the Master Boot Record and if a user has a system crash or a hard disk goes bad, GoBack will create nothing but problems. It will not restore and it has to be deleted from the computer. I used GoBack with a great deal of success for a long time but when I had a crash, it did a lot of damage. I had to completely reinstall Windows and I lost everything including back up files that were on the computer's several hard drives.

It can be difficult to use also. There is no quick way to find the last good configuration because it makes the user go through every restore point from the time the computer crashed and a configuration that works. Moreover, the list gets longer everytime the computer fails to boot. Additionally, it is hard to tell what is and what isn't a good restore point.

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Restore is somewhat useful
by thorrall / May 27, 2005 5:16 AM PDT

It's helped me several times, but also failed me when I needed it most, probably because of a corruption issue. Like an automatic transmission, it's automatically in the wrong gear and you don't know it. Symantec's Go Back, which is what usoft's System Restore is based on, has never failed me in several years of use. It does complicate adding/changing a drive a little. As long as you keep the procedure in mind or a place to look it up, that's not a problem.

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System Restore is a disaster
by mileschap / May 27, 2005 5:43 AM PDT

Found that it failed many times in that it would not restore, and System Volume Infomation was empty. No rhyme or reason, except the installation of SP2. Finally located the cause and fixed it with the help of a very competent MSFT tech lady in India. However, now find that again it occasionally will not restore even though the points are included in SVI, and MSFT techs reccognize there is a problem, but the cause has not been isolated.

I have been using Acronis True Image for over a year and perform a weekly backup image and turned off System Restore. Then decided, better to leave it on for a quick backup should an install fail, which would not necesitate going back an entire week. To reduce image size it's a simple matter to delete the points in SVI. Now with the Restore Restore failure continuing, I find it of little or no value!

If anyone else experiences the SVI being empty, let me know and I'll talk you through the fix that worked for me.


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Acronis true image

Acronis true Image is a foolproof way to restore your computer from images you create. I have used this program sucessfullly many times; does not crash like xp's system restore utility.

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how useful do you find the windows system restore utility
by bowlman / May 27, 2005 6:09 AM PDT

some what useful
good to roll back if a new driver wont work or some bad software but people have to remember its not a backup so it cant fix everything if your system dies and you cant boot up its all gone .


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Windows system restore

I have used it a few times and always got a desired response. It has saved me a few times from having to bring my machine in to a service facility. Very pleased with it.

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Windows System Restore Utility
by Lyn43 / May 27, 2005 7:15 AM PDT

I find the utility somewhat useful because it has worked for me in the past, but has not worked on other occassions. It's success rate averages two out of three tries. When I use it, there is a definate problem with my computer. It is very frustrating when I am unable to find a successful restore point and must resaort to reloading everything.

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System Restore is TOO UNRELIABLE!
by tnetcenter / May 27, 2005 10:55 AM PDT

I've found System Restore to be too unreliable. It just doesn't work when I really need it to! Go Back isn't much better!

The only thing I've found that works reliably is Acronis True Image. One caveat though - you need some serious additional hard drive space to use it.

Jeff Moore

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Hard to learn, but once learned a valuable tool
by jackjack / May 27, 2005 5:12 PM PDT

Always use it when I install any new program but sometimes when I had a crash, I would boot "System Restore" and not get any results. What was happening was that I would set a Restore Point for example for a Windows Update. What I didn't know that Windows Updates set their own restore points so when after installing the update (i.e. Service Pack No. 2) and Windows would not reboot, there would be numerous restore points created as bits of the Update were installed. So hitting the F8 key when Windows reloaded and then using the last best configuration didn't work because Windows went back to last restore point rather than the last good one. What a user has to do if Windows won't reboot is go into the Safe Mode and then look at System Restore and then select the Restore Point. However, it offers a way to experiment and find which file that was loaded in the Update that caused the crash so that the user can still use some of the Update features.

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Somewhat useful
by RM Barker / May 27, 2005 8:55 PM PDT

Thankfully, I have rarely had to use the System Restore and when I have I have used the Windows utility. I have not been disappointed with it.

Robert M. Barker

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system restore has never worked for me.

I've never had system restore work for me. I just gave up. Nothing that horrible has ever happened to make me try to use it again.

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Not Useful
by gapermaker / May 28, 2005 11:50 AM PDT

I say this becasue Windows Xp- from my limited experience with it -is a pile of dog doo. My mother got a Dell 2400 series computer and my home built Win98SE computer with 1.1 gig Athlon blows that pile of crap away. I used the sytem restore on it and it seemed to work. But it is still a crappy operating system that seems like molasses. Ive removed all spyware/adware. Scanned it with Norton AV and AVG AV . The hotfix updates are ridiculous and bog the thing down even more. Perhaps uninstalling the SP-2 service pack caused soem damage and the whole operating system needs to be reinstalled. The indows installer doesn't seem to be in good shape and has made it almost impossible to remove the junk programs that come with a Dell- such as AOL and some other stuff that will never be used. I guess you could say I'm leavign this message more as a rant about the whole Windows XP "experience" or what Dell has done with it in this praticular model. Either way - I'm not very encouraged about building a XP system for myself anytime soon- Id rather upgrade the motherboard chip and memory and keep Win98SE at this point.

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How useful do you find the Windows System Restore utility?
by anituh / May 28, 2005 2:19 PM PDT

I too have found it very helpful...on more than one occasion it has saved me from who knows what, but mainly from myself lol
I've only had my computer and been online for a little over two years and I knew absolutely nothing when i first started...but thanks to some good friends I've met online who were always willing to help and forums like on CNet I have come a long way. However, its very reassuring to know that System Restore is there should i once again prove to be my own comuter's worst enemy LOL

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System Restore Utility
by operanut / May 28, 2005 2:46 PM PDT

I use Go-Back which has rescued me many many times.
The more free space you have the more restore points are available.

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How useful do you find the Windows System Restore utility?
by RickMaynard / May 30, 2005 2:35 AM PDT

Totally useless, I would rather reformat my hard drive and reload all programs then attempt to use windows restore. I use windows XP in a home setting with multiple users. Wife and children all having their own log-in and passwords. The amount of work I must do to get everything back the way it was is not worth the time. In fact it is easier to start over. I use Norton goback and have been extremely happy with it's ease and results. I select a specific date and time and it restores all systems and users to that date and time. I also get to review any programs or files that were not restored and can select them individually.

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windows system restore
by mpawluk / May 31, 2005 12:24 AM PDT

very useful, saved me many a TIME

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sys restore a bummer
by buttercat / June 1, 2005 3:43 AM PDT

I'd been having trouble getting online/email so decided to restore to a time when there was no trouble.The first time I restarted it worked fine but now I have to do everything except a witches brew to get online.It's back to the cable company and on hold for me.

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System Restore is okay

I've used it a couple times, one time it would not work and another time it would have came in handy, but I couldn't use it. The computer asked for the recovery disk. I find it useful sometimes, but I am not trusting this computer to Systems Restore.

I bought Norton Ghost and for the most part I feel more comfortable running the computer now that I have some backup on hand. I know if a file gets corrupted or gets deleted I can just look to that disk and I am saved.

The only bad feature I can think of is when I do back ups it's to cdrs, being I only have a cdrw drive and not a dvd burner. This process requires many disks, last backup I used 16 cdrs just to make one image, but overall I like the program and I'm glad I have some way to restore the computer back to a healthy state if a problem does arise.

I've had no problems with Norton Ghost yet.

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