by David Hartsock for Daves Computer Tips
Microsoft has included a system restore function in Windows since Windows ME as a way of providing protection to the important system files of the operating system. How successful this has been is open to discussion, and many will say it has been less than reliable in versions prior to Vista.
Microsoft took a much needed look at the system restore feature while designing Vista and made many changes for the better. Unfortunately they choose to commit 15% of a computer’s storage to System Restore and did not include a method for the user to easily modify any settings related to System Restore. This prompted our How to Change Vista’s System Restore Size article. Windows 7 continues with the Shadow Copy storage method but changes the disk storage requirements to 300MB as a minimum and 5% of available storage as the default, or 10GB, whichever is less. Windows 7 also adds a very useful way for users to modify settings and interact with System Restore, but before we look at how to change settings we should have a better understanding of the limitations and function of system restore in general.
What does System Restore backup?
System restore in Windows 7 isn’t a catch all backup and should never be relied upon as such. As I stated earlier system restore’s sole purpose is to protect itself, not your data!
This is Microsoft’s description:
System Restore uses restore points to return your system files and settings to an earlier point in time without affecting personal files…
That seems pretty straight forward, but let’s look at what System Restore does protect:
Windows system files – Files are monitored by extension. It is an extensive list, but you won’t find .mp3, .doc, .jpg, etc in the list.
The Registry – A snapshot of the registry is taken, but this won’t necessarily protect your programs and documents.
User Profile – Files located in user accounts (C:UserNameAppData) that are directly related to the Operating System.
What System Restore does not protect:
Your program settings.
Hopefully you can see by the above that System Restore should not be relied upon to safeguard any of your personal data!
This excerpt is shared with permission from davescomputertips.com.