I Hate System Restore

  Pesala 23:52 20 Nov 2006

I have just upgraded to a new XP box, so I tried using System Restore again because I needed to. (I disabled it in Windows ME because it never worked when I needed it to use it). See my earlier thread, "Just A Microsoft Moment" : click here

I transferred most of my documents and fonts, installed my software, and was just getting my fonts organised. I organised them in C:\My Documents and Settings\ in their own subfolder. Most were not installed.

Then I needed to do a System Restore. After I had done that, I found that my fonts folders had vanished. (>_ ) Just to check that I wasn't hallucinating, I restored some fonts from backups, created some new font folders as before, created a restore point, then back-tracked to an earlier point. The folders disappeared again.

Worse was to come. I undid the restore, but the fonts did not return. I restored to my restore point and the fonts did not return. System Restore assures me that I will not lose any documents, and that the process is fully reversible.

It seems to me that someone is telling porkie pies, but maybe I just don't know what I'm doing.

  Http 00:48 21 Nov 2006

Windows XP's System Restore ignores the "My Documents" folder and all sub folders.

For example:

If I save a document I have just written to "My Documents" and then do a System Restore, my document will be lost- it won't be restored.

To cut a long story short, install your fonts to a folder outside of the "My Documents" tree.

  Pesala 01:16 21 Nov 2006

click here

No way should a System Restore modify anything in Documents and Settings. It should only affect programs, shortcuts, and registration entries.

  Jak_1 01:32 21 Nov 2006

System restore does not, or should not delete files from My Documents. Hoewever, and there is always a however, it will delete files with certain file extentions such as .exe files, even in 'My Documents'. The MS help section explains this as does a google search on the subject.

  Http 01:57 21 Nov 2006

Jak_1 has given THE answer to the problem.

click here and scroll down for more info.

In my opion, it would be easier to store your fonts outside of the My Documents tree.

  Pesala 06:50 21 Nov 2006

The list of file types monitored by System Restore given click here explains why TTF files are monitored by System Restore, and therefore why they are removed on back-tracking to an earlier restore point.

However, it does not explain why those same fonts are not restored when I undo the restore to a restore point created before I backtracked.

It seems obvious to me that System Restore should not remove the fonts in the first place, unless they are installed, and then it should remove them only from the Windows Fonts folder, (i.e. uninstall them), it should not delete them from my hard drive. And, if it does uninstall them, then it should reinstall them when the restore is undone.

Anyone have any idea why System Restore behaves in this insane manner?

  Pesala 08:14 21 Nov 2006

This would seem to be the easiest solution. It would be difficult to get Microsoft to acknowledge the problem, let alone to fix it. I wonder if Vista behaves in the same way?

However, since many of my fonts are customized fonts, and I need a backup on an external drive anyway, it is easy enough to restore them from my backup archive if I need to do a System Restore. I keep backup archives on the hard drive and on a CD, CD-RW or USB drive.

  jimv7 08:26 21 Nov 2006

I keep my docs on another hdd other than 'c' drive with the restore to that drive turned off, that way only 'c' uses the restore points.

And I back up my docs to dvd as required.

  prince midas 13:02 21 Nov 2006

I have had all this problem with System Restore & this is what I did & it worked.

Purchase a copy of Norton Ghost or similar product & use it say once a fortnight & whenever you get a problem with a new installed program etc just restore with Ghost.It is superb.

  Peter 13:19 21 Nov 2006


This is yet another situation that makes doing a complete backup essential. As prince midas writes, get Ghost (or another cloning programme) and take regular (at least once every two weeks, preferably once a week) backups to an external storage system. This will allow a complete restore to the system state at the time of backup.

Another good use of an imaging/cloning programme is to make a complete copy (clone) onto another (test) hard drive partition. This can be used as a test bed and when (not if) things go wrong the partition can be dumped.

The above may seem rather cynical, but as an alternative to that horrible feeling in the pit of the stomach and tearing out of hair, is is preferable.


  Pesala 14:06 21 Nov 2006

These kind of programs seem to be the best long term solution to the system backup problem, but that will need a new drive, some new software, etc. Meanwhile, archives on USB drive or CD may have to do.

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