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System Restore Deleting Restore Points Automatically....

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by Sithtiger, Sep 12, 2007.

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  1. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger Thread Starter

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    I have a problem with System Restore only keeping restore points 5 days back at the most. So for example, the oldest restore point I have currently is from September 6, 2007. I've had this Vista x64 install for around a month now. I should have restore points dating back to about August 1st or so.

    I've got plenty of HD space too......around 500GB free I believe so that's not an issue. I don't have any viruses. I bet this is an easy fix, it's just that I don't know what that is. Vista is supposed to automatically make restore points every day doesn't it? According to this post at this site, Vista is supposed to save restore points for around 136 years. http://www.daniweb.com/forums/thread82418.html

    While I don't need it that long, I'd like it save them for around 6 months to a year or even whatever the default is supposed to be. I had a problem with a Windows update about a month ago. I think it was a security update or something. Anyway, I don't know which one or why, but it borked my system and I couldn't even boot, not even in Safe Mode. So I put the Vista x64 DVD in and went to use System Restore and I didn't have any restore points. I had no other choice than to reinstall Windows. I just want to know why it's doing this and how I can stop it before I have to use System Restore again and I have to reinstall again.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. cuttlefish

    cuttlefish

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    You're not runnig any reg cleaners applications are you as they have a nasty habit of also wipng out the Vista restore points!!!
     
  4. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    5 days?

    Make sure you have checked the box to show points greater than 5 days :D


    A corrupt archive can cause any number of problems. The best solution for the future when you encounter any System Restore issues is to turn off system protection, reboot and turn it back on again.

    Yes that will delete all points -- but if you are not saving new ones -- little is lost by trying.
     
  5. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger Thread Starter

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    In fact I am using reg cleaners....3 different ones. TuneUp Utilities 2007's reg cleaner and the the free reg cleaner called Wise Registry Cleaner and finally TweakNow's Powerpack 2006's reg cleaner. However, I've checked my Restore Points previously and I don't believe any of them affected the Restore Points. I suspected them originally too at first.

    One that I haven't checked is my disk defragger, Perfect Disk. Someone posted this link from another forum: http://bertk.mvps.org/html/missingrpv.html

    I don't know for sure if it's Perfect Disk, but I'll check the next time I go to defrag, beforehand and then after it's done and I reboot.
     
  6. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger Thread Starter

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    Thanks, yeah that's with the box checked to show older checkpoints....I wish that was the problem, but hopefully it's my disk defragger. I'll have to test it out to find out. If that pans out fine, I'll also test my reg cleaners just to make 100% sure. I believe I tested them before, but I can't say for certain that I did test all of them. The only thing is though, is that I haven't used the reg cleaners in at least 2 weeks and it's still cutting off restore points, so I'm thinking....hoping it's my defragger.
     
  7. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger Thread Starter

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    OK, well I finally got around to using Perfect Disk and I've confirmed that it's the culprit. Diskeeper was doing the same thing too. Prior to running Perfect Disk, I had 9 Restore Points saved. Then I ran PD and it wanted to do a boot time defrag and I agreed and after it finished, all my restore points were gone.

    This is OK since my system is running flawlessly right now, but what I want to know is how can I program PD to stay away from the Restore Points?

    Thanks for all your help. At least I know the cause, so the problem is 50% solved IMO. I know I could simply uninstall PD, but that's not a real fix since Diskeeper does this too. There's got to be a way to work around this.
     
  8. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Well I have PerfectDisk as well.

    I ran it and can confirm that it did indeed delete the few restore points I had that were older than 5 days.

    PerfectDisk is supposed to exclude System Restore points, but apparently it only protects the last 5 days.

    I had some conversation with their support about "metadata" files, and this was his response:

    Also the program erroneously suggests page file defragamentation -- even though there is nothing to defragment if a system managed page file is being used -- because it is recreated each reboot.
     
  9. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger Thread Starter

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    Thanks Rollin' Rog! Well for me, it deleted all my restore points. Yeah I noticed that PD wanted to defrag my Pagefile too. It thought it was odd since it did that a little over a week ago and I hadn't added much since then.

    So I'm confused as to what to do. Is there some type of update that I need to download from Raxco because they said that these files are automatically excluded by PD now.

    I checked and I'm running the latest version of PerfectDisk which is version 8.0 build 64. Fortunately I'm in no need of needing to restore Vista and I created a manual restore point after PD ran, but still. You never know when something might go wrong or you forget to create a restore point and something happens and then you're screwed because you happened to run PD or Diskeeper (it does this too....if you had it installed instead of PerfectDisk).

    That's what happened to me a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what happened exactly but as I stated in my first post, a security update screwed up Windows. I had forgotten but I had just defragged prior to the update. The odd thing though, is that Windows is supposed to automatically create a restore point every time it reboots right? Also, before a driver update or a Windows update. Well it didn't and when I tried to restore it to a previous state, it had nothing to restore from. Needless to say, I wasn't pleased at having to format and reinstall Vista for the 2nd time in a month....I had just built this computer too.

    So, now that we know the PD is getting rid of restore points and Raxco says what it's doing to avoid this.....how do we update PD so that we can protect our restore points as well? Again, thanks allot Rollin' Rog!!
     
  10. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    I sent a contact/support email to Raxco -- and they responded very promptly.

    From what I can tell they don't seem to be aware of this issue or know what's up either.

    I'm going to respond with a link to this thread just so they can see it's obviously not just me. You can contact them yourself through their support page -- and that might be an extra goose for them.

    This was their response for now:

    By the way, my test did not involve a "boot time" run of PD (I neglected to mention this to them) -- just a standard run -- and I checked before rebooting.

    edit 2

    Well, I'll say one thing for Raxco -- NO vendor tech support has ever responded faster than they do :)

    Here is the last response:

    I replied that if this is the case I should also expect to see it when running the built in MS Defrag.

    I will have to build up some restore dates to test.

    You might try the same as well.

    Checking my EventViewer for errors during the time of the defrag there were none.

    However there were 5 or 6 "informational" Volsnap events of this nature:

    I would say there is a definite relationship here :rolleyes:

    Found this:

    http://blogs.technet.com/filecab/ar...used-for-restore-points-in-windows-vista.aspx

    Ran it and on my system it reported:

    So it appears I am definitely space limited here. Of course this is only a 40 gig drive, one of two that came with the low end Acer Desktop system.
     
  11. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger Thread Starter

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    Thanks, well I've got plenty of space...I've got a 500GB HD (with 465GB usable and 415GB free) so I've got plenty of space. I remember I previously checked Event Viewer and I too had some informational messages about Volsnap.sys.

    Here's the info that my system shows from using the vssadmin list shadowstorage command:

    So it looks like to me, space isn't an issue wouldn't you say. It's got to be some error that MS is probably going to have to patch. I'm a little bit surprised that they haven't already actually.
     
  12. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Well it would certainly seem so.

    I'm afraid "Susie" may be waffling a bit here, now replying that:

    >>

    Well, if that's the case then PD needs to post a wassup on this and offer a different methodology of defragmentation.

    If the built-in defrag does not cause this, but PD (or any other defrag uitlity) does -- then there is a problem with the method.

    In my case PD did not even report that the drive needed defragmenting -- so it really shouldn't have had that much to do.

    >> I'd give the built-in defrag a test on this at the first opportunity.
     
  13. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger Thread Starter

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    In response to the reply to you from PD.....WHAT?!? Maybe it's just me but it sounds like she didn't even answer the question. While what she said was probably true, that doesn't explain why it still wipes the restore points. They said that it shouldn't be doing this, but we know that it does.

    I'll try the built-in defrag as well. I can't imagine it would have the same problem. It's kind of like reg cleaners for Vista x64. Many of them would get hung up on the Wow64 key and basically get caught in a loop. So it would take around 8 hours to do a registry sweep. Most of them have fixed this problem now, but it looks like the same sort of a problem with defraggers. I don't know if it's Vista x32 and x64 or just Vista x64.
     
  14. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    If it's true, it answers the question (the restore points are associated with the space available to volume shadow copy which she is suggesting is maxed out and overwritten under certain circumstances) -- but puts the ball back in any 3rd party application that uses such an aggressive and resource intensive method to accomplish a defrag.

    It is unacceptable. They can't just blame MS -- it's something they have to acknowledge and work around.

    Moreover I don't think XP has this problem even though she is suggesting it should apply there. I have PD installed on XP and believe I have run it atleast once -- with no problem with restore points.
     
  15. Sithtiger

    Sithtiger Thread Starter

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    The thing is though, that's not what is happening with me. I have plenty of space as you saw, and yet it still did it, so it must be a problem within PD itself. I'm sure they'll fix it one way or another. I'm just glad I know what the problem is now.
     
  16. ghayes

    ghayes

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    Here's what is going on. When defragmenting with PerfectDisk and Smart Placement (default defrag method), PD is not only defragmenting files, it is also consolidating free space, placing boot files, and grouping files together by modification date. When the built-in defragmenter is defragmenting, it is doing far less work. VSS is detecting the drive changes generated by PD as changes and as a result older restore points/shadow copies get purged. If you have PD defragment using the Defragment Only option, PD essentially works like the built-in defragmenter - simply defragmenting fragmented files - no free space consolidation, no boot file placement, no grouping of files.

    VSS does have code in it to detect defrag activity and limit purging restore points/shadow copies (MS KB article). However, that code only works if the cluster size on the drive is a multiple of 16k. The default cluster size on Vista is 4k. Why not 16k if it will limit the impact that defragmenting can have on the life our your restore points/shadow copies? Because NTFS compression doesn't work for cluster sizes greater than 4k.

    The first time that you defragment with PerfectDisk using Smart Placement will result in the most changes to the drive (as seen by vss) and when it is most likely that restore points/shadow copies may be purged. It all depends on the amount of work that PD is doing, how much total free space there is on the drive, how much space that restore points/shadow copies take, etc... Subsequent defrag passes should result in less changes to the disk and less likelyhood that restore points/shadow copies will be purged.

    - Greg/Raxco Software
    Microsoft MVP 2003-2007
    Windows File Systems

    Disclaimer: I work for Raxco Software, the maker of PerfectDisk - a commercial defrag utility, as a systems engineer in the support department.
     
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