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Discussion Starter #1
I found this as one explanation for my disappearing system restore files. People keep saying that image files are the best backup, but if I think my problem is minimal, like removing an update or removing software that won't go away the ordinary way, I want a quick solution. If this really a problem, would the fact that my image files are on an external USB hard drive solve the problem?
I just finished using Task Scheduler to create a daily restore point. I hope it works.
 

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Team Manager, Microsoft Support
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Please understand, System Restore is a very unreliable method of hoping not to lose data. As per Murphy's Law, it tends to fail when needed the most.
 

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Windows will not delete System Restore points if an Image file is saved on your Windows OS Drive.
System Restore, when working, only takes you back to a date prior to when software was installed or before the trouble started. It does not restore files that were deleted, or have become corrupted. it only restores Windows System files and Drivers. Many times, Restore Points are not available when needed or it will not Restore for some reason.
An Image file is a mirror image of your whole computer from the day the image was created. You have to manually create it, but it also can be Differentially or Incrementally Updated manually to save the latest changes to files. If you have a desktop computer you can add an internal HDD just for images and manual backups, or an External USB HDD. If you get a Virus, removing a file or program that won't uninstall (Ie) corrupted. You can restore your latest image and be back up in minutes. System Restore, when working, can take you back to a time before a Windows Update or a driver that isn't working, but it is just not reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Please understand, System Restore is a very unreliable method of hoping not to lose data. As per Murphy's Law, it tends to fail when needed the most.
As I understand System Restore, it has nothing to do with "data". Data is saved with backup software, for which Microsoft and third parties abound. "System" refers to the operating system only! I used it successfully several times when I was using Windows 7 and my computer was working erratically and malware and AV software didn't help.
A few months ago, I installed file converter software that included some rare formats. After using and closing it, it left some graphics on my desktop. The software did not show up in Programs and Devices or Revo Uninstaller. This would have been a perfect use of System Restore but, even though AdwCleamer and Revo Uninstaller create restore points and I had created some manual ones, there were no restore points. The Acronis Media Restore was not working so I had to do a complete Windows Restore and reinstall all my software manually.
Some of the software would not accept its saved product key so I had to repurchase several hundred dollars worth.
I've switched to Marcrium Reflect and hope I never have to reinstall an image again.
 

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TSF Moderator , Hardware Team , Networking Team
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Team Manager, Microsoft Support
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sigman: Sorry I meant MS Data. Either way in my experience it works until you absolutely need it. :devilish:
 

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System Restore has a finite amount of storage space. Once the limit is reached, it will delete the older restore points to make room for new ones. Over the years, I found that there was even one piece of software I installed actually turned off System Restore, and when you do that, ALL restore points are deleted, even though you turn it back on.

To see how much space you are setting aside for Restore Points, enter SYSTEM PROPERTIES in the search bar. In the window that appears, click on Configure. You may need to adjust the amount of storage being set aside. Just a thought.
 
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