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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

Restore Point saved to DVD
backup and restore

 7:03 pm on Dec 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am using a Dell laptop with Vista and SP1 and I am having trouble finding the location of restore points on my system using Explore, so I can back up a save point on flash drive or DVD. It takes me about 15 hours to load my software, so I don't want to use the restore points on my hard drive because I restore it every 2 months and by that time my original points are lost. I have read endless forums about giving my username file sharing permissions and I have done this for:
and windows folders.
Still nothing even remotely close to a system volume information folder.
Yes, I created a restore point and I have searched for it by name on the root drive (and I unchecked the hidden files and folders checkbox). I have been at this for hours, can anyone help.



 6:24 am on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Restore point information is stored in the "System Volume Information" that is hidden in the root directory. Windows will normally block attempts to explore that folder. You're not meant to tamper with those files.

If you want full backups that you can store on DVD media then I suggest you look into imaging your drive(s). A drive image will take a snapshot of your drive and let you restore to that exact moment in time. Window's system restore isn't as thorough.

Some popular imaging products include Acronis and Symantec Ghost.


 2:28 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have about 31 GB on my drive, when I tried to image before using WinRar it created a file too large to fit on a 4 GB DVD. Any ideas?


 2:45 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

winrar is not a drive imager..nor is winzip, 7 zip or any other archiver ..
the two Bill mentioned are drive imagers ..

you are trying to do the computer equivalent of making toast with a lawnmower ..

use the right tools for the job ..and it will all go easier ..

and as Bill says leave your restore point info alone ..it can be accessed ( no I'm not telling how ..that would be irresponsible of me )..but if you fiddle with it then it's 99.9 to six places certain you'll be back posting from another machine asking how to unbork your Vista SP1 machine ..

thought of just cloning to a second HDD ..USB or whatever ?


 2:56 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

I only have a single HDD and an external one would be $59 from Wal-Mart a flash drive would be $16 (8GB). DVD's are 25 cents. How about that information of how to Borjk my system with a promise I wont write back if I screw it up(I will just put in my alien respawn cd in and shut up)?


 3:29 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

an external one would be $59 from Wal-Mart

Spend the money :)..use your DVDs for incremental backups of important stuff ..

I don't think anyone here is going to tell a novice ( no offense ..we all were once ..but we learned in baby steps ..not by trying to run before we could walk ) how to get around doze protecting you from yourself ..It would be like telling you how to change the pads on your cars brakes via a forum thread ..fraught with peril .:)

BTW ..from where I'm posting $59.oo for an external HD is damn cheap ..spend the money :)

[edited by: Leosghost at 3:31 pm (utc) on Dec. 23, 2009]


 3:30 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Forget restore points. They are a waste of time.

Use a quality drive image program which copies partitions onto image files. These are much easier to maintain and archive.

Something like Macrium will do. It can image disks or drive (letters), compress the data, split into 4gb file sizes, perform full, incremental or differential backups and schedule the tasks. The backups happen on the fly so you don't need to shutdown your PC or stop working on things.

There is a free version and paid version. Both will do much better than windows own system restore point feature. Once you use disk imaging you can turn off system restore which will a) recover disk space, b) speed up your PC in some areas.


 3:34 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Do as Leosghost says. Spend the $59 on an external HD and install a free drive imaging software such as Macrium. Maybe the external drive comes with software already?

Schedule a backup task once a week onto the hard disk, overwriting anything from 3+ months. Once a month dump the latest images from ext HD onto DVD.


 3:36 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hadn't heard of Macrium ( ghost annoys me ..and acronis has failed to initialise twice on me ( actually appeared to have corrupted itself !) on two separate machines )..thanks Frank :)


 3:55 pm on Dec 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks Rizzo,
I was going to say you guys are good Microsoft disciples with all of your secrecy, but I think I have found some some advice I can use. I will look into Macrium.

'In a world without walls... '


 1:00 am on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Cars and brake pads? I taught myself to drop engines in my spare time on my own car (BTW I can change a head gasket in 4 hours, even though your mechanic would charge you for 8).

Anyway back to the thread. I used Macrium. Burnt five DVDs. The second disk turned out to be corrupt, and after hours of messing around I find that it would be easier for me to just save a restore point on disk and turn off "system protection". Macrium required around 13GB and a restore point is only 300MB. Microsoft seems to be a little more efficient after all and wouldn't leave me guessing if one of my 5 disks had bad sectors. (I used name brand Sony DVD-R Accucore.)

how about that "System Volume Information"?
I typed in command prompt:
Icacls "System Volume Information" /E/P 101297:F

where 101297 is my username, and I received the error message - invalid parameter "/E/P"

Could somesone help with the syntax for NTFS to give "101297" full permission to access "System Volume Information"? TY


 1:54 am on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Windows restore points are more 'efficient' because it is only storing a limited amount of information. However, you can't put them on DVD and you can't do a full restore from them like you can with a disk image.

If you want a way to backup your entire system then use a drive imaging program as suggested. If you only want to back up a limited amount of data then use a WinRAR, WinZIP, or similar archiving program, and pick and choose the data you want to backup/archive.


 2:35 am on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why can't you save them to DVD and when you want to use them every 2 months restore them to their original folder and access them at that point and time?


 4:46 am on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

  • System Restore: Limitations and Complications [wikinfo.org]
  • System Restore: frequently asked questions [windows.microsoft.com]
  • A Guide to Windows Vista Backup Technologies [technet.microsoft.com]
  • Leosghost

     11:31 am on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

    <ot..That's a long time to change a head gasket ( depending on the vehicle ) ..I do all my own mechanical, electrical and hydraulic work ..including engine swaps ..transmissions ..axle rebuilds ..and chassis welding making / repairing ..and body and paintwork ..had a custom shop :)agree with you about mechanics :)../ot>


     1:02 pm on Dec 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

    BTW as regards
    you guys are good Microsoft disciples with all of your secrecy

    Not all all .( definately not an MS disciple here ..I have many OSes ..and I've been posting to you from linux :) whatever works suites most of us ..very few OS fanbois in WebmasterWorld :).. .if you had more than one machine and were asking how to explore in depth any flavour of doze then I'm sure that anyone would be happy enough to tell you ..what makes me ( and I suspect the other guys ) reticent is that if you bork the one you have ( and it's a laptop ..which is worse ) then you wont have a spare to get by with while you fix the first one or get it fixed ..or reinstall ( you do have an original copy of the OS on disc dont you ? not one of those toy manufacturers "rescue" discs because your machine came pre-installed with vista and they told you to instantly burn a recovery one ?

    If your machine came with a "recovery partition" then this will be the case ..

    Because what you burned ( if that was the case ..doesnt count ) that gets you back to a factory install if you use it ( if it even works ) and wipes all your data and your apps ..

    Now ..if you just want to look at folders ( because believe us ..restoring from an image is easier and safer than changing folders or attempting to extract strings from inside system folders ) in doze ..

    Then there are many ways ..but the easiest is

    You need a live penguin :)

    Because a penguin can see through windows ( and even fix and polish windows that are broken or dirty or corrupted ) ..whereas windows ..cant see apenguin ..nor can you if you are looking through windows trying to ..

    So ..get a live penguin .they are free :)).knoppix is the best sort for this ( pop it in your DVD tray ..set bios to "boot from whatever your tray is called ..in doze typically D drive on laptops ..if your HD is ready partitioned it will be another letter like E or F ..each machine is different ..depends on the partitioning ..OH and dont "fool" with the partitioning while you are in there ) ..and when it can see your windows partition ..you set it to read it ..but definitely not write to it ( because this is your first time using a penguin ..and they can also break windows in the hands of the inexperienced ) ..then you nav through to the folder you want to see ..and you look inside ..but you change nothing ..absolutely nothing ..

    If you want to copy the folder out to a USB key to have look at later thats OK ..but you "copy" ..you do not "move" ..and rename the copy to include the word BAK ( in upper case ) ..especially if afterwards you think you might look at it with windows ..

    What is inside that folder will possibly make about as much sense to you maybe as a rotary engine laid out on the bench would ..

    But seeing what is in there ..may just help you understand why you dont want to go touching and tweaking that folder ..although having a copy safe of the entire folder ( and some others ) that you can put ( again with a live penguin ..) back ..can be very usefull if you windows get broken ..( but if you ever do have to put that and / or any other folder back into windows ..dont forget to rename it back to the original windows name ..remove the BAK ) ..

    PS ..dont be tempted to install the live penguin ( or any other penguin ) permanantly as dual boot with vista ..the loaders often dont play nice with each other .( and important bits of data get overwritten that the BIOS talks to before loading any OS ).and usually you lose the vista one ( so vista wont boot ..at all ..and has to be fixed ) and frequently have MBR problems ..which require additional bits of software to fix ..and some rather arcane knowledge to do ..and life is too short :)

    This info is provided as is ..and as usual you do anything inside your own OS at your own risk and peril ..

    best to just make a disc image ..onto an HD not DVD's ..and then run checksums on the image ..

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