Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

System Restore is convenient when it works, but it can also be a disaster when it doesn't work. I have another suggestion.

Is there a way to store the original System Restore point so it is permanently accessible?

In this excerpt from Answercast #11, I look at how System Restore points work and look at a much more effective way to manage a computer.

Can you save a System Restore point?

No. I don't know of any way to actually, individually, control system restore points.

In fact, I personally find System Restore fundamentally unreliable. I strongly suggest that people not rely on it for anything important. It falls into the category of convenient when it works but potentially disastrous if you're relying on it to work.

I've simply had too many reports of System Restore not being able to restore when it was necessary; or not being able to create restore points; or restore points that just magically go missing without warning.

Backup instead of restore

I would strongly suggest, instead, that you use a backup program to do exactly what you have just described.

What I would suggest you do is create a system image backup of your entire machine. That then, is the initial image that you might want to call 'your initial restore point.' You could restore to that backup image at any time and know that everything in that image is going to be restored to your machine.

That's not something that you can count on with system restore. Using a backup program in general is my strong, strong recommendation for anybody that's considering relying on System Restore.

Find out more...

You can actually read more on that. I have an article "Why I don't like System Restore." That goes into the problem into a little bit more detail.

Like I said, it's nice; it's convenient... when it works. I've used it myself as a convenient way to backup the registry instead of having to do a full backup, but it is not something that I feel that anyone should feel safe relying on.

Next - Why do I have to keep updating Firefox when I can't see any difference?

Article C5238 - April 23, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
April 27, 2012 1:04 PM

I have never found using System Restore to be helpful in any way.

Once I was surprised when I tried it and it actually seemed to fix a problem I'd been having. But I soon realized that what had fixed the problem was REBOOTING my computer, which was part of the System Restore process!

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