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Bercilak

Restore points

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Hi. I'm really new to all this as usually I just drive the computer rather than trying to understand what is going on under the bonnet but CCleaner was recomended as we thought there was a Registry problem with my laptop. So please forgive me if I use some wrong terminology or make other errors.

 

So I've installed CCleaner and first did the Registry fix. All continued to work ok. I also created restore points both before and after intalling CCleaner. I was able to see these all listed in the Tools section.

 

So feeling confident(ish) I moved on to doing a Clean. I left the default boxes ticked and took a deep breath and clicked. All seemed fine. Computer still seems to be working ok. I also got rid of some old programmes that I know I dont use.

 

But then I noticed all my Restore points had gone missing. By adding another and running Clean again I think I have discovered that the Windows Log Files check box in Cleaner includes this information. This doesn't seem right as surely it isn't the intention to be able to remove all restore points so easily by doing a clean.

 

Thanks in advance for any easy to understand help anyone can give.

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AFAIK, Windows Log Files are just text files which contains info about several processes. System Restore Points are much more than text files.

 

CCleaner "cleans" (deletes) those logs when you run it with the Windows Log Files option checked.

 

If your restore points are being deleted, then it's because either:

 

A_ You are using some software (i.e. CCleaner or Windows own Disk Cleanup) to clean them, and in CCleaner's case you have to do it manually (is not "by default").

 

B_ Some other process is deleting those Restore Points without your knowledge (not CCleaner).

 

C_ Windows deletes "old" Restore Points when they take 15% of your HDD volume.

 

D_ Your are using multiple OS in your system.

 

E_ For some reason System Restore could be disabled at all (recheck in Windows if it is "on" or "off").

 

F_ Some other reason that maybe I'm not remembering right now.

 

Moreover, CCleaner's System Restore tool is not so efficient (search the forum and Piriform Docs), and if you have enough free HDD space, it is better to leave Windows to manage Restore Points (when getting to 15%, Windows deletes old Restore Points automatically)

 

I hope this gives you some clues.

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I have rechecked everything and it is definitely the Windows Log Files check box that is causing the restore points to be deleted.

 

Is anyone able to offer further advice? Thank you.

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I have rechecked everything and it is definitely the Windows Log Files check box that is causing the restore points to be deleted.

 

Is anyone able to offer further advice? Thank you.

 

What exactly have you done to reach this conclusion ?

 

You should have a folder C:\System Volume Information\

Its attributes are Hidden and System, so you need to set explorer to show such files before you can see it.

That actually holds all the information relating to Restore Points.

Does that and all its contents disappear ?

If C:\System Volume Information\ is really missing or empty, there was major data loss.

 

Start -> System Restore -> Restore to an Earlier Time

That should give you a calendar - do you get that ?

There should be faint dates when no R.P. was created, and Bold dates with available Restore Points.

Do you have nothing but faint dates ?

 

If you have nothing but faint dates yet there remains data in C:\System Volume Information\,

perhaps Windows has lost the ability to see what is still present.

 

Alan

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What exactly have you done to reach this conclusion ?

 

You should have a folder C:\System Volume Information\

 

If C:\System Volume Information\ is really missing or empty, there was major data loss.

 

Start -> System Restore -> Restore to an Earlier Time

That should give you a calendar - do you get that ?

There should be faint dates when no R.P. was created, and Bold dates with available Restore Points.

Do you have nothing but faint dates ?

I set a single restore point and ran CCleaner again - with The Windows Log Files checked. The restore point was then missing both from CCleaner Tools and from the calendar in System Restore. I set another restore point and then ran CCleaner again but without the Windows Log Files checked. The system restore point was still there. I'm a bit reluctant to try again as I have today installed new anti virus and spyware software so would like to keep the resore points I have set. Incidentally there are several System restore points set since my original post. These are all viewable on the Sytem Resore calendar and from within CCleaner.

 

I have done a search for the System Volume Information folder - and cannot find it. Incidentally I did find it on my other computer in C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\c_

 

Bercilak

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I have done a search for the System Volume Information folder - and cannot find it.

It's a hidden folder in the root directory of hard disks.

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It's a hidden folder in the root directory of hard disks.

 

Sorry as I am obviously not doing something right - How do I find it (easy steps please)?

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Click on ''my computer''

 

Click on C drive.

 

At the top of the page that appears click on tools then folder options.

 

Then click on view.

 

Then put a dot in the place where it says 'show hidden files and folders'

 

Folders which then show up as sort of ghostly are the ones that have been hidden before.

 

Remember to change this option back after doing what you want to do, especially if you have others using the computer

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Do as hazelnut instructed but you will also have to deselect 'Hide protected operating system files' which is 2 rows further down the list of options.

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@Bercilak, I hope this still helps you, or at least this may help other users.

 

In Vista, "System Restore" and "Shadow Copy" are related, and the default is to use up to 15% of the Disk Volume.

 

 

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Even when you allow Windows Explorer to show Hidden Files and System files, you will see that the folder named as "System Volume Information" is empty, no matter how many files are there. Using Windows Explorer, the "System Volume Information" will be shown as empty, always. So this does NOT mean "there *must* be data loss". There are several ways to know how much allocated space this special folder has, but Windows Explorer is not one.

 

 

There are several reasons for Windows to delete previous Restore Points. System Restore is not always active by default, and it depends on several parameters, including total Volume space, free space, if System Restore is active for that specific Volume (search Vista's Help for more info).

 

So, assuming all those conditions are matched, every time you install/uninstall some program, update windows, change drivers, or even defrag the Volume, the space Vista allocates to System Restore and Shadow Copy also changes.

 

Moreover, CCleaner doesn't really clean the corresponding files when you use its System Restore tool. Instead, it deletes the references to those files. This means that it is possible for Windows to think the allocated space for System Restore is almost full (though the user can't really make use of those files since the *references* were deleted). If this is the case, for every simple change you make to the Volume, Vista will delete previous Restore Points, but not immediately. The deletion of previous Restore Points will be executed while creating new ones.

 

So, when you say you installed new AntiVirus and AntiSpyware software, or when you delete System Files (including Logs), Vista tries to make a new Restore Point, and since there may be not enough free allocated space for that purpose, the previous Restore Points are deleted. And even if you don't make any changes of those that trigger a new Restore Point, System Restore may be making a new point if the programmed automatic frequency is reached.

 

Using multiboot systems also deletes all Restore Points. And if the Volume is FAT32, System Restore and Shadow Copy do not apply.

 

Most probably, your issue is related to the max allocated space to Restore Points being reached.

 

 

My suggestion is this:

 

1-Reboot your pc. This will free memory and/or files.

2-Close any non-essential program.

3-Run Windows Vista Disk Cleanup *as administrator*.

4-While in Disk Cleanup, choose to clean "for all users" (as opose to clean only your user profile).

5-Let Disk Cleanup scan whatever it needs to.

6-Select the options you want to clean.

7-Click over the "more options" tab, and select to clean previous Restore Points.

8-Let Windows Vista Disk Cleanup do the job.

9-When all the cleaning is done, wait for the HDD led to (almost) stop blinking, then reboot.

10-Make a new Restore Point.

 

Probably you will see now much more free space in your Volume than before, since Vista deleted files that CCleaner couldn't. There are more advanced procedures, but for now I think it's ok.

 

From now on, I would suggest to use ccleaner to clean temp files or application files, and leave system files alone, including Restore Points and Windows Log Files.

 

I hope this helps.

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I can't search for this at the moment but from memory if any device that is using system restore becomes short of space then sys restore is disabled for all devices. Just another thing to check, because removing Windows Log files with CC does not remove sys restore points. Well, not on my box anyway.

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