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Windows 7: System Restore isn't creating (or saving?) restore points properly

31 Jul 2014   #1
BetsyRogers

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (+SP1)
 
 
System Restore isn't creating (or saving?) restore points properly

For some reason my System Restore function isn't automatically creating (or isn't showing) System Restore points as it should be doing for "major" system events (e.g., isn't automatically creating restore points before/after Windows Updates and software/driver updates). I'm not sure if it isn't creating the restore points at all, or if it's just not displaying them as available restore points.

Another piece of the puzzle - I've manually created restore points at various times, and they have initially shown up on the list of available restore points as expected. However, when I looked at the list today, the restore points I created manually have Disappearead! I'm certain that I didn't delete them. I've selected every option I can think of to show me a complete list of available restore points, but no luck getting them to show up on the list. Also, my "Current Usage" is listed as "0 bytes", even though a few restore points are showing on the list. All of this makes me wonder if the system is creating the restore points, but just saving them in a way that makes them "invisible" to the System Restore utility.

Here's what I've done so far:
- Double checked my System Restore/Protection settings, and my system drive (C: ) is definitely set to "ON".
- Checked the System Restore configuration, and it's set to "Restore system settings and previous versions of files"
- Checked the "Disk Space Usage" for storing system restore points. By default it was already set to 1% (~7.5 GB), but just for good measure I increased it to 10% (~75 GB).

I have another laptop, also with Windows 7, and it creates the automatic restore points perfectly, and it shows all the manual restore points I've created. I have both laptops configured with the same restore/protection settings. So I'm at a loss as to what's going on.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I really hope it's just that I've overlooked something simple...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Jul 2014   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

How often do you defrag and what program do you use for defragging?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2014   #3
OvenMaster

Win7 Pro 32bit; Zorin OS 9 Core (in VM)
 
 

This will be interesting to see, as I have the same problem, even without defragging with any program for a full month.
Even with 9.8GB set aside for restore points, I'm lucky to have the two latest ones available, and they're never more than 48 hours old.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Aug 2014   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Some 3rd party defrag programs move things around on the hard drive where Windows can't find the restore points.

Ccleaner will also show you restore points.


System Restore isn't creating (or saving?) restore points properly-ccleaner-restore-points.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2014   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Something else to check so you can see more restore points and use them when selected.

System Restore isn't creating (or saving?) restore points properly-show-restore-points-windows.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2014   #6
BetsyRogers

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (+SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
How often do you defrag and what program do you use for defragging?
Thanks for the response!
I defrag'd my hard drive a couple of months ago. I usually do it a couple of times a year.
I also ran CheckDisk recently because my system was very slow starting and was freezing up occasionally. (CHKDSK; a.k.a the option that's now called "Check for disk errors" in the Windows7 maintenance tools). CheckDisk found & fIxed several files and several Sectors as well. -- I know that's not a good sign and could indicate a failing hard drive, but I'd like to avoid reinstalling Windows and/or replacing my hard drive if at all possible).

I guess should have mentioned that part earlier, about CheckDisk finding/fixing errors in my files and sectors. I'm concerned that this might be related to the problems with the System Restore utility. Ironically (or sadly), if my operating system is having problems, and if one of the problems is the restore utilities, that puts me in a more "dangerous" situation. I've already backed up everything on an external hard drive (system image as well as my individual files separately). I also have a system image from several months ago, and a system recovery disk from the manufacturer.

This might end up being more of a discussion about whether my OS and/or hard drive are failing...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2014   #7
BetsyRogers

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (+SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Something else to check so you can see more restore points and use them when selected.

...(see image above)
Thanks for the suggestion. I should have added that the "show all restore points" checkbox is no longer appearing in the System Restore module (as shown in your image above). I know I've seen that option in the past, but I'm not sure why it's not available now. Do you think this option depends on the admin privileges set for my user profile? (I'm the only user, and for other tasks it still gives me the option to chose whether to run/perform things as an administrator).

The only items currently showing in my list of restore points are the instances where I performed a complete backup (listed as "System Image Restore Point", and the type of event is called "Backup"). In these cases the backups were always to an external hard drive, as a complete system image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2014   #8
BetsyRogers

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (+SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by OvenMaster View Post
This will be interesting to see, as I have the same problem, even without defragging with any program for a full month.
Even with 9.8GB set aside for restore points, I'm lucky to have the two latest ones available, and they're never more than 48 hours old.
@OvenMaster: Well, at least I'm not the only one who's having this problem. So I'm not a complete idiot for not being able to figure it out. Or else we're both complete idiots... in which case welcome to the complete idiot club!

One more thing that might be relevant. I just went into my Task Scheduler, and looked at System Restore (in the Task Scheduler Library). Many of the options are grayed-out so I'm not able to change them. The only "triggers" listed for the system restore task are "Daily" and "At startup", which seems a bit odd. I have the option to add a new trigger, beginning "on an event", and there's a long list of options for what types of events to choose for the trigger. Also, in the "History" tab, it says "(disabled)", and I don't see a way to adjust that setting.

I wonder if the System Restore application is corrupted? And if there's a way to re-install just the System Restore application and see if that helps?

I guess I could also run CheckDisk again, just on the folders w/ the operating system files (if I run it on the entire hard drive it takes quite a while). And perhaps have it only "find" but not "fix" anything?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2014   #9
BetsyRogers

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (+SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Some 3rd party defrag programs move things around on the hard drive where Windows can't find the restore points.

Ccleaner will also show you restore points.
Thanks for the feedback. I don't use any 3rd party defrag programs, just the Windows pre-installed utility. I'm very hesitant to install/run any 3rd party program that does anything with my operating system. Also, I really, really don't want to mess around with my registry, bios, etc... (If it comes to the point where that seems to be the only way to solve the problem, I'd rather just re-install Windows and/or get a new hard drive and re-install, even though it'd be a hella huge pain and time-consuming.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2014   #10
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BetsyRogers View Post
Also, in the "History" tab, it says "(disabled)", and I don't see a way to adjust that setting.
In the Actions on the right side of the Task Scheduler window you should have an Enable All Tasks History option.
Click that and it should turn on History.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 System Restore isn't creating (or saving?) restore points properly




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