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Windows 7: Image Restore vs System Retore

17 Mar 2014   #1
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 
Image Restore vs System Retore

If I made a System Restore Point and then made a Macrium Image and restored both at different times, would they make the PC identical or would there be a difference?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Mar 2014   #2
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

They are not the same.

Macrium and similar will use vss or their own snap driver to create a snapshot, then create a complete image of that snapshot. Restoring the image returns everything to the point of that snapshot.

System restore restores some windows system files, and deletes files not present at the time the restore point was made.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...=vs.85%29.aspx

edit clarified
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2014   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Also, I've found imaging with Macrium Reflect to be much, much more reliable than System Restore, enough so, I have system Restore turned off.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Mar 2014   #4
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

A system image contains and therefore restores absolutely everything on selected partitions and drives. If you have created a system image including your C: drive where Windows is installed and you have the main profile folder Users located on C:, all user files in individual user profiles are also included in image and backed up / restored. This includes for instance all temp files, your docs, pics and media, everything. Notice that also the system reserved partition will by default be included in system image.

When you enable system restore for a partition or drive, it monitors changes only in programs (.exe and .com files), dynamic link libraries (.dll files) and other essential system files. It does not monitor changes in any personal files, which will not be included in restore points and will not be affected in any way when restoring; your emails, docs, all your stuff you have stored at the moment you'll initiate the system restore will be there also after the restore point has been applied.

Short: restoring from a system image returns your system to the exact state it was when image was created, including personal files of all users present at that time. Restoring from a restore point only returns installed programs and OS system files, a program installed after the creation of restore point will be removed, a program uninstalled after the creation of the restore point will be restored.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2014   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
A system image contains and therefore restores absolutely everything on selected partitions and drives. If you have created a system image including your C: drive where Windows is installed and you have the main profile folder Users located on C:, all user files in individual user profiles are also included in image and backed up / restored. This includes for instance all temp files, your docs, pics and media, everything. Notice that also the system reserved partition will by default be included in system image.

When you enable system restore for a partition or drive, it monitors changes only in programs (.exe and .com files), dynamic link libraries (.dll files) and other essential system files. It does not monitor changes in any personal files, which will not be included in restore points and will not be affected in any way when restoring; your emails, docs, all your stuff you have stored at the moment you'll initiate the system restore will be there also after the restore point has been applied.

Short: restoring from a system image returns your system to the exact state it was when image was created, including personal files of all users present at that time. Restoring from a restore point only returns installed programs and OS system files, a program installed after the creation of restore point will be removed, a program uninstalled after the creation of the restore point will be restored.

Kari
True all that, which is one reason I have my data folders relocated from my C:\ drive (the main one being I don't have room for them on my SSD). I also use FreeFileSync to automagically backup my Favorites to my E:\ drive so I don't lose any of them. I don't have much in AppData that I couldn't replace manually so I haven't bothered to have it backed up other than my "Post It" notes (the program does its own backups) and my calendar program (I have to manually back it up, which I do only when I add or change an entry).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2014   #6
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Maybe I didn't ask right. If I restored an image that was only my C: OS, my Docs are on D:, would the System Restore be the same thing as the image of C:? I just happened to think about this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2014   #7
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

No.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2014   #8
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
No.
Thanks,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Image Restore vs System Retore




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