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Thank God for System Restore!

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  #1  
Old 11-08-2006, 12:43 PM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Thank God for System Restore!

well, i booted up windows this morning and found i'd lost some parts of windows. the boot message said i'd lost a 'profile'. not having any idea what profile i'd lost, i rebooted and it came up the same way. half or more of my desktop icons were missing, i was back in the windows xp default desktop mode (i normally use classic mode) and internet explorer was missing ALL my favorites i'd imported.

at first i thought i had a virus or something, but that would have been a strange virus. but when i began to review what i'd been doing yesterday, everything was fine, seemingly, when i shut the computer off last night. but, i did recall that filter forge had crashed on me. but it crashed in an odd way, leaving filter forge still running...seemingly. when i tried to do anything in it, it crashed immediately again. i did this again and it crashed again. now, i shld have known better than to have done this. i messed up my registry once before trying to keep going with an app after it's reported a crash. i shld have just killed filter forge right off and restarted it. but i didnt. but nothing seemed wrong. windows was still working and everything looked ok.

so today, the crash effect showed up. apparently something got corrupted in the registry and registry changes dont show up till you reboot. so, that pretty much had to be it.

the next question is what to do about it. well, i had to go to work, so i had a bit of time to think about it. when i got home, i simply went to system restore, picked a time shortly before the crashes and let it do its thing. everything came back up just fine! so, kudos to microsoft for that one! system restore is one of the best things they ever did for windows... period!

so, here's two tips for you. when an application crashes, clear the application completely. dont try to save it or keep using it even if it 'seems' ok. kill the thing and start again!

and the second tip is, system restore is actually fairly smart. it also has 3 types of restore points, the ones you manually set, 'system' restores, which windows sets periodically (not sure how often, but i had about 6 set so far this month), and a full, back to install specs restore. i hadnt manually set a restore point for weeks, but like i said, i had several system restore points this month. i just picked the most recent, yesterday, and let that one run. i couldnt recall exactly when i had crashed the machine, but i figured if the restore point from yesterday didnt work, i could use the one from two or three days ago. apparently, the one from yesterday is fine! so, amen to that!

so, if anyone ever tells you to turn off system restore, 'you dont need it', 'it's just a hog that no one ever uses', 'it takes up too much system memory and disk space', just smile knowingly and leave it running! it's one of the best things microsoft ever did for windows!
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2006, 02:33 PM
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patriciakay patriciakay is offline
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Re: Thank God for System Restore!

Totally agree with you Craig...System Restore is wonderful...I have used it on a couple of occasions...wouldnt be without it!!!

Patricia....
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Old 11-08-2006, 07:53 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: Thank God for System Restore!

Craig, you got lucky this time - it doesn't always work or fully restore. If you want to be 100% safe, image your drive or partitions with something like Symantecs Ghost 10 (formerly PowerQuest Drive Image).
Regards, Murray
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Old 11-09-2006, 06:42 AM
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raniday raniday is offline
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Re: Thank God for System Restore!

My experience with System Restore is that it only works when it's not vital. I still go to it occasionally, but there's like a 50-50 chance that it will go through the whole process of "restoring", reboot, and then tell me it couldn't make any changes. Glad it worked this time for you, Craig.
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:49 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: Thank God for System Restore!

Hi Cat,

The reason System Restore didn't work for you on those occasions could be that you were running from a non administrator account. System Restore can only be run from an administrator account.

For more info on using System Restore, read http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...w_03may19.mspx

Click on the links at the top RHS for further info.
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Old 11-09-2006, 01:08 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Thank God for System Restore!

i do recall system restore not working once or twice. this was usually when windows was very badly corrupted or when a piece of hardware was going bad, and that's not the fault of system restore.

yes, i do agree that something like Ghost is the best way to be safe. i just havent put it back on my system yet since my computer replacement. it's always one of those things that i know i shld do, but always put off, often till it's too late.

but i will stick by my original statement; system restore is one of the best utilities microsoft ever put on windows.
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Old 11-11-2006, 11:52 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Thank God for System Restore!

lol, i take it all back. i shld have remembered my motto, 'i hate windows'. to keep this shorter than the actual events, i've lost my c: drive. now, if you followed my earlier threads about losing my old computer and buying a new one, you know that it got set up with the system drive as K:, not C: (yeah, weird, i know and it wasnt me that set that up). so, losing c: now isnt as bad as it might first sound.

basically, another crash caused a blue screen of death and when it rebooted, windows decided that it needed to run CHKDSK to make sure the system was ok. except, it ran it on c:, thinking it was the system drive? i dont know. but it ran it on c:. and, apparently, still thinking it was the system drive, it decided that just about everything on c: was bad... again, i dont really know, but when it was done it returned an error message saying there was enough disk space to copy the files to, so it deleted them all...or, it simply left them open or something. again, i'm not sure. but it went ahead and loaded the rest of windows and c: was not only empty but it told me it needed to be re-formatted and couldnt access it any further. cute.

so, i've spent the day looking for a file recovery program. i tried a couple of demos and the files are there and can be recovered, but being demo versions they wouldnt copy the files back to another drive.

so, yes, i shld have installed ghost and done a backup. see, i told you i get caught on this. lol.

after looking at various log files apparently this problem goes back to before the filter forge crash. there was a bad sector/block on one of the drives... i think the old c: drive. also, part of the problem with CHKDSK may have been caused by the old version of windows still residing on the c: drive and CHKDSK may have seen that and assumed that was the system drive, though if it did, that's pretty bad programming, since none of that was in the registry any more.

at any rate, i've now got two problems; i still need to recover the files on the c: drive and i've got a persistent heavy cpu usage thing going on that is causing a stuttering with anything i do on this computer. it runs ok for a few seconds and then pauses for a second or two and then continues again ok. a couple of processes (not services) are running heavy cpu usage, system idle process is running about 90 to 99% and SYSTEM was running fairly heavy for a while also, though that one seems to have slowed a bit.

i've actually got the c: drive backed up with ghost, but it's from the old system and ghost isnt currently installed. i dont know if installing ghost on this new system will retrieve those backups that come from a different registry and, i dont know if i can access individual files from those backups or if i have to recover the whole thing, which then might try to restore the old registry and that would be nothing but confusion on confusion. so, i'm a bit lost on that. i've actually never had to retrieve any ghost backups before, so i have no idea how smart it is.

so, you may all now laugh, or sneer if that's your preference, and tell me, i told you so
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:23 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Thank God for System Restore!

at this point, about all i can do is laugh. i started up my machine again this morning and decided that i'd just let windows do its thing again. so, it wanted to run CHKDSK again. apparently it was still not happy with my system. i had debated whether or not i'd let this do this or not. i suspected before i turned the machine on that it might want to do this. i let it do it. it took a while but when it was finished, windows booted up normally and my c: drive was back. i'm afraid i will never understand windows. i havent fully checked everything and i think i lost some files but it seems at this point to be minor, whatever it was.

the last time i had this much trouble with a drive and a boot-up sequence, the drive itself was going bad. that may be what's going on here too. this may be the early stages of the drive dying. so, i'll be backing things up from that drive that i want to save... just in case.

for now, everything seems ok. the stuttering is gone. the cpu cycles are back to normal and the files seem to be mostly ok. quite odd. i can only wonder what other surprises might be in store from this whole cycle of events. i'm begining to get a bit paranoid with windows and it blowing up somehow when i most need it. it would be nice to be able to trust one's operating system to operate.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:57 AM
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chrishoggy chrishoggy is offline
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Re: Thank God for System Restore!

Like I've said before, get yourself a copy of knoppix live CD or DVD. Bang it in your CD ROM and boot up. Presto, you have full access to all your files on C: and can copy them to a backup HDD No worrying about what may happen to files if you try to recover windows, or if windows starts playing up .
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:58 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: Thank God for System Restore!

Too much going on here to make even a guess at the reason, so I won't try.

But I can give you one bit of info.

Quote:
system idle process is running about 90 to 99%
This is normal. Your processor operates a whole lot faster than anything else on your computer, so most of the time it sits idle. There are very few processes that will stress your processor in any way.

System Idle is not a process as such in as much as it does not have an executable program associated with it, it is just an indication of how much the processor is not doing. The higher the percentage the less stressed your processor is.
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