System Restore doesn't work


R

rmo555

System Restore will not restore my HP laptop to ANY point in the past.
I get a message which says it encountered an unspecified error (VISTA).
Also, I tried to access System Restore in safe mode and can't find it.
Can someone tell me what to try? My Device Manager doesn't indicate
any problems. Thanks.
 
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M

Malke

System Restore will not restore my HP laptop to ANY point in the past.
I get a message which says it encountered an unspecified error (VISTA).
Also, I tried to access System Restore in safe mode and can't find it.
Can someone tell me what to try? My Device Manager doesn't indicate
any problems. Thanks.

The First Question Of Troubleshooting: If the problem is new, what changed
between the time things worked and the time they didn't?

The Second Question of Windows Troubleshooting: what is the malware/virus
status of the machine? If you think it is clean, what programs (and
versions) did you use to determine this?

Be sure the computer is clean:
http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Removing_Malware

Problems caused by Symantec - http://bertk.mvps.org/html/symantecdoc1.html

System Restore - Error Messages in Vista -
http://bertk.mvps.org/html/eerrormsgsv.html

Malke
 
M

Mike Hall - MVP

System Restore will not restore my HP laptop to ANY point in the past.
I get a message which says it encountered an unspecified error (VISTA).
Also, I tried to access System Restore in safe mode and can't find it.
Can someone tell me what to try? My Device Manager doesn't indicate
any problems. Thanks.


Malware often affects restore points, so if you have recently picked up
malware and have taken steps to remove it, you may also have to disable
restore points, then re-enable for the function to work again..

If you are trying to use restore points to overcome a malware problem, the
forget it for the reason above.
 
K

Ken Blake, MVP

Malware often affects restore points, so if you have recently picked up
malware and have taken steps to remove it, you may also have to disable
restore points, then re-enable for the function to work again..


Any form of malware--whether spyware, virus, trojan, or anything
else--in a restore point is completely innocuous and can do nothing at
all *unless* you restore from that restore point.

As you say, the only way to remove the malware from the restore
points is to turn off System Restore, then turn it back on, but that
will delete *all* your restore points, not just the infected one(s).
If there are some restore points that have been created since the
malware was gotten rid of, you may want to keep those. So
alternatively you can just wait for the infected point(s) to fall of
the end of the chain--a maximum of 90 days. Note that that alternative
may keep some non-infected restore points, but also requires care and
good record-keeping to make sure you don't accidentally restore from
an infected restore point.

My personal preference is to keep the good restore points and be sure
your record-keeping of which are infected is accurate.

If you are trying to use restore points to overcome a malware problem, the
forget it for the reason above.



I second that motion-- very strongly.
 
M

Mike Hall - MVP

Ken Blake said:
Any form of malware--whether spyware, virus, trojan, or anything
else--in a restore point is completely innocuous and can do nothing at
all *unless* you restore from that restore point.

As you say, the only way to remove the malware from the restore
points is to turn off System Restore, then turn it back on, but that
will delete *all* your restore points, not just the infected one(s).
If there are some restore points that have been created since the
malware was gotten rid of, you may want to keep those. So
alternatively you can just wait for the infected point(s) to fall of
the end of the chain--a maximum of 90 days. Note that that alternative
may keep some non-infected restore points, but also requires care and
good record-keeping to make sure you don't accidentally restore from
an infected restore point.

My personal preference is to keep the good restore points and be sure
your record-keeping of which are infected is accurate.





I second that motion-- very strongly.


Ken

The OP states that NO restore point is working. Malware doesn't always
cobble the restore points themselves. In some cases, it is just the function
that is lost , maybe the command redirected away from the function. Removing
the ability and then re-instating it generally sets everything back to
normal.

In this case, the restore points are probably ok if only the OP could get to
them. Malware which infiltrates restore points themselves will generally
allow access to them in the knowledge that the host machine will be
reinfected if any of them are run..
 
K

Ken Blake, MVP

Ken

The OP states that NO restore point is working.


Sorry, I missed that.

Malware doesn't always
cobble the restore points themselves. In some cases, it is just the function
that is lost , maybe the command redirected away from the function. Removing
the ability and then re-instating it generally sets everything back to
normal.


OK. Thanks for the clarification.
 
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R

rmo555

My first check would be to see whether you have any restore points.
Open Command Prompt as administrator (you find Command Prompt in All
Programs > Accessories). Then type VSSADMIN LIST SHADOWS (shadows are
restore points). That should list the restore points by volume and date.


I found that all my restore points work from Safe Mode. Does that clue
help anyone? They should work from Normal mode. I have no viruses or
malware of any sort. No Device problems either.
 
R

rmo555

If they work in safe mode, there is some process (in normal mode) that
interferes with it. Very hard to tell though which one it is. The usual
suspects are the startup programs which you could stop for a test. But
it could be another process too. Since system restore does not give you
a lot of clues, we are pretty helpless.
For the above reasons I do not rely on the windows restore any more. I
am using Norton Ghost for my system backups. But there are a lot of
other good programs along the same line, especially Acronis. That may be
something you could consider for the future. In this thread I have
summarized the options a little while ago: 'Ghosting approaches -
summary because of popular demand « How-To Geek Forums'
(http://www.howtogeek.com/forum/topi...-summary-because-of-popular-demand?replies=46)

Thank you.
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

System Restore will not restore my HP laptop to ANY point in the past.
I get a message which says it encountered an unspecified error (VISTA).
Also, I tried to access System Restore in safe mode and can't find it.
Can someone tell me what to try? My Device Manager doesn't indicate
any problems. Thanks.

In addition to the other remarks, I know (from symptoms identical to what
you describe) that Norton Internet Security interferes with System Restore.

If applicable to you, try this:
Open Norton & choose Computer Settings, then Miscellaneous Settings.
Then Product Security
Now turn Norton Product Tamper Protection OFF.

Restore the setting later, after a successful System Restore.
 
R

rmo555

In addition to the other remarks, I know (from symptoms identical to what
you describe) that Norton Internet Security interferes with System Restore.

If applicable to you, try this:
Open Norton & choose Computer Settings, then Miscellaneous Settings.
Then Product Security
Now turn Norton Product Tamper Protection OFF.

Restore the setting later, after a successful System Restore.


Thanks - but I don't have Norton on my PC. However, I was thinking of
purchasing Norton Security Suite 2009 - so I will save your posting for
future reference. Is there anything else I should know about Norton?
Thanks........
 
G

Gene E. Bloch

Thanks - but I don't have Norton on my PC. However, I was thinking of
purchasing Norton Security Suite 2009 - so I will save your posting for
future reference. Is there anything else I should know about Norton?
Thanks........

That's been my only problem, and I figured out how to fix it. I'm kidding,
really - I actually learned from the Web how to fix it :)

Lots of people, including me, have had bad experiences with older Norton
security software, and you will see many people in this NG and others who
utterly disagree with me about NIS 2009. However, I don't know whether any
of them have actually *tried* the newer version...
 
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K

Ken Blake, MVP

Lots of people, including me, have had bad experiences with older Norton
security software, and you will see many people in this NG and others who
utterly disagree with me about NIS 2009. However, I don't know whether any
of them have actually *tried* the newer version...


I have also heard relatively good things about the latest version of
Norton Anti-Virus, from people I respect. Nevertheless Norton has a
history for the past several years of being the worst such product on
the market, and even if they have improved, there is no guarantee that
they are anywhere near one of the best.

As far as I'm concerned, Norton's abominable recent record means that
they have the need to provide a lot of proof that the new version is
any good before I would personally use it or recommend it to anyone
else.
 
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G

Gene E. Bloch

I have also heard relatively good things about the latest version of
Norton Anti-Virus, from people I respect. Nevertheless Norton has a
history for the past several years of being the worst such product on
the market, and even if they have improved, there is no guarantee that
they are anywhere near one of the best.

As far as I'm concerned, Norton's abominable recent record means that
they have the need to provide a lot of proof that the new version is
any good before I would personally use it or recommend it to anyone
else.

So rmo555 will have to decide which one of us (as well as the various other
people who disagree with you and the various other people who disagree with
me) to believe, when deciding about buying NIS 2009.

I'll add this: there was a period of a couple of months a year or two ago
when various PC-related magazines reviewed a number of AV or security
programs. Different programs were near the top of one review, near the
bottom of another, and not even reviewed in a third.

I bought a pair of dice :)
 

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