Will I still be able to restore the registry?


C

casey.o

I just figured out how to remove those damn folders that keep appearing
on all my partitions, called "System Volume Information". These files
kept increasing in size adn would not let me delete them. So, everytime
I loaded Linux, I deleted them, and as soon as I started XP, they came
back. I discovered that they contain everything I delete. *(Talk about
tracking a user)*. When I delete something, I want it gone. For
example, I downloaded one of those "downloaders". I thought I was
getting a program for modem setups, and found it was called a
"downloader". Those things are dangerous, often contain malware and
toolbars. I immediately deleted it, only to discover it went into this
"System Volume Information" folder.

Anyhow, I found out that if I Turn Off "System Restore" from Control
Panel, these folders will not be created. This is just what I wanted to
do, except for one thing. What hapopens if I want to restore the
registry due to corruption?

In other words, I may want to restore the registry at some point in
time, but I DO NOT want to restore all these deleted files and other
garbage.

If I can still restore the registry, with this shut off, then I'll just
leave it as it is. But if not, is there any way to change it so it ONLY
saves the registry, and nothing more? I dont see anything like this in
the settings. I guess my only other option would be to only enable
"System Restore" on Drive C: (I know I can select the drives). The
registry is only on C: anyhow, and I suppose I'll then have to clean out
the other trash from Linux every so often. (I did find I can manually
remove selected files.).

I just discovered what was going on with these folders, when I copied
one gig of files to the new HDD, just to bne sure the drive was working,
then I deleted them. That left me 1 gig of usage on a drive that was
supposed to be empty. I went to linux, and peered inside adn discovered
all those deleted files were in there.
 
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P

Paul

I just figured out how to remove those damn folders that keep appearing
on all my partitions, called "System Volume Information". These files
kept increasing in size adn would not let me delete them. So, everytime
I loaded Linux, I deleted them, and as soon as I started XP, they came
back. I discovered that they contain everything I delete. *(Talk about
tracking a user)*. When I delete something, I want it gone. For
example, I downloaded one of those "downloaders". I thought I was
getting a program for modem setups, and found it was called a
"downloader". Those things are dangerous, often contain malware and
toolbars. I immediately deleted it, only to discover it went into this
"System Volume Information" folder.

Anyhow, I found out that if I Turn Off "System Restore" from Control
Panel, these folders will not be created. This is just what I wanted to
do, except for one thing. What hapopens if I want to restore the
registry due to corruption?

In other words, I may want to restore the registry at some point in
time, but I DO NOT want to restore all these deleted files and other
garbage.

If I can still restore the registry, with this shut off, then I'll just
leave it as it is. But if not, is there any way to change it so it ONLY
saves the registry, and nothing more? I dont see anything like this in
the settings. I guess my only other option would be to only enable
"System Restore" on Drive C: (I know I can select the drives). The
registry is only on C: anyhow, and I suppose I'll then have to clean out
the other trash from Linux every so often. (I did find I can manually
remove selected files.).

I just discovered what was going on with these folders, when I copied
one gig of files to the new HDD, just to bne sure the drive was working,
then I deleted them. That left me 1 gig of usage on a drive that was
supposed to be empty. I went to linux, and peered inside adn discovered
all those deleted files were in there.

System Volume Information contains System Restore points.

And System Restore, not only does it monitor system files,
it also monitors places outside your home directory.

You have to be careful where you store downloaded things.
(I learned this the hard way, and that's when I started
asking questions about how it works and what it tracks.)

I'd hoped to find the info I needed here, but I'm having
trouble confirming one thing.

http://bertk.mvps.org/html/description.html

http://bertk.mvps.org/html/filesfolders.html

I thought the idea was, things in "My Documents" are not tracked.
So if you had a download folder in My Documents, then as files
are added or removed, System Restore should make no response.
If means, if you use a week old restore point, it makes no
changes to the My Documents folder.

If, on the other hand, you make a C:\Downloads for yourself,
that is outside My Documents and gets tracked. If you download
a file in there, then use System Restore to go back a week,
the file you just downloaded is erased. (Because, state-wise,
it wasn't there last week, so it gets removed.)

*******

If you expect to actually use System Restore, I recommend turning
off tracking on all partitions except C:. Set the amount of space
on C: to a reasonable value. About 3GB is probably enough for
a set of restore points. Generally, really ancient restore points
(3 months ago), there is too much risk with going back that
far, and you should really be looking at a backup/restore
strategy instead. For example, when I needed to get rid of
an obnoxious Acronis driver (at the time, could not be removed),
I used a two year old backup. System Restore, there's no way to predict
what collateral damage I might do, if the restore point used is too old.

Say I set a restore point, update a driver, and am unhappy with the
result. For a single level of driver change, I can "roll back" a
driver one level. So strictly speaking, using SR in that case is
unnecessary. But, for the purposes of an example, I could use SR to
take me back to the state I was in ten minutes ago. All by setting
a restore point. Some pieces of software, will set a restore point
for you. The advantage of setting your own, is you can add a
comment as to what it is for.

System Restore also doesn't track all file types. Which in the
case of some things installer related, SR may be a poor tool
for "removing" the actions of the installer. It isn't a "blanket
time machine", and is much more selective and quirky. You might
use the program or driver uninstaller first (remove goofy untracked
files), then use SR to go back ten minutes or a week.

The first time you use a Restore Point, and notice a personal file
go missing, is when you start taking the filelist.xml more
seriously. My only problem with it right now, is I was hoping
to find "My Documents" explicitly spelled out in there. And
all I can find is %personaldocuments% , and the system
doesn't seem to recognize that. If I use "set" in a command prompt
window, that variable is not listed. I don't know if that
one is intended to be equivalent to "My Documents" or not.

Once you start storing your downloads in "My Documents", it's
possible you'll see fewer surprising things.

Currently my SR is turned off entirely, and this is because
of my superstitious nature with respect to my triple boot
and the present of a Win8 C: on the machine as well. I just
turned it off, as it's too complicated to figure out what
will happen to Win8 with it turned on. My system runs
pretty well now - the one remaining problem, is Win8.1 U1
and WinXP Pro SP3 can't seem to agree on the "date". I'm
used to Linux and Windows endlessly screwing with the date
(different standards for what to put in BIOS time).
but don't usually find modern Windows OSes disagreeing
on date. Between Win2K and WinXP, I used to see
some things that could be fixed with TZEDIT, but I
don't know what the latest problem is with Win8.1. I don't
think I had a date problem when I was at Win8.0.

Paul
 
C

casey.o

System Volume Information contains System Restore points.

And System Restore, not only does it monitor system files,
it also monitors places outside your home directory.

You have to be careful where you store downloaded things.
(I learned this the hard way, and that's when I started
asking questions about how it works and what it tracks.)

I'd hoped to find the info I needed here, but I'm having
trouble confirming one thing.

http://bertk.mvps.org/html/description.html

http://bertk.mvps.org/html/filesfolders.html

I thought the idea was, things in "My Documents" are not tracked.
So if you had a download folder in My Documents, then as files
are added or removed, System Restore should make no response.
If means, if you use a week old restore point, it makes no
changes to the My Documents folder.

If, on the other hand, you make a C:\Downloads for yourself,
that is outside My Documents and gets tracked. If you download
a file in there, then use System Restore to go back a week,
the file you just downloaded is erased. (Because, state-wise,
it wasn't there last week, so it gets removed.)

*******

If you expect to actually use System Restore, I recommend turning
off tracking on all partitions except C:. Set the amount of space
on C: to a reasonable value. About 3GB is probably enough for
a set of restore points. Generally, really ancient restore points
(3 months ago), there is too much risk with going back that
far, and you should really be looking at a backup/restore
strategy instead. For example, when I needed to get rid of
an obnoxious Acronis driver (at the time, could not be removed),
I used a two year old backup. System Restore, there's no way to predict
what collateral damage I might do, if the restore point used is too old.

Say I set a restore point, update a driver, and am unhappy with the
result. For a single level of driver change, I can "roll back" a
driver one level. So strictly speaking, using SR in that case is
unnecessary. But, for the purposes of an example, I could use SR to
take me back to the state I was in ten minutes ago. All by setting
a restore point. Some pieces of software, will set a restore point
for you. The advantage of setting your own, is you can add a
comment as to what it is for.

System Restore also doesn't track all file types. Which in the
case of some things installer related, SR may be a poor tool
for "removing" the actions of the installer. It isn't a "blanket
time machine", and is much more selective and quirky. You might
use the program or driver uninstaller first (remove goofy untracked
files), then use SR to go back ten minutes or a week.

The first time you use a Restore Point, and notice a personal file
go missing, is when you start taking the filelist.xml more
seriously. My only problem with it right now, is I was hoping
to find "My Documents" explicitly spelled out in there. And
all I can find is %personaldocuments% , and the system
doesn't seem to recognize that. If I use "set" in a command prompt
window, that variable is not listed. I don't know if that
one is intended to be equivalent to "My Documents" or not.

Once you start storing your downloads in "My Documents", it's
possible you'll see fewer surprising things.

Currently my SR is turned off entirely, and this is because
of my superstitious nature with respect to my triple boot
and the present of a Win8 C: on the machine as well. I just
turned it off, as it's too complicated to figure out what
will happen to Win8 with it turned on. My system runs
pretty well now - the one remaining problem, is Win8.1 U1
and WinXP Pro SP3 can't seem to agree on the "date". I'm
used to Linux and Windows endlessly screwing with the date
(different standards for what to put in BIOS time).
but don't usually find modern Windows OSes disagreeing
on date. Between Win2K and WinXP, I used to see
some things that could be fixed with TZEDIT, but I
don't know what the latest problem is with Win8.1. I don't
think I had a date problem when I was at Win8.0.

Paul


After reading this, I'm glad I turned it off. If it's going to remove
stuff that I downloaded or created, or whatever, I dont want it. I'm
used to doing most of that stuff manually, such as storing files and
putting them in categories and so on. This is one reason I dont care
for newer versions of Windows, they do things on their own, pop up
annoying messages, and just make life difficult. I started computers
with Dos, and learned how to store files and so on. Win98 is still
pretty sane when it comes to this sort of thing, but XP really used to
annoy me. I've pretty much tamed it down, but it still likes to piss me
off at times. (such as the CD drive renaming issue).

I dont keep ANYTHING in the My Documents folder. In all honesty, that
"Documents and Settings" folder is one huge cluster ****. It's probably
my most disliked thing in NT based windows, starting with Win2000. It
was the ONE THING that completely turned me off to Win2000, and got
worse in XP. I find it completely confusing. For example on my XP
computer right now, I have INSIDE of "Documents and Settings" there is
ADMINISTRATOR, ALL USERS, DEFAULT USER, and one with my NAME.
Then there are 2 more called LOCALSERVICE and NETWORK SERVICE.

Inside of those, all of them contain APPLICATION DATA, COOKIES, LOCAL
SETTINGS and several more. Then a few of them contain OTHER FOLDERS
that dont exist in the others. I've never understood why all the
repeats are needed in all 6 of those folders, and I never know which
ones contain something I misplaced. so I have to click thru probably 50
folders / sub folders /sub-sub folders. To me that folder is just one
huge cluster **** of confusion. That's why I do everything to avoid
putting anything in there.

On my laptop, I have a folder called DOWNLOADS so when I'm at a WIFI
everything is supposed to go there. But every so often I find stuff
going into that "Documents and Settings" cluster, where it gets buried
in all that clutter. I final;ly figured out where the stuff would go
and made shortcuts on the desktop to those folders. As soon as taht
happens, I move all the stuff to my personal DOWNLOADS folder, and try
to fix whatever setting is causing the stuff to go in there.

I just dont understand why all those folders need to be there with
numerous duplicates, when I have the computer setup as only ONE user.
I AM the administrator, and am "my name", and am the default user, and
having a folder called "ALL USERS" is ludicrous for a one user computer.
I can sort of understand this, if there are several users and each has
their own profile, but I set this up for just myself. No passowrds
needed, no second person or profile. Yet, there is no way to avoid
those repeated duplicated folders. If I want to use the word "BLOAT'
regarding to any part of XP, it's this "Documents and Settings" folder.
And if all of this is not aggravating enough, you cant backup that
"Documents and Settings" folder by just copying it fron inside of
windows.

That alone is absolutely poor design. Shouldn't the folder(s) where we
store our personal stuff be the FIRST folders we would want to copy? I
forget which files in there are "system" files, but they stop dead any
copy process.

Yea, I know a workaround for this. In Win2000, I do the copy from
Win98. In XP, I boot to Linux and make the copy, But the average user
wont know that. I suppose some use backup programs that can handle that
folder, but I've had several people tell me they cant copy that folder
to save their personal stuff, and all their personal stuff is in that
cluster.

Anyhow, getting back to the original topic, I guess as long as I have
System Restore turned off, I cant even restore the registry if I need
to. THAT is the ONE AND ONLY thing I want to be able to restore.
I have to ask if there is some software that will safe the registry once
a day or once a week, or whatever. If not, I know I can boot to linux
and copy the registry files to another folder, and if XP gets screwed
up, I can boot to linux and replace an older version. I may not be a
very experienced linux user, but I have learned how to use it to
manipulate stuff that XP dont want me touching, like I was doing to
remove those System Volume Information folders, even though I knew they
would come back (but much smaller). This is pertty much the same thing
I've done with Win98 and Win2000 for years. Use one to manipulate the
other.

If you know of any software that can automatically save a copy of the
registry files, please post it.

Thanks
 
P

Paul

After reading this, I'm glad I turned it off. If it's going to remove
stuff that I downloaded or created, or whatever, I dont want it. I'm
used to doing most of that stuff manually, such as storing files and
putting them in categories and so on. This is one reason I dont care
for newer versions of Windows, they do things on their own, pop up
annoying messages, and just make life difficult. I started computers
with Dos, and learned how to store files and so on. Win98 is still
pretty sane when it comes to this sort of thing, but XP really used to
annoy me. I've pretty much tamed it down, but it still likes to piss me
off at times. (such as the CD drive renaming issue).

I dont keep ANYTHING in the My Documents folder. In all honesty, that
"Documents and Settings" folder is one huge cluster ****. It's probably
my most disliked thing in NT based windows, starting with Win2000. It
was the ONE THING that completely turned me off to Win2000, and got
worse in XP. I find it completely confusing. For example on my XP
computer right now, I have INSIDE of "Documents and Settings" there is
ADMINISTRATOR, ALL USERS, DEFAULT USER, and one with my NAME.
Then there are 2 more called LOCALSERVICE and NETWORK SERVICE.

Inside of those, all of them contain APPLICATION DATA, COOKIES, LOCAL
SETTINGS and several more. Then a few of them contain OTHER FOLDERS
that dont exist in the others. I've never understood why all the
repeats are needed in all 6 of those folders, and I never know which
ones contain something I misplaced. so I have to click thru probably 50
folders / sub folders /sub-sub folders. To me that folder is just one
huge cluster **** of confusion. That's why I do everything to avoid
putting anything in there.

On my laptop, I have a folder called DOWNLOADS so when I'm at a WIFI
everything is supposed to go there. But every so often I find stuff
going into that "Documents and Settings" cluster, where it gets buried
in all that clutter. I final;ly figured out where the stuff would go
and made shortcuts on the desktop to those folders. As soon as taht
happens, I move all the stuff to my personal DOWNLOADS folder, and try
to fix whatever setting is causing the stuff to go in there.

I just dont understand why all those folders need to be there with
numerous duplicates, when I have the computer setup as only ONE user.
I AM the administrator, and am "my name", and am the default user, and
having a folder called "ALL USERS" is ludicrous for a one user computer.
I can sort of understand this, if there are several users and each has
their own profile, but I set this up for just myself. No passowrds
needed, no second person or profile. Yet, there is no way to avoid
those repeated duplicated folders. If I want to use the word "BLOAT'
regarding to any part of XP, it's this "Documents and Settings" folder.
And if all of this is not aggravating enough, you cant backup that
"Documents and Settings" folder by just copying it fron inside of
windows.

That alone is absolutely poor design. Shouldn't the folder(s) where we
store our personal stuff be the FIRST folders we would want to copy? I
forget which files in there are "system" files, but they stop dead any
copy process.

Yea, I know a workaround for this. In Win2000, I do the copy from
Win98. In XP, I boot to Linux and make the copy, But the average user
wont know that. I suppose some use backup programs that can handle that
folder, but I've had several people tell me they cant copy that folder
to save their personal stuff, and all their personal stuff is in that
cluster.

Anyhow, getting back to the original topic, I guess as long as I have
System Restore turned off, I cant even restore the registry if I need
to. THAT is the ONE AND ONLY thing I want to be able to restore.
I have to ask if there is some software that will safe the registry once
a day or once a week, or whatever. If not, I know I can boot to linux
and copy the registry files to another folder, and if XP gets screwed
up, I can boot to linux and replace an older version. I may not be a
very experienced linux user, but I have learned how to use it to
manipulate stuff that XP dont want me touching, like I was doing to
remove those System Volume Information folders, even though I knew they
would come back (but much smaller). This is pertty much the same thing
I've done with Win98 and Win2000 for years. Use one to manipulate the
other.

If you know of any software that can automatically save a copy of the
registry files, please post it.

Thanks

You have the option of editing filelist.xml and putting
another Exclude line in the file. This would be sufficient
to protect me, as I don't regularly add a lot of folders
any place except the download folder.

<REC>%SystemDrive%\Downloads</REC>

It would be a good idea to test it. (I.e. Add a file to C:\Downloads,
do a restore, see if the file disappears or not, as you go backwards
in time five minutes.)

Your Linux idea sounds good. That's probably what
I'd try if wishing to keep just the Registry.

While there is ERUNT, I don't know anything about it.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/erunt/

http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/

You can do Macrium, but Macrium as a backup needs WinXP
minimum as far as I know. The Macrium file is "browse-able"
later - it can be mounted and viewed in File Explorer. You'd
probably want a second machine running WinXP, the .mrimg file,
you could then navigate to where the five Registry files are.

I do not recommend Linux for modifying System Volume Information
on later OSes. I managed to "break" Windows 7 by innocently playing
with files in SVI from Linux (all I did was read some magic
files full of zeros). If I understood what I did that it
didn't like, I'd tell you. It's a good thing I had a
backup that was only about two hours old, to restore from.
I tried three passes of the repair procedure in Windows 7,
and it couldn't fix it, whatever the problem was. Dead in
the water.

Paul
 
B

Bob F

Anyhow, getting back to the original topic, I guess as long as I have
System Restore turned off, I cant even restore the registry if I need
to. THAT is the ONE AND ONLY thing I want to be able to restore.


If you start REGEDIT, there are options under the "file" tab to export and
import the registry.
 
B

Bob F

Paul said:
I thought the idea was, things in "My Documents" are not tracked.
So if you had a download folder in My Documents, then as files
are added or removed, System Restore should make no response.
If means, if you use a week old restore point, it makes no
changes to the My Documents folder.

If, on the other hand, you make a C:\Downloads for yourself,
that is outside My Documents and gets tracked. If you download
a file in there, then use System Restore to go back a week,
the file you just downloaded is erased. (Because, state-wise,
it wasn't there last week, so it gets removed.)

Now that's interesting info. It might explain why my C: drive is getting so
huge.

I need to research how to remove restore points I guess.

I've probably only used restore points a few times, partially because I do not
fully understand what it restores. Much silpler to use my frequent backup
images. I amost always make a new image before doing anything risky to my PC.
 
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B

BillW50

I dont keep ANYTHING in the My Documents folder. In all honesty, that
"Documents and Settings" folder is one huge cluster...

Yeah well... it is a band aid approach for an OS that is designed as a
multiple user OS. Yeah I didn't like it at first either. And I still
don't, but I understand why it is one sloppy mess. What I do is to add
the following folders on my drive C.

My Documents
My Downloads
My Music
My Pictures
Temp

With TweakUI, you can change the default locations to these new folders
and they will stay out of "Documents and Settings". But later I
discovered that it is best to not tell Windows you are using these
locations. As some programs, games, etc. will save junk in what Windows
thinks is My Documents, etc. So I let Windows, applications, games, etc.
have the "Documents and Setting" one while I use my own.

Btw, 2000/XP mess is very tame compared to Vista/7/8. Here it gets far
worse. Yes they still have the "Documents and Settings" folder, but it
is filled with fake folders. Why? Because Microsoft sort of abandoned
the "Documents and Settings" folder and created another mess called the
"User" folder. And if you think the "Documents and Settings" folder is a
huge mess, the "User" folder is even worse. And Microsoft kept the
"Documents and Settings" folder for older installations that wants to
store things there.
... Anyhow, getting back to the original topic, I guess as long as I
have System Restore turned off, I cant even restore the registry if I
need to. THAT is the ONE AND ONLY thing I want to be able to
restore. I have to ask if there is some software that will safe the
registry once a day or once a week, or whatever. If not, I know I
can boot to linux and copy the registry files to another folder, and
if XP gets screwed up, I can boot to linux and replace an older
version. I may not be a very experienced linux user, but I have
learned how to use it to manipulate stuff that XP dont want me
touching, like I was doing to remove those System Volume Information
folders, even though I knew they would come back (but much smaller).
This is pertty much the same thing I've done with Win98 and Win2000
for years. Use one to manipulate the other.

If you know of any software that can automatically save a copy of the
registry files, please post it.

I usually clone my drive and use the clone and save my old drive as a
backup. Of course, 3 or more backup drives should be safe enough and
then you can start to rotate them. Most people use backup/restore
software and save to a large drive. This cuts costs down a bit, but is
more risky. Although if you do neither, Erunt is the way to go to backup
your registry. Best of all, say your registry got so messed up that it
even fails to boot. You can still restore the registry with BartPE or WinPE.

http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/
 
C

casey.o

Now that's interesting info. It might explain why my C: drive is getting so
huge.
Thats another thing about XP, it collects junk. Besides all those
remnants of deleted files, there was a folder in the documents and
settings (sub folder called local (soemthing) that had at least 50
shortcuts for programs I opened ever since I installed XP on this
machinme a couple months ago, adn yet another folder full of junk
somewhere else, but I cant recall where. I just started to open folders
last night and found all this junk, and deleted it all (after making a
backup of the junk just in case). I rebooted and all was well, so I
deleted the backup on another partition. Win98 never did stufff like
this, and I never saw much of that in Win2000 either. I need to jot
down the location of all that junk next time, adn maybe make a batch
file to clean it all at once.

This also explains to me why XP is vunerable to malware. If someone
gets into an XP computer, they can see everything you did recently. Not
to mention that if you have some very secret stuff and delete it, or
want to make sure that porn is gone before the wife comes home, there is
a good chance it NOT gone.

Hearing how Win7 and 8 are much worse with all this stuff, insures I'll
never use them. But I ran Win98 for many years since it died, and it
still works, and I can probably do the same with XP. However, I am more
inclined to start to learn Linux now. If I have to change, it will be
Linux. I was playing with Win8 in the store, and found it absolutely
nauseating. I'd probably buy a Macintosh before I'd even attempt that
OS. But I'm starting to see that Linux is a lot more than it was 10
years ago. In fact thjere is a distro that is supposed to look and work
just like XP, or you cand choose to make it look like Win7 or Win2000,
or just go with the traditional linux look. I'd like to try that one,
but I'll have to buy a DVD. The file is huge to download and I dont
have DVD burning drives, not to mention everytime I burn a CD it goes in
the trash, so I dont want to even attempt a DVD.
 
B

BillW50

If you start REGEDIT, there are options under the "file" tab to export and
import the registry.

True, but that is a bad way to backup the registry and could make a huge
mess.

Note: The "Export registry" function in Regedit is USELESS (!)
for making a complete backup of the registry. Neither does it
export the whole registry (for example, no information from the
"SECURITY" hive is saved), nor can the exported file be used
later to replace the current registry with the old one. Instead,
if you re-import the file, it is merged with the current
registry without deleting anything that has been added since the
export, leaving you with an absolute mess of old and new
entries.

http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/erunt.txt
 
M

Mayayana

| I just dont understand why all those folders need to be there with
| numerous duplicates, when I have the computer setup as only ONE user.
| I AM the administrator, and am "my name", and am the default user, and
| having a folder called "ALL USERS" is ludicrous for a one user computer.

NT is designed for corporate workstation use.
You just have to deal with it. Worse, Microsoft
pushed hard to get all software developers to
put all program files into either your user folder
or the All Users folder. On Vista+ most people
don't have permission for much of anyplace else.
Even the program folder itself is off limits. It's
not too bad if you understand how it works, but
you really need to back up all of those App Data
subfolders in both your personal folder and the
All Users folder. (Both Application Data and
Local Settings\Application Data.) Nearly all config
files, browser bookmarks, etc will be in those
folders. The big problem with that design, besides
being irrelevant on a single-user system, is that
most people don't know how to back up program
files. It's hard enough if they know where the
program folder is, but the App Data folders are
nearly impossible for the average person to discover.

(You also still need to keep track of program folders.
Some software will still store configs there.)

I always disable System Restore. It's really
for people with little knowledge and plenty of disk
space. And in most cases a Registry backup is not
going to do you much good, anyway. Personally
I use disk images to avoid all that mess. But if
you don't use anything like disk image backup you
might want to leave System Restore enabled and
save a restore point once in a while.
 
P

Paul

Bob said:
Now that's interesting info. It might explain why my C: drive is getting so
huge.

I need to research how to remove restore points I guess.

I've probably only used restore points a few times, partially because I do not
fully understand what it restores. Much silpler to use my frequent backup
images. I amost always make a new image before doing anything risky to my PC.

Turn off System Restore. Turn on System Restore. That
should remove most of the restore points and free up space.
Immediately afterwards, you can set a restore point, so you
have a fresh copy of the Registry stored there. Windows will
also make restore points at regular intervals, so you'll
have extra registry copies around. The first thing malware
does, is compromise each restore point, so the contents
aren't really all that trustworthy, in a malware situation.

At the same time you're in the control panel, you can adjust
the storage space allocated on C: for it. My System Restore
is turned off right now, but I think I used to have C: set
to allocate at most 3GB for the purpose. There should be a
slider in the System Restore tab of the System control panel.

My settings choices here are either System Restore completely
off, or System Restore tracking C: with 3GB space max for
restore points. If you create or add new partitions to the
system, with System Restore turned on, it assumes you want
System Restore turned on with those partitions as well.
Which means you may need to visit there on a frequent
basis, to have things the way you intended. I just keep
it off, so WinXP can't upset Win8.1 U1.

Paul
 
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A

Andy

I just figured out how to remove those damn folders that keep appearing

on all my partitions, called "System Volume Information". These files

kept increasing in size adn would not let me delete them. So, everytime

I loaded Linux, I deleted them, and as soon as I started XP, they came

back. I discovered that they contain everything I delete. *(Talk about

tracking a user)*. When I delete something, I want it gone. For

example, I downloaded one of those "downloaders". I thought I was

getting a program for modem setups, and found it was called a

"downloader". Those things are dangerous, often contain malware and

toolbars. I immediately deleted it, only to discover it went into this

"System Volume Information" folder.



Anyhow, I found out that if I Turn Off "System Restore" from Control

Panel, these folders will not be created. This is just what I wanted to

do, except for one thing. What hapopens if I want to restore the

registry due to corruption?

Are you aware of disk imaging programs ?

It makes a complete copy of your hard drive so you can you restore it anytime you want.

Using one eliminates any need for registry backups.

Andy
 
B

Bob F

BillW50 said:
True, but that is a bad way to backup the registry and could make a
huge mess.

Note: The "Export registry" function in Regedit is USELESS (!)
for making a complete backup of the registry. Neither does it
export the whole registry (for example, no information from the
"SECURITY" hive is saved), nor can the exported file be used
later to replace the current registry with the old one. Instead,
if you re-import the file, it is merged with the current
registry without deleting anything that has been added since the
export, leaving you with an absolute mess of old and new
entries.

http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/erunt.txt

Thanks for that info.
 
C

casey.o

Are you aware of disk imaging programs ?

It makes a complete copy of your hard drive so you can you restore it anytime you want.

Using one eliminates any need for registry backups.

Andy

I make backups of the whole computer in case something fails, such as a
HDD. But I dont backup all that often, maybe once a month or so.
However I may save copies of very important files as needed. But I like
to have a registry backup in case I screw something up. When I get into
something like trying to set up a network, I may get stuff so screwed up
that I'm not sure how to get it fixed. Those are the times that a
restore of registry files from yesterday, is the quickest fix.
Restoring it from my backup, which is weeks old, is not desirable, but
restoring it from "yesterday" (nearest time prior to my screwup), is not
a big deal, but can be a life saver. I've dont this many times in
Win98, because I screwed something up, or got some sort of spyware that
after I removed the thing, I find it modified the reg. files.
 
C

casey.o

NT is designed for corporate workstation use.
You just have to deal with it. Worse, Microsoft
pushed hard to get all software developers to
put all program files into either your user folder
or the All Users folder. On Vista+ most people
don't have permission for much of anyplace else.
Even the program folder itself is off limits. It's
not too bad if you understand how it works, but
you really need to back up all of those App Data
subfolders in both your personal folder and the
All Users folder. (Both Application Data and
Local Settings\Application Data.) Nearly all config
files, browser bookmarks, etc will be in those
folders. The big problem with that design, besides
being irrelevant on a single-user system, is that
most people don't know how to back up program
files. It's hard enough if they know where the
program folder is, but the App Data folders are
nearly impossible for the average person to discover.

I'm running the "HOME" version of XP. It makes little sense for MS to
design the Home edition for corporate work stations. But MS never makes
sense in many ways so I cant expect that here.....

I have XP Pro on my laptop. It came with XP Pro. Honestly, I cant see
any difference between XP Home and XP Pro.

Either way, when I can no longer access ALL the files on my own
computer, I wont use that OS. Apparently every OS since XP is like
that. Even XP made it tough to access some stuff, and that began in
Win2000 but very slightly. This is the #1 reason I like Win98 the best.
I can customize it my way.

In all honesty, I think the whole NT based system is a pain to use.
It's too damn complicated, and has too many "holes" where malware can
reside. I still think Win98 was far superior, if only MS had continued
to update it. But my wishes dont mean a damn thing to MS. All I can
say and do, is refuse to use their more recent stuff. And I will be
doing so. I can and will struggle thru XP while removing most of the
annoyances, but I have no desire to touch Vista or above. There are
other choices, such as Linux, ReactOs, and so on.....
 
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P

Paul

If XP upsets Win8.1, just think what Linux will do to Win8.1 :)

Booting Linux could cause the NTFS Journal to be invalidated,
but as long as you stay out of folders like System Volume Information,
chances are things will be fine.

I boot Linux Mint Mate occasionally on this Win2K/WinXP/Win8.1U1 system
and about the worst thing that happens, is the clock is off by some
number of hours (GMT versus UTC or something along those lines).

Paul
 
K

Ken Springer

I just figured out how to remove those damn folders that keep appearing
on all my partitions, called "System Volume Information". These files
kept increasing in size adn would not let me delete them. So, everytime
I loaded Linux, I deleted them, and as soon as I started XP, they came
back. I discovered that they contain everything I delete. *(Talk about
tracking a user)*. When I delete something, I want it gone. For
example, I downloaded one of those "downloaders". I thought I was
getting a program for modem setups, and found it was called a
"downloader". Those things are dangerous, often contain malware and
toolbars. I immediately deleted it, only to discover it went into this
"System Volume Information" folder.

Anyhow, I found out that if I Turn Off "System Restore" from Control
Panel, these folders will not be created. This is just what I wanted to
do, except for one thing. What hapopens if I want to restore the
registry due to corruption?

In other words, I may want to restore the registry at some point in
time, but I DO NOT want to restore all these deleted files and other
garbage.

If I can still restore the registry, with this shut off, then I'll just
leave it as it is. But if not, is there any way to change it so it ONLY
saves the registry, and nothing more? I dont see anything like this in
the settings. I guess my only other option would be to only enable
"System Restore" on Drive C: (I know I can select the drives). The
registry is only on C: anyhow, and I suppose I'll then have to clean out
the other trash from Linux every so often. (I did find I can manually
remove selected files.).

I just discovered what was going on with these folders, when I copied
one gig of files to the new HDD, just to bne sure the drive was working,
then I deleted them. That left me 1 gig of usage on a drive that was
supposed to be empty. I went to linux, and peered inside adn discovered
all those deleted files were in there.

As usual, I look at things a bit differently than most folks here. So
my two cents, which really is worthless. LOL

One thing that irritates me is MS's use of the same term/word for
different processes. System Restore, Backup and Restore, Restoring your
OS, and so on. All I see from this is massive confusion, especially
from those that do not have the requisite knowledge of computers. :-(

IIRC, the My Documents started out as the Briefcase in Win95. I didn't
use it then, never did, and don't use and of it now. But that doesn't
mean I ignore those items either. :) I think this started out as a
way for MS to make a multiuser system somewhat understandable to single
users.

Paul's 2 paragraphs about System Restore in
is correct. By
default, all data that is stored within the My Documents folder
structure is not tracked by SR. Anything outside of that structure is
tracked. Clearly stated in Windows XP Second Edition, page 69.

I believe firmly in the KISS principle, and it always strikes me that
many solutions to a give problem seem to violate the KISS principle,
IMO. And, I believe in the "old ways" of data storage... IOW your data
goes on a different partition/drive.

Many software packages default to a save location somewhere within the
My Documents hierarchy. And that results in C:\ getting larger and
larger and larger and... LOL Some folks create their own folders,
either on C:\ or some other drive. And I've always asked myself "Why do
this? There's a better way, IMO."

XP and subsequent versions of Windows allow you to completely relocate
the My Document folders to another drive/partition. Now, on all of my
Windows computers, I relocate those files. This results in C:\
remaining a much smaller size.

I also have SR turned on in all Windows installations for C:\ drive
only. For all other drives/partitions, it's turned off. Now you
shouldn't screw up that OS that's installed in another drive/partition.
That eliminates the possibility of a recently changed file or
downloaded file on C:\ disappearing when SR is used, as Paul noted.

IIRC correctly, SR's default number of restore points is 20, but it can
be changed, although I've forgotten how.

A plus for relocating the My Documents folder structure is the fact it's
easier and quicker to restore the OS completely, as MS finally admitted
in Windows 7 Inside Out. Windows 7 & 8 users need to pay special
attention to libraries if you use them. You can lose your libraries
when doing this.

System Restore can also be used to (sometimes) recover from a malware
infection, as well as being able to return to an earlier state after
experimenting with new software. Both of these points are noted in
Windows XP Inside Out.

Someone mentioned that all registry entries are not part of a restore
point. True, also listed in Windows XP Inside Out. But Windows XP does
come with a Backup Utility that apparently does a better job of registry
back up. I don't know the details, and it's in the aforementioned book.

You commented you would buy a Mac rather than use Win 7 or 8. Based on
your posts of what you do with Win 98, 2000, and now XP, my gut feeling
is you would hate OS X unless you learned to do that tweaking via the
Terminal (command line interface). Apple just doesn't let you do it via
the GUI, and there are some command line operations you can do in
Windows you can't do in OS X.

--
Ken
Mac OS X 10.8.5
Firefox 25.0
Thunderbird 24.3.0
"My brain is like lightning, a quick flash
and it's gone!"
 
B

BillW50

In Mayayana typed:
I always disable System Restore. It's really
for people with little knowledge and plenty of disk
space. And in most cases a Registry backup is not
going to do you much good, anyway.

I used to too. Although cleaning up clients machines infested with
malware, one thing malware likes to do is to disable System Restore. So
I leave mine on nowadays (even on SSD machines) with the setting to use
the minimum space. Thus I use it as an indicator for something might be
wrong if it isn't functioning.
Personally I use disk images to avoid all that mess. But if you don't
use anything like disk image backup you might want to leave System
Restore enabled and save a restore point once in a while.

I prefer disk cloning myself. Because it is faster than using
backup/restore methods. And then I rotate the clone drives. You are
verifying that the clone works and you know your previous drive was
working fine too. I've been burned too many times using backup/restore
methods. As often backing up works fine, but restoring fails.
 
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K

Ken Springer

I think the number of restore points is determined by how much disk space
you have alloted for it. A rough rule of thumb for me is that each restore
point uses around 100 MB (ballpark value) or so (note: but it really depends
on what's changed since the last restore point). So if you allow 2 GB or
so for System Restore, you're pretty well covered. But as I've said, I
also find ERUNT to be handy (even handier) in most cases.

Oh, yea, if you don't have room for 20 restore points, or whatever the
default is, you're not going to have them. But if you've got a few
spare GB of space, you'll have the default number.

Effing MS!!!! Just did a quick search on this, a webpage at MS was
listed, and the snipped of text clearly says Windows XP. But MS has
redirected you to the Windows 7 page. A$$holes.

Maybe you've got the time to do more searching than I did.
Could you please clarify that? It seems to me that if you use System
Restore or ERUNT, for that matter, you do handle ALL of the registry.

Scan up through the messages in this thread, it's mentioned by someone.
Need to get ready for work, and if you don't find that message, let me
know and I'll transcribe what's in the Windows XP Inside Out book.
As I recall the built in Backup utility only backs up user files, NOT the
registry.

Bet you can find the book online, in a plagarized help file. I found
one of the books there.
That's good to know. Guess I won't be going to Apple, then. (Plus Apple
kinda locks you in with their software store for apps that will run on it,
from what I've heard)

You are not locked in to the App Store. I've got a couple apps
installed here that are not listed there. The one program claims that
Apple will not approve there app since they use "calls" to the system
Apple would like people to not use.

One thing you and others like casey probably won't like is there is no
"Move" command available in the GUI. For sure since 10.5 Leopard, I
don't know about 10.9 Mavericks. Apple removed it for some reason. You
can do it from the terminal.


--
Ken
Mac OS X 10.8.5
Firefox 25.0
Thunderbird 24.3.0
"My brain is like lightning, a quick flash
and it's gone!"
 

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