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Win 7 Deletes System Restore Points at Reboot

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 47 comments

Users have noticed that Windows 7 will delete system restore points after installing applications/drivers and then rebooting.

Slashdot points the way to an annoying bug in Windows 7 that apparently will delete restore points--without prior warning--when the system reboots. The Slashdot post echos what many consumers are reporting on an answers.microsoft.com forum thread found here. Microsoft has addressed the issue with a manual workaround, however there's no official patch, and many users are reporting that the simply fix doesn't work.

In a nutshell, affected users install an application or driver that (seemingly) requires the need to reboot. During the process, the system hangs at the "Starting Windows" screen, and the hard drive remains active. It's believed at this point that the OS is deleting the current system restore points.

"Unfortunately I only found this out when Windows barfed at a USB dongle and I wanted to restore the system to an earlier state," an anonymous writer states. "This is an extraordinarily bad bug, which I suspect most Windows 7 users won't realize is affecting them until it's too late." Many who are complaining about the system restore bug have discovered the issue on clean re-installs of the OS.

One user claims to have fixed the problem using Vssadmin in the command prompt and changing the allocation size on the target hard drive. Microsoft support takes a longer route using a 2-method process, requiring Win7 users to check for the COM+ Event System and to locate DGIVecp.

If you've recently experienced this problem, head to this forum post for both the user and Microsoft fixes.

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Top Comments
  • 33 Hide
    leo2kp , May 3, 2010 6:46 PM
    I shut off System Restore and just back up regularily for the performance boost ^.^
  • 24 Hide
    Anonymous , May 3, 2010 7:04 PM
    I always turn off the Virus replication system, er... I mean System Restore...
  • 18 Hide
    Nightsilver , May 3, 2010 6:56 PM
    Can't remember the last time I used system restore.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    Parsian , May 3, 2010 6:44 PM
    good to know
  • -3 Hide
    Zinosys , May 3, 2010 6:45 PM
    Huh. This really stinks.

    If it flushed all restore points except for the last one, that would be understandable, but this is silly.

    Meanwhile at Redmond... :\
  • 33 Hide
    leo2kp , May 3, 2010 6:46 PM
    I shut off System Restore and just back up regularily for the performance boost ^.^
  • 18 Hide
    Nightsilver , May 3, 2010 6:56 PM
    Can't remember the last time I used system restore.
  • 24 Hide
    Anonymous , May 3, 2010 7:04 PM
    I always turn off the Virus replication system, er... I mean System Restore...
  • 1 Hide
    nforce4max , May 3, 2010 7:09 PM
    I wish that vista would do this. Every time when I have to clean up restore points I end up freeing 60-100gb!
  • 6 Hide
    hellwig , May 3, 2010 7:12 PM
    Deleting system restore points? I'm willing to bet this is a result of people f-ing with system settings to reduce the space taken up by those restore points in the first place. Didn't Vista, by default, consume massive amounts of diskspace for restores points, and didn't Tom's post an article about working around that and all the other Vista stupidity they fixed in Win 7?

    Not saying this isn't a problem, I'm just hoping its not a generic bug that affects everybody. And yes, I read that it supposedly happens on clean-installs, but I don't trust what anyone says. "Why yes, this is a clean install from the bootstrapped CD I created with a bunch of OS tweaks."
  • -5 Hide
    Platypus , May 3, 2010 7:21 PM
    My problem seems to be with the "Critical Update" being installed at Shut Down, and then when I reboot the computer it freezes after about 60 seconds. I use System Restore to go back to the way things were before the critical update and it fixes the problem, but then it tells me again "OMG You need this critical update!"

    So far the only thing good about Win 7 is during installation you can use RAID drivers from a flash drive. Everything else appears to be aesthetic. It's not worth the price so far.
  • -1 Hide
    agawtrip , May 3, 2010 7:41 PM
    acronis trueimage
  • 4 Hide
    warezme , May 3, 2010 7:41 PM
    I don't use restore points, its just a hiding ground for bugs. I still like using ghost to make backup images.
  • 5 Hide
    Abrahm , May 3, 2010 7:45 PM
    I suppose it's better to delete the System restore points than it is to delete the Systems data eh?
  • 1 Hide
    SchizoFrog , May 3, 2010 7:46 PM
    For years, every time I tried to use a restore point the system would try to go back but would always report a 'Failure to restore to previous settings'. Now I have 3 physical HDD's in use. One for System, one for my files and applications installs, and a final drive for my downloads.
    If my systems gets buggy I just copy my current browser settings along with Outlook and reinstall. OK, it takes 6-8 hours to get it all back and updated but there is something very calming about a clean install.
  • -2 Hide
    kelemvor4 , May 3, 2010 7:47 PM
    This is a bummer. System restore is one of the better windows vista/7 features. This bug is definitely did not affect me when I was on vista; it's a new w7 bug.
  • 2 Hide
    zoemayne , May 3, 2010 7:54 PM
    system restore is kind of useless/pointless because virus is the usual cause of system meltdowns.....
  • 1 Hide
    gogogadgetliver , May 3, 2010 7:59 PM
    system restore is unbelievably useful. Even in a full non-boot situation you can just go to system volume information and grab an intact copy of your registry. I've had it save my butt about half a dozen times since the XP days and never once was the problem virus related.
  • 0 Hide
    igot1forya , May 3, 2010 8:06 PM
    I learned this issue out the other day when I updated my wife's computer... the driver I installed produced a blue screen and then when I attempted to restore all my restore points were gone! :( 
  • 1 Hide
    jerreece , May 3, 2010 8:13 PM
    This is why the C: drive stores Windows 7 and my games, while another hard drive stores family photos, music, and other files I don't want to lose.
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