pros and cons of disabling or not disabling system restore

Posted on 2005-03-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I know people who keep their system restore on all the time and others that have it disabled all the time.
what does it actually do and what are the pros and cons of keeping it on or off?
Question by:nickg5
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

gecko_au2003 earned 600 total points
ID: 13462797
It keeps track of what has been installed or modified and updates everytime there is a request made to the operating system to udpate it ie when you go to the system restore control control part which is located generally at -->  start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools --> System Restore and then make a restore point, if you noticed with windows media player 9 and some other applications it always trys to make a restore point if system restore is enabled, if not it gives you a warning message regarding it not being enabled and not being able to go back to the old version of windows media player that you had installed by doing a roll back.

I generally get rid of it because system restore tends to be a great place for viruses and trojans to hide and when you think or fixing something, you could really be installing something you dont want.

Tutorial on how to use it :



Time consuming, you have to reload again your programs, and back up your data as well as re loading your back up data. As well as sometimes, not always there will be viruses or trojans that infect the system restore points and there has been known occasions of the system restore points becoming corrupt.

The other thing is system restore takes up quite a bit of space on the hard drive for each time that you make a restore point as far as I am aware.

For me personally I disable it, use disk cleanup to delete any of the system restore files, and my hard drive is already partitioned in to two partitions C and D.

C for Operating System and programs and D for all my data like music, work documents, etc.

After I do the disk clean up I run a defrag.

I hope this helps you out somewhat, maybe other experts can point out some other things or correct me If I am wrong with anything lol.

LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 13462834
how do you do a disc cleanup?
what do you mean when you say programs have to be re-installed? which ones? the ones on my system and every time I use one, I would need to open the file, and do the setup, run, install procedure every time?
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 13462910
1. Disk Clean up :

Open up "My Computer"--> Right Click on the C Drive which is the Drive with your operating system on it , generally speaking, unless you changed that:) then go down to properties and that will open a dialog box. There is a button near the bottom underneath the graphical representation of how your disk properties, in terms of free space, used space and total space. It says Disk clean up. Click it and another dialog box ( window ) or whatever you want to call it will open. This time it will have checkboxes, select the checkboxes that you want to delete things from, all of these things are temp files, such as "Temporary Internet Files". I generally delete items out of there, but some people dont because they like to keep a history for what ever reason, whether it be because they want to know what there kids have been on or just because they have a slow connection and dont want to re download items again.

2. Sometimes when you do a system restore, from what I have noticed some of the programs that I had recently installed or installed in general had just disappeared like they were not installed in the first place.

3. Depends on if you have the installation cd for the applications you are refering to or not, if not then yes you would need the setup files / exe's or how ever you installed them in the first place.
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LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 13463033
reply to your #3.......so the program is still on my computer or does disabling the system restore remove them?

Assisted Solution

C0d3dM1nd earned 400 total points
ID: 13463077
Hi nickg5,
I readed the previous comments, I just want to specify something

for example if you got a virus, or you have a problem with your computer but yesterday everything was fine...then you can restore your system and don't waste your time.
Depending on the disk space you asked for the system restore, sometimes you cannot restore your system to "yesterday"; because there's no space to save all your datas day after day.
But you can make your own "restauration point".

******If you installed an update for a program and it slow down your system...you can waste your time downloading the program again or you just restore your system to a previous date.

if you choose to disable the system restore, then you can save some disk space but if you have a virus or any problem with your computer you cannot restore...like gecko_au2003 said, you need a backup

************I forgot to tell you, when you restore your system you dont lose your current informations
but you lose the programs installed during this day, and the regedit is reset...*****************

you should take a look on the link given by  gecko_au2003 for more informations

***about  the disc cleanup: start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> System Tools --> disk cleanup

personnally, I've it enabled, I've enough disk space and I hate loosing my time debugging a system when I can restore it.

C0d3d M1nd
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 13463160
debugging what, when you re format and install, you re install the operating system, the drivers and then the applications you want back on it. When you say debug, I tend to think of thats what you do when you have errors in programming code and you go through it step by step to try and see whats going wrong.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 13463165
Thanks for the points btw. :)

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