Windows System Restore: Will It Delete Skype History Content?

Does anyone know if the Windows System Restore utility deletes files when you perform a restore?  I believe I have seen it do this.  I am especially concerned about my Outlook emails and Skype history files.  I don't want to lose Skype posts or emails acquired after the restore point.

Jerry LAsked:
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PUNKYCommented:
No, it should not delete those files.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
System restore only restores system files.  It does not touch anything in c:\documents and settings folder.
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cpottercpotterCommented:
You should be fine. The following are not restored by System Restore:

 DRM settings  
 Passwords in the SAM hive.  
 WPA settings (Windows authentication information is not restored)  
 Specific directories/files listed in the Monitored File Extensions list in the System Restore section of the Platform SDK e.g. 'My Documents' folder.  
 Any file types not monitored by System Restore like personal data files e.g. .doc, .jpg, .txt etc.  
 Items listed in both Filesnottobackup and KeysnottoRestore (hklm->system->controlset001->control->backuprestore->filesnottobackup and keysnottorestore) in the registry.  
 User-created data stored in the user profile  
 Contents of redirected folders  


You also have the ability to undo a restore just in case. The skype files should be stored in your profile under C:\Documents and Settings\ ComputerUserName\Application Data\Skype.
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JohnnyITCommented:
It won't delete any of your data files.  System restore is made for especially for things like drivers and system files.  You don't have to worry your emails, or any other data being affected.

Here's some more info from Microsoft:

"The file types that System Restore monitors are many but include most of the extensions that you typically see when you install new software (e.g., .cat, .com, .dll, .exe, .inf, .ini, .msi, .ole, .sys). Note that only application installations that use a System Restore restorept.api-compliant installer will trigger the creation of a restore point."

Also from Microsoft:

"What types of files does System Restore change?

System Restore can make changes to Windows system files, registry settings, and programs installed on your computer. It also can make changes to scripts, batch files, and other types of executable files on your computer. Personal files, such as documents, email, photos, and music files, are not changed.

For example, if you download a personal file, such as a photo from a digital camera, on a Friday and then restore your computer to the state it was in two days earlier on Wednesday, the photo will still be on your computer.

However, if you install a photo viewing program on a Friday and then restore your computer to the state it was in two days earlier on Wednesday, System Restore will uninstall the program, and you won't be able to use that program to view photos."

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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all your input.  I especially appreciate the latter two very detailed replies.
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses.  I know I've seen program files disappear that I had downloaded and placed in a personal data folder.  These may have been install files with .exe extension or .zip.  That's why my concern.  I'll have to experiment and see if the "Undo" works properly.
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
Update:  I renamed two folders, on F:\.., with files and subfolders in it, and created copies on another drive, G:\...

I then restored to a restore point from yesterday.

First, I notice the two folders on F: were reverted to the original names.

Then, files were missing in the folders on G:.

That makes no sense at all.  If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to offer, but it seems to contradict your statements that user data files are not affected.

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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
The missing files are of the following (system type) extensions:

*.exe
*.ini
*.dll

But there are a couple of entire folders that were deleted, too.  These had only *.exe files, or shortcuts.

I believe, if I hadn't created the copy, those files would have been deleted from the original path on the F: drive.  That's the behavior I've suspected in the past, but never fully confirmed.
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
Oh, and those files by the way were not installed files.  they were simply downloaded files.  They were not in any system folders or the C:\Program Files\ folder.

They were MY data folders, and should NOT have been touched.
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
Regarding Skype & Firefox:

It looks like those files were NOT affected.  The Skype history of the different skype rooms were not missing any posts, and my Scrapbook plugin for Firefox has the latest captured web pages still in their proper places.
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JohnnyITCommented:
If you had files of the extension type .exe, .ini, and .dll, that you did not want reverted, then you probably should not have done the system restore. As per my post above. Those are the types of files affected by system restore.  But system restore shouldn't delete those files, only revert them back to a previous state.  Maybe there's something else going on...
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
You did say, "It also can make changes to scripts, batch files, and other types of executable files on your computer."

I could understand if those files had been part of an installation.  However, they are simply files that were downloaded.  Sometimes they are part of a ZIP file that has been extracted.  However, there are times when a program is downloaded as a self-extracting zip file in the form of a .exe.  Those are the files that are being deleted.  That is the unexpected behavior I am referring to.  I suppose System Restore really has no way of knowing, except that an actual installation will usually make changes in the Registry.

Nonetheless, now that I know about this behavior, I will take the necessary precautions before doing the restore, such as burning to a CD, flash drive, or other removable medium.

Thanks for your comments.
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Jerry LAuthor Commented:
Microsoft System Restore FAQ:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsxp/bb264753.aspx

List of Files Affected by System Restore:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsxp/bb264753.aspx

It would be nice if there were a log file that shows what files were deleted during the restore operation, and a way to recover any of those files.
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