System Restore slow to display available disks & RPs

Posted on 2009-07-06
Last Modified: 2013-11-29
This is about System Restore start-up time on a Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP2 workstation:

Opening System Protection opens a window that shows a list of the most-recent automatic restore point for each available disk. System Restore is set to monitor only the disk partition that has Windows and all installed applications.

Sometimes the list of available disks and most-recent restore points comes up immediately upon opening System Protection. This is good!

Sometimes it take 1.5 to 2 minutes while it "searches" for the drives. This can be a real nuisance if I want to do a manual restore point before making some change in the system.

No new drives are being added to the system. There are two physical drives in the system (no RAID). It is a single-boot Vista system - no other OS installed.

Does anyone know why it takes so long sometimes and whether this can be fixed so that the list of available disks and most-recent restore points always appears immediately?

Question by:Peter Bye
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 24791882
in vista, there are a lot of background activities - probably they are the cause of the delay.
you can try stopping those services; check in task manager

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24794714
Hi nobus,

There certainly are a lot of background processes - far more than in XP.

I've used Tweakhound's recommendations to disable some services that are not needed.

Are you suggesting a permanent disable of some background activities? If so, how do I know which ones are OK to disable? Would I use something like autoruns to do the disabling?
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 24794918
i would google each process, to see what it stands for, and if you can disable it.
here some hints for speeding it up :,1558,2110595,00.asp
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Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24795241
Thanks. I checked the extremetech page. It seems similar to tweakhound and black viper. I've already done general optimization of services, msconfig startups, and eliminating the fancier aspects of the Vista GUI, driver updates.

This question is really focused in on System Restore and how long it takes to "locate" the drives and display the list of drives and latest restore points. Until it does this, I can't set a new manual restore point.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 24795706
it's all i can offer..

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24796849
No worries! Thank you for your suggestions. Hopefully someone else will have further ideas specific to System Restore.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 24801170
you can alsways click "request attention" and ask a mod for attracting more experts !
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

BillDL earned 500 total points
ID: 24829347
Have you tried setting a restore point by running a Visual Basic Script?

(Right-Click link below and "Save TARGET As")

That script by Ramesh Srinivasan prompts you to enter a description, but his page explains how to modify the code so that it either applies the default description or one you set within the code.

His alternative quick *.vbs code is the same as that for Windows XP and can be quickly run with the command:

wscript.exe Drive:\Path_To\scriptname.vbs

set SRP = getobject("winmgmts:\\.\root\default:Systemrestore")
CSRP = SRP.createrestorepoint ("Created a Restore Point now", 0, 100)
If CSRP <> 0 then
    Msgbox "Error " & CSRP & ": Unable to create System Restore point"
End if

You actually only need the first 2 lines.

It's just as easy to View your current restore points without opening System Restore in full GUI:

Option Explicit
Dim fso, b, objWMI, clsPoint, strComputer, shell
Set shell = CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
Set fso = Wscript.CreateObject("Scripting.FilesystemObject")
set b = fso.CreateTextFile("C:\ListSR.txt",true)
b.writeline "List of System Restore points found in this computer" 
b.writeblanklines 1
If Wscript.Arguments.Named.Exists("Computer") Then
End If
Set objWMI = getobject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\default").InstancesOf ("systemrestore")
For Each clsPoint In objWMI
b.writeline "Creation Time= " & clsPoint.creationtime 
b.writeline "Description= " & clsPoint.description
b.writeline "Sequence Number= " & clsPoint.sequencenumber
b.writeblanklines 1
Shell.Run "notepad C:\ListSR.txt", 1,True
Set fso = Nothing
set shell = Nothing

Open in new window

LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 24829365
That last script is one of Ramesh Srinivasan's also.  I just couldn't find the page earlier:

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24835983
Hi BillDL,

Thanks! While the scripts do not explain why the delay occurs or eliminate the delay, the script you mentioned for creating a restore point does work for me and it provides a workaround rather than waiting for System Restore to get ready.

It would be nice to know why the delay occurs and whether it can be eliminated but that is of secondary importance given the createRP script.

I had to do something special to get the ListRP script working. Ramesh Srinivasan's site gave me a clue. After creating the script file, initially it gave the error message shown in the attached JPG file.

I modified the shortcut to:
wscript.exe full_path_to_listRP_Script.vbs

And then set this shortcut to run as administrator. It then works fine, creating the list of restore points in a text file.

LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 24837747
Thank you Pete.
I am glad it has given you a faster way of viewing and creating restore points.  From the wording of your question I got the impression that you were anxious for a fix so you could get on and do things rather than waiting for dialogs to populate, hence the workaround suggestion to get things moving at your end.  As far as the delays are concerned, I would just be guessing as I am unfamiliar with Vista.

Expert Comment

ID: 34444186
This is a fairly old question, but I have run into a similar problem with XP and Windows 7 machines.  I have found that the reason it is taking so long to display the drives, is because there are too many restore points.  A simple disable and re-enable of the restore will clear the restore points and let the protected hard drive display begin to load MUCH faster.

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