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What "Exactly" Does Windows 7's System Restore "Restore" And Monitor In Terms Of ALL Windows 7's Components And Features?

Posted on 2011-09-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello. I have a question to ask you.

What "exactly" does my System Restore 'restore' if it can in my Windows 7 system? What "exactly" does System Restore monitor in terms of ALL* Windows 7 components or features (even system directories or system registries) of the operating system?

Please provide a list or better yet an *EXCELLENT* weblink *ALL* conceivable Windows 7 components or features of the operating system that are impacted by System Restore. Also please provide a list or an *EXCELLENT* weblink for *ALL* Windows 7 components or features (even system directories or system registries) of the operating system that are changed or attempted to be changed by System Restore.

Please provide your own detailed facts, suggestions, hints, and tips; and/or the best possible well written, detailed and documented website links.

DO NOT USE LMGTFY.com or similar-like web links in your reply. I consider its use very unprofessional for EE experts. If you do, you will not get acknowledged and receive no credit.

Pease reply.

Thank you
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Question by:RegulaOne
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by:Papertrip
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by:Run5k
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RegulaOne, it's always nice to bump into you!

That link to the Microsoft FAQ pertaining to System Restore is an excellent resource.

Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that while a System Restore procedure will not restore personal data files, the Restore Previous Versions function is dependent upon System Restore points:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Previous-versions-of-files-frequently-asked-questions
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by:RegulaOne
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***ADENDUM TO MY INITIAL QUESTION ABOVE:***

<At this time I am not reviewing any previous comments if posted, only adding to my initial question. This is an afterthought I am adding now by editing with using a word processor program and pasting this as a comment to this question/thread that I have not checked yet . I am just concerned that an expert comment may be too generalized.>

Regardless if you have replied to this question/thread already or not -- if you provide me web links, please provide me web links that *SPECIFICALLY SPECIFIES AND NAMES* THE "EXACT" Windows 7 COMPONENTS & FEATURES THAT ARE INVOLVED, IMPACTED, FIXED, or ATTEMPTED TO BE FIXED  by System Restore.

Please reply or comment again if you have already commented and your provided links are not specifically specify and names the exact components and features that are involved and impacted, fixed, or attempted to be fixed by system restore.

Thank you!  
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by:Papertrip
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Well, the "EXACT" components involved would depend on what you have installed right?  How can we give you a list of exactly what will be touched if we don't know what is already there?
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by:marcustech
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Please provide a list or better yet an *EXCELLENT* weblink *ALL* conceivable Windows 7 components or features of the operating system that are impacted by System Restore. Also please provide a list or an *EXCELLENT* weblink for *ALL* Windows 7 components or features (even system directories or system registries) of the operating system that are changed or attempted to be changed by System Restore.

All of them.

It uses Volume Shadow Copy to store a version of every file on the System Volume.  When you run a restore it restores any that have changed since that restore point.

So it doesn't 'attempt to fix' or 'impact' anything, it simply restores every system file and component to a consistent state as saved at the Restore Point.
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by:RegulaOne
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@ all that have replied & those who wish to reply:

Hello. I now see your responses and I see your answers that you mention are all true and valid. Thank you! ;-) I guess I am being a little too vague and I thought I wasn't. I see I am asking for something and I thought I was being clear and direct in what I was asking, and I see I am still not getting the responses I am looking for.

Please let me explain...

When I ask, "Please provide a list or better yet an *EXCELLENT* weblink *ALL* conceivable Windows 7 components or features of the operating system that are impacted by System Restore. Also please provide a list or an *EXCELLENT* weblink for *ALL* Windows 7 components or features (even system directories or system registries) of the operating system that are changed or attempted to be changed by System Restore." I mean this:

A. For example for Windows 7's system directories that would be impacted (affected) would be (and I might not be completely correct myself but...):

C:\Windows\ ...and every subfolder and file in the Windows system directory (...or I may be wrong and only specific subfolders and files are impacted (affected) by System Restore... ...then please name them.).  In the operation system's tree scheme, I would only ask if you could go maybe only 2 levels down from the C: system drive top. Anymore than that and it is major tedious work. I know the deeper you go into the system directories, that more 'unique' it becomes and unique to the system specifically and I know you do not know my system. That is why I figure 2 tree levels is good enough. Follow? That is what I am looking for.

B. For example for Windows 7's system registries that would be impacted (affected) would be (and again I may be completely correct myself but...):

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software ..and every key and subkey in the Windows system registry (...or I may be wrong and only specific key and subkeys are impacted (affected) by System Restore... ...then please name them.). Again, only 2 levels in the system registry hierarchy is enough to understand what system registry keys are impacted (affected) by System Restore from the top of the system registry. Like system directories, go too deep and it gets 'unique'. Follow? That is what I am looking for here.  

I am trying to keep it focused around the Windows 7 operating system parameters since everything installed into Windows revolves around Windows and System Restore effects Windows components and features; even third party programs are impacted (affected) by Windows.. Follow?  I do not expect you to list them all out obviously, I am not crazy! Just trying to find the system directories or system registries that are impacted (effected).  

I apologize for not being too specific. I thought I was, and I hope now you follow me. :-)

Please reply.

Thank you!
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by:Run5k
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RegulaOne, I know that I speak for many of the experts when I say that we certainly appreciate your thorough descriptions and feedback.

That being said, I definitely understand your request and my earlier post was merely intended to serve as a good reminder of a critical function that is dependent upon the System Restore points, but not actually part of the System Restore process itself.

Hopefully I'm wrong and someone else within the EE community has found a comprehensive resource that I don't know about, but I don't think what you are asking for actually exists.  While it may be a very nice reference document to have something that lists "C:\Windows\ ...and every subfolder and file in the Windows system directory ... affected by System Restore" as well as "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software ..and every key and subkey in the Windows system registry ... affected by System Restore," I have neither seen nor heard of such a thing.  My educated guess is that it would be a massive undertaking to compile something of that magnitude.

Once again, hopefully I'm wrong.  My IT reference library is very large, and it would be a nice addition to my collection!
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RegulaOne earned 0 total points
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@ Run5k:

Hello again. Thank you for your comment.

Okay, I have been doing some web searching myself I see what you mean that there 'may' be no detailed information that I am seeking from cyberspace. It is hard to believe with the much discourse on the web over Windows's system restore since Windows Me (over ten years ago), that someone had to investigated this very issue I have raised by this time and to know what it impacts or affects in a Windows operating system in detail.  

I did some research on my own and I found the best article that highlights and discusses the Windows components that are involved on a general level is Wikipedia. The only issue I find with this is it is directly provided for Windows XP; let alone Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The weblink is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Restore

The particular area of interest states:

Resources monitored

The following resources are backed up:
• Registry
• Files in the Windows File Protection (Dllcache) folder
• Local user profile
• COM+ and WMI Databases
• IIS Metabase
• Specific file types monitored

The list of file types and directories to be included or excluded from monitoring by System Restore can be customized on Windows Me and Windows XP by editing %windir%\system32\restore\Filelist.xml.

* * *

The changes are as follows:

1. The "Windows File Protection" was renamed for Windows Vista and 7 called "Windows Resource Protection". Windows File Protection protects files using ACLs (Access Control List). Per Wikipedia,  "Windows Resource Protection aims to protect core registry keys and values and prevent potentially damaging system configuration changes, besides operating system files." Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_File_Protection

2. For the last bullet, "Specific file types monitored" in the provided website details above, there is a footnote in the Wikipedia article that links to a MSDN Library article that discusses the file formats Windows's system restore monitors which is a large array of system file format types and others. The weblink is: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa378870(v=vs.85).aspx

From what I can gather the "entire" Windows's system registry is monitored and effected by Window's system restore. The other bullet items in the provided website details above pay attention to the Windows system directories for one's user profile, DLL cache via system directories, databases of sorts via sytem directories, and file types reachable via system directories.

I have also found another 'excellent' article through the MSDN Library as a sidestep from the above referenced source. Source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa378975(v=VS.85).aspx However some portions of this reference is written much more for the savvy Windows developers with use of more complex technological terminology. I understand 'some' of it. There are some unique details on the structure and function of it as well I found interesting.

I think I am going to close this question/thread at this time. I will award points and solution titles next...
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by:RegulaOne
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@ everyone that has replied.

Hello again.

Yes, that last comment I just posted should be address to 'everyone' and not solely Run5k. Sorry! My mistake!

I am closing this question/thread now since I can safely say, no one will be able to answer my quesiton the way I need it answered. Run5k is correct.  

Okay, first I must apologize with my inaccuracy in the way I posed my initial question to this thread/question. This is my fault. Your responses to my initial question, do indeed answer my question 'of sorts', but not specifically the way I was looking for. I understand your logic and rationale in your answers in relation to my initial question. Your answers are indeed correct per se about Windows's system restore, but again not the 'resources' ( for a better word I failed to state as used by Wikipedia) that are impacted by system restore.  

Therefore, since I found the "best" possible answer via Wikipedia article I have provided in my past comment, I am awarding myself the "Accepted Solution" as my 'best' answer since it conveys a faceted Windows component relevance to Windows's system restore without the higher degree of detail I am looking for. I say 'best' because there really was no found answer I was looking for that Run5k alluded to in his last comment. Everyone else who has replied do have applicable comments concerning Windows's system restore and will receive "Assisted Solutions". I have 'evenly' divided the total points in terms of comments for answers conceived from my initial question regarding Windows's system restore and Run5k's last comment sincerely answering the issue in trying to answer my question as simply the 'answer' per se to my question/thread.


I want to thank all you for your answers to this question/thread and I again my apologies!!!
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