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  1. #16
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    Bruce, thanks for the links.
    But you bring up another interesting point that I have questions about.
    Is Shadow Copy required for System Restore to work? My preference would be to disable Shadow Copy entirely. I notice that my Volume Shadow Copy service is not automatically started at bootup (it's set for a manual start), but after I create a Restore Point, it shows as started (and stays that way until I reboot).
    Also, how can I limit the the amount of space Shadow Copy claims on my disk (i.e., what is the threshold before Shadow Copy starts deleting restore points, and how can I change it?).

  2. #17
    Star Lounger Look's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesF View Post
    Hello, Look. I have found System Restore to be extremely helpful when I need a quick rewind to a previous state (such as recovering from the installation of a misbehaving program). To be clear, I also make periodic disk images with Acronis. Although I've never had to use Acronis to restore an image back to a disk, I know that it will be much slower and less convenient than using System Restore for the minor issues I've encountered. I also tend to doubt those who say that they can restore a disk with Acronis in only 10 minutes. It takes me at least 45 minutes to more than an hour to burn the image (and that's for only a small amount of data).
    Here's proof.

    Capture.JPG

    Click image to enlarge it.
    Last edited by Look; 2013-03-19 at 04:33. Reason: Added info.
    Jim.
    May you live as long as you want, and want to as long as you live.

  3. #18
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    The time for an image backup will vary enormously depending on the amount of used disk space. Also, True Image stats regarding remaining time are anything but reliable. They can vary wildly during an imaging operation. Also, each TI version has been slower than previous versions. I have a vivid memory of TI 2011 stating that there were a few trillion (yes, few trillion) minutes remaining for the imaging operation to complete.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesF View Post
    Bruce, thanks for the links.
    But you bring up another interesting point that I have questions about.
    Is Shadow Copy required for System Restore to work? My preference would be to disable Shadow Copy entirely. I notice that my Volume Shadow Copy service is not automatically started at bootup (it's set for a manual start), but after I create a Restore Point, it shows as started (and stays that way until I reboot).
    Also, how can I limit the the amount of space Shadow Copy claims on my disk (i.e., what is the threshold before Shadow Copy starts deleting restore points, and how can I change it?).
    Have you found System properties>>system protection tab? I think that's where you make all the adjustments as to how much disk space to use and which drives to turn off protection on and deleting old restore points and such. I don't see a way to separate the registry restore from the file restore except in the opposite direction you want (restoring files only instead of registry) so I don't remember if its compatible but maybe ERUNT would be a capable substitute.

    BTW, I'm also firmly in the two-tiered approach camp. If it only takes 10 minutes to "bulldoze" the block, doesn't really matter, but all my images take from 45 minutes to about two hours depending on the system and the backup medium and bus speed, so it's really appropriate to keep a little "six shooter" handy for the "rodent" infestations. The results so far are I use SR about 4-6 times a year maybe, never so far on the image restore except to propagate to another system or just to another drive on the same system; fingers crossed, never mandatory to this point.

    Edit: Purchased EaseUS ToDo Workstation a couple a few ago and gave it a go now, see if it would be faster than the free version. Looked like it at first, 110 gig image (normal compression) in 30 minutes was the initial reading but it soon leveled out to a sustainable one hour and ten minutes and right at the end, chopped nine minutes off that time. So, a little less than two gigs per minute...I think that would be a better measure rather than stating any definite timeframe needed along with normal compression maybe as the standard there. Restore time would undoubtedly be quicker, though there is some setup time to include there and I chose to go with the longer measure since it needs to be made in order to restore, and also had the thought that a SR is more likely to be up to date and not adversely affect other changes made to the computer since the last image, which for me could be a month or even six months once the system is stable and fully loaded. Multiply one system by 15 and one soon will realize the value of SR; image management alone becomes a time sink if its required daily, weekly or whatever one needs to live by image repair alone. I have one big drive with more than a dozen unique images and little room for anything else.

    Edit edit: EaseUS Workstation has the ability to convert images to either VirtualPC or VMWare machines, but not VBox. Does Acronis have a feature like that?
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-03-19 at 10:57.

  5. #20
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    F.U.N., I was aware that the System Protection tab controlled the amount of disk space that System Restore used. My question was whether Shadow Copy and System Restore were one and the same function when it comes to storing the information, or could they be controlled as separate functions. I think you've answered that question; it appears that they are inseparable (i.e., the disk space management on the System Protection tab sets the limit for both functions, and both require the Volume Shadow Copy service to operate).
    The context of the question was whether defragmentation could cause deletion of the System Restore points because the Shadow Copy files would become so large that they exceed their allocated disk space. While this might be possible, I'm fairly certain that this is not happening in my case. Here are the numbers: I'm currently using only 66.5 GB of a 1.81 TB disk, I have allocated 9% of that (320 MB) for System Restore files (that's the minimum allowed), and of that allocated 320 MB, I'm only using 2.66 MB at this time.
    So I'm pretty sure that the restore points are being deleted because my defragger (Ultimate Defrag) is not compatible with Win 7 (I still haven't heard back from Disktrix tech support on this). A little searching online indicates that this might also be true of some other 3rd party defraggers.
    So now I'm trying to determine how the Win 7 defragger compares to (compatible) 3rd party defraggers, and whether it's worthwhile to use a 3rd party defragger.
    The discussion has certainly gotten interesting along the way.

  6. #21
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    " but I'm certain that a full image restore could not be accomplished in 10 minutes."

    At home we use Easeus ToDo Free backup software. On more than one occasion I have restored a full Windows 7 system image of over 54GB in 8 to 9 minutes. The system image was restored from a standard 1TB 7200rpm Hitachi SATA II w/16MB cache drive to a Seagate 1TB, which is also 7200rpm SATA II w/16MB cache.

    " I initially chose it because it allowed me more flexibility in placing my files, and seemed to do a pretty good job"


    The only reason I know of for placing one's files is to make sure that your most important or often used programs are located near the outer perimieter of the spinning hard disc where the rotational speed is greatest and, consequently, read/write speeds are fastest. Windows 7 built-in defrag feature (and pretty much every other defragger) does so automatically. Under the older XP system we defragged using the Windows built-in program. Then we launched a favorite 3D game which took approximately 45 seconds to load and be ready to play (Crysis). Then we played until we reached a new level/map which took approximately 20 seconds to load. Next, we deleted that level's "save" point from the game folder and exited the game completely. Then we defragged again using a 3rd-party defragger and repeated the game loading process and next-level loading process. This was done with 4 different defraggers 2 of which were top-rated programs at cnet's download.com. It was a tedious process to go through the steps again and again but it proved one thing. None of the 3rd-party defraggers made a difference of more than 1 or 2 seconds in the game loading time or the next-level loading time. I should mention that the XP system has a 2.66GHz Intel Core2Duo E6750 processor and 2GB of DDR2-800 RAM memory. After the 4th defrag routine I also opened and used several other programs including Microsoft Word 2003, Irfanview photo editor and others. In no case did I notice any obvious improvement in performance when loading or saving.

    Windows 7 has an even better built-in defrag program which we used in default mode on our PCs for over 2 years without a single problem.

    Finally, it's worth mentioning that since we began using SSDs for our Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems we find that everything runs noticeably faster now and we don't defrag anything! Would like to point out that certain SSD brands have proven very, very reliable whilst certain other brands decidedly have not. Our Kingston and Sandisk SSDs have proven totally reliable, not a single glitch on 2 PCs and 1 laptop. Crucial and Intel brands also enjoy high reputations for reliability, although an Intel X25-M SSD was not recognised at all on our Core2Duo sytem which has a motherboard design that dates from around 2005 or 2006. That same drive worked perfectly in a newer PC. Go figure! We continue to store lots of data on regular 7200rpm drives. This allowed us to purchase modest capacity SSDs at affordable prices when on sale and install Windows OS plus all our programs on them (90GB for laptop and her PC and a whopping 224GB for my PC which even now is less than half full).

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to starvinmarvin For This Useful Post:

    LesF (2013-03-21)

  8. #22
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    Marvin, thank you for the first-hand information. That's extremely helpful.

    Concerning your image restore, I don't know how Easeus compares to Acronis 2012 re. restore times. I'm assuming that the numbers you provide are for a full image restore (i.e., not a restore of a partial backup). Those are pretty impressive numbers. Is Easeus a free program? If not, I've already paid for Acronis, and since I've never had to do a full restore yet (and have no baseline time for comparison), I certainly don't want to purchase another product yet.

    The Win 7 defragger information is extremely interesting. I've never been able to find details about where it places the programs or what algorithms it uses, but from what you say, I can probably get rid of Disktrix (I probably would have anyway, because of the non-responsiveness of their tech support). I've downloaded Auslogic's DiskDefrag as a replacement, but haven't installed it yet. Given what you've told me about Win 7's defragger, there's probably no need to now. I'll give it a try. If it doesn't kill my restore points, I'll start using it regularly.

    Thanks again.

  9. #23
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    I had the same problem, losing all restore points, back in the Windows 7 RC days. Skipping over the long story about how I pinpointed the cause, it turned out to be when I installed MS Office 97. At the time, there was a long discussion at the MS Forum on the subject of losing restore points. MS eventually confirmed that installing Office 97 made a registry change which did indeed delete all restore points. There are certainly other causes for the problem, but they all point to the installation of a certain software. Un-installing the software that caused the restore point disappearence, if known, will not reverse the registry change.
    The short story of my method to solve the mystery involved re-installing Windows 7 RC, then re-installing my software one at a time, checking the restore points after each step until I found the culprit - then re-installing Windows one more time, without MS Office 97. Just a suggestion, but I'd suspect any software considerably older than Windows 7.

  10. #24
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    rje49, thanks for the info. Initially, I determined the culprit (Disktrix Ultimate Defrag) by re-running the sequence of programs that resulted in losing my restore points, and checking for restore points after running each program in the sequence (standard troubleshooting procedure). I've since researched the problem online, and together with the replies to this thread, determined that Volume Shadow Copy (specifically, the large files it creates during defrag), probably exceeded the max disk space limit for VSC, and started to delete restore points. Others have had a similar experience with other defraggers, and in fact, Auslogic defragger has a VSC compatibility mode that's supposed to eliminate this problem (I think). That's pretty simplistic, but it's at the top of my list of possible causes. I don't think that it's a registry change, in this case. I still haven't run the Win 7 Defragger (which I assume is compatible with the Win 7 restore points - we shall see).

  11. #25
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    Oh I gotta laugh, some one else still running Office 97

  12. #26
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    @LesF,

    Shadow Copy is not the same as System Restore. The Volume Shadow Service is used by the System Protection feature of which System Restore is a part. See the Wikipedia article Shadow Copy and the Technet article Volume Shadow Copy Service for a more complete discussion.

    Joe

  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    Shadow Copy is not the same as System Restore. The Volume Shadow Service is used by the System Protection feature of which System Restore is a part. See the Wikipedia article Shadow Copy and the Technet article Volume Shadow Copy Service for a more complete discussion.
    Same thing:

    Shadow Copy = Volume Shadow Copy Service

    Beginning with Windows Vista, VSS is also used by the System Protection component which creates and maintains periodic copies of system and user data on the same local volume (similar to the Shadow Copies for Shared Folders feature in Windows Server) but allows it to be locally accessed by System Restore. System Restore allows reverting to an entire previous set of shadow copies called a restore point.
    Volume Shadow Copy Service or VSS (Shadow Copy)

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2013-04-30 at 11:39.

  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Same thing:

    Shadow Copy = Volume Shadow Copy Service

    Beginning with Windows Vista, VSS is also used by the System Protection component which creates and maintains periodic copies of system and user data on the same local volume (similar to the Shadow Copies for Shared Folders feature in Windows Server) but allows it to be locally accessed by System Restore. System Restore allows reverting to an entire previous set of shadow copies called a restore point.
    Volume Shadow Copy Service or VSS (Shadow Copy)

    Bruce
    NO - VSS (aka Shadow Copy) is NOT the same as System Restore. VSS is used by System Restore. VSS is also used by Windows Backup. VSS is just a service used by other functions to make copies of files. BTW, your Wikipedia link leads to the same article as mine in my post #26.

    The OP asked about in post #16 if System Restore required Shadow Copy (the answer is yes) and in post #20 if Shadow Copy and System Restore were one and the same function when it comes to storing data (the answer is no - System Restore tells VSS what to store or revert).

    Joe

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    NO - VSS (aka Shadow Copy) is NOT the same as System Restore.
    I didn't say that.


    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    BTW, your Wikipedia link leads to the same article as mine in my post #26.
    I realized that.

    As you provided separate links for Shadow Copy and Volume Shadow Copy Service, it appeared to me that you were saying they were different. Sorry if I got that wrong.


    Bruce

  16. #30
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    @Bruce

    Sorry, I misinterpreted your post. I just meant that those were two sources of information.

    Joe

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