Blogs

System Restore Beta Chat Transcript (May 19, 2006)

  • Comments 1
  • Likes

Chat Topic: Live Chat on System Restore!
Date: Friday, May 19, 2006



Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Thank you for joining today’s chat with the System Restore Team.  We will begin the chat in 5 minutes.  Feel free to start queuing up questions!



Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Welcome to today’s chat with the System Restore Team.  We will try to answer as many questions as we can today. Participants should type their questions, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.” Those posts will go into a private queue, from which our experts will draft answers and repost questions in the upper window with their answers. (To confirm: if you selected the “Ask the experts” check box when you posted, you don’t need to resubmit.  

 

I’ll let the experts introduce themselves now.



Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Hi Everyone!  My name is Wendy and I just recently joined the Longhorn/Windows Vista team.  Previously I was part of the R2 and MSN 9.0 Beta Teams.  My job is to see that you BTs get what you need to have the best beta experience ever and we’ve got some great things brewing!  Looking forward to seeing lots of great questions from you!



Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Hi All! I am the test lead for System Restore and other backup and restore features in Vista.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Hi folks. I'm Dan Stevenson, lead program manager for storage management and backup/restore on the Windows file and storage team.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
I'm Folkert Bosl, a PSS Escalation Engineer. I will support SR in the future.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Joe Couvillion I am one of the tester for System Restore

Sandeep I am one of the tester for System Restore

Andy Sweet [MSFT] (Expert):
Hi my name is Andy Sweet, and I am a user assistance writer for Windows Vista; we’re in the process of writing the help files for end users that will ship on the box.

 

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Hello All, I'm Eduardo Laureano, Program Manager for System Restore. I've presented the Live Meeting on Tuesday and will be very happy to answer all our questions related to the presentation or any other System Restore question. Thanks for chatting with us!!

Patrick E [MSFT] (Expert):
Hi Everyone, My name is Patrick Elliott, and I just recently joined the Longhorn/Windows Vista test team -- my job is to look over some of the great bugs you guys are filing!

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Hi I'm Paul Trunley a developer working on System Restore

 

Jaime Ondrusek (Expert):
Howdy, I'm Jaime Ondrusek, a tech writer in Windows Server User Assistance. I'll be working with Dan, Eduardo, and others to get you the documentation you're asking for. This chat will help me know what to write about!

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there any plans to make it possible to backup restore data to recordable DVDs instead of keeping it on HDD ?
A: Great question. The restore data (shadow copy data) is actually a set of blocks and a bitmap (to place them back in the right place), so it would be hard to offload just that part to a DVD. The better solution would be to have System Restore let you roll back system state sitting on a CompletePC Backup image (on DVD or hard disk) -- we don't have that for Vista, but we're thinking about it for the future.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is it possible to revert the system drive to a specific snapshot from Windows RE? Any API available now?
A: Yes. System Restore is available from WinRE. You can insert the installation CD and choose System Recovery in the lower left hand corner. That should show you a menu that has a link to System Restore.

Standard SR APIs are available (you cannot create/delete a restore points from WinRE).

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: ok when i restore the system to a previous point  i will loose all  windows update and office update?
A: Yes, next time you update you'll get all the updates after the restore point.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What's new in System Restore?
A: Also the functionality we’ve seen in XP does not differ from what we now have in Vista, also the approach is different.

Instead of using a Filesystem Filter driver that keeps track of the changes made to System files, SR does take advantage of the use of VSS turning it into a more reliable, efficient and robust tool.

 

As you can imagine that was a lot of work for our Developers...

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How does your team deal with the grim reality that most people who use Vista on the planet will do it via 500 million or so OEM pre-installed desktops with no significant support mechanisms  and no installable media?
A: Another good question. Most of the OEMs are going to install Windows RE on a recovery partition. That means you can boot into it via F8, and the auto-failover will also work (if a boot failure is detected, it kicks off Startup Repair).

 

The OEMs also have the option of providing a recovery CD (with WinRE and/or their own tools), in the event of a disk failure.

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can I set restore back further? What's the default?
A: You can restore back to any restore point, older restore points will get deleted as disk space is needed.  There is no fixed maximum age of a restore point.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Which errors can System Restore fix, which not?
A: System Restore fixes problems by replacing files, so the problem has to be caused by file or registery changes, or changes in other system databases, like COM, WMI, etc

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
For those just joining us, today’s chat is about the System Restore.  To post a question, please type your question, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.” That way, we can track which questions we still need to answer.



Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What's new in System Restore?
A: Well, a lot, I'm glad you ask. We completely redesigned System Restore to cover a lot more recovery scenarios. The main new scenario is the restore in offline mode from Windows Recovery Environment. In terms of infrastructure we leveraged the Volume Shadow copy Service which enables us to be more efficient, reliable and robust. Any specifics you'd like to know about?

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How does System REstore in Vista differ than what's in XP?
A: Also it looks like we doing the same thing like in XP, the approach is totally different. We now use VSS.

The file-system filter component is not longer needed.

One big advantage is, that we now can rollback from WinRE.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Could there be an option to use system resotre from the f8 menu? If you cant boot into XP or safe mode it would be very useful.
A: Yes, almost. It available through the WinRE option.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: err not xp but vista
A: Answered #7

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will Restore enable burning an image of the system in a certain state (say just after install of "necessary" programs like Office and WLM) so that we can "resture" using our disks?
A: There is a feature in Vista that is similar (CompletePC Backup), it allows you to put a complete image of your system onto a disk/DVD.  However, when restoring it will restore ALL files, including user documents.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Most OEMs will not provide media that will boot to Vista Win RE and right now F8 doesn't access Win RE most of the time I try.  How are most people who have Vista going to be able to access that repair environment?
A: Yes, but most OEMs will provide WinRE on a recovery partition. You can't get into it via F8 because you're selfhosting (thanks). The best way to get it right now is via the install media.

 

It would be nice for the user to be able to create their own recovery CD, but for now, we rely on the OEMs and System Builders to provide it. Also, enterprise customers will be able to create their own recovery CDs based on WinRE.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: After being infected with a small virus in XP, my virus scanner detected a restore point as "being infected". How will Vista deal with this situation?
A: System Restore is not designed to fix virus problems

Patrick E [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: maybe I'm blind or dumb :P ... but what is Win RE and PE?
A: Windows RE -- Windows Recovery Environment --  Windows PE -- Windows Preinstallation Environment :)

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Could there be an option to use system resotre from the f8 menu? If you cant boot into Vista or safe mode it would be very useful.
A: Yes, Answered before (WinRE). You can run SR from Safe Mode.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Where can I get more information about Windows RE?
A: Charlie, I've passed this feedback to the Windows Recovery Environment team about posting their documentation online for Beta testers and OEMs. His team is actively working on it and will have it up soon.

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: If I use a application Restore point which was created when I install that application to restore , does it restore the setting modified by that specific application or all the changed setting after the restore point created?
A: It will restore all settings and system files to the values before the restore point was created, not just the changes made by that specific application

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What will the new restore capabilities bring to a system administrator in a business environment?  An end to re-imaging broke boxes?  Central management?  Or ... ???
A: System Restore itself is pretty much a per-PC solution. The new CompletePC Backup feature lets you make an image backup and restore. Central management is not something we're providing in Vista, though.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is it possible to to set a "just installed" restore point and can i update this with specific or personalized settings?
A: Hmm, I don't know if I do understand the questions correctly.

 

--> Is it possible to to set a "just installed" restore point.

This is automatically done whenever a program or driver or update is installed. Certainly you can create one manually if you don't trust those. These automatically created restorepoints do have automatically created names. You cannot change those.

 

--> can i update this with specific or personalized settings.

If you create one manually you can give it a name. Not more, not less.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
For those just joining us, today’s chat is about the System Restore.  To post a question, please type your question, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.” That way, we can track which questions we still need to answer.



Patrick E [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can Win PE be used as a repair environment?
A: Win PE is the core of the Windows Recovery Environment, other ISVs have, however built other recovery/repair tools on top of Win PE as well

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: A vote for Gary's question, "Can you set a Forever restore point?"
A: No.



Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How efficient is system restore in Vista when it comes to how much drive space it consumes by "monitoring" the hd's?
A: System

Andy Sweet [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there any plans to make it possible to backup restore data to recordable DVDs instead of keeping it on HDD ?
A: If you're talking about burning a restore point to media, Dan already caught this: for now, we rely on the OEMs and System Builders to provide it. Also, enterprise customers will be able to create their own recovery CDs based on WinRE. 



Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What about a volume with Bitlocker enabled
A: It works fine. The volume shadow copy infrastructure sits on top of BitLocker, so you can restore a BitLocker volume fine. You just need to unlock it first (WinRE will prompt you).

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What about a volume with Bitlocker enabled
A: Bitlocker enabled volumes would need to be manually unlocked for restore.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: The issue has to do with loss of restore points by booting into another OS and then returning to Vista. I do not think  backporting the Windows Vista infrastructure to Windows XP is a valid/complete  solution.  Ciontinued...
A: The VSS driver on XP is not compatible with the Vista driver. The XP driver deletes the Vista restore points.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What about viruses that are stored in the Restore files, something I see in XP. I know, the OS is supposed to block all of this, but what happens when the Restore files become infected or corrupted?
A: Great question! We have provided AV vendors with instructions on how to scan the restore points and delete them if they detect a virus. Also, since the AV product is running when we do the restore, it will block us from restoring a virus. This block happens while we're staging the files, so the restore doesn't actually even start.

Andy Sweet [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Which errors can System Restore fix, which not?
A: SR can make changes to Windows system files, registry settings, programs, scripts, batch files, and other types of executable files. Personal files, such as documents, e-mail, photos are not changed.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I'm disturbed that on dual-boot machine, booting Vista destroys WXP's System Volume Information and visa versa. Have you considered giving these separate directories to preserve the Restore Points.
A: Hi Steve. It doesn't destroy SVI -- what happens is Vista detects that something wrote to the disk without tracking changes into the shadow copy, so it invalidates the existing shadow copies (when you boot back into Vista). Separate directories won't work -- these changes are tracked across the entire disk. I've passed on the request to backport the Vista shadow copy infrastructure to XP.

Patrick E [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: re: 44 what's difference betwen them.  Can you elaborate on them?
A: Windows Preinstallation Environment is Windows Vista running a minimal Win32 subsystem with very limited services

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How can I fetch the content in a snapshot without exporting it as a system drive? I don't want the user see the mounted driver while processing the content. Is that possible?
A: It is possible, but pretty hard (we do it internally for debugging purposes; it is not a supported scenario).

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: technical speaking when i restore the pc what's really happen to my hard drive?
A: When the restore point is created SystemRestore makes a complete image of everything on your harddisk, including files, registry settings, etc.  This image is done in an efficient way so that only changes made after the RP is created are actually stored, but the effect is as if the entire disk was copied.  When you restore from this image SR will restore all the registry settings from the image and then it will look at files that have changed.  Files that are considered to be user documents will not be copied from the image, but system files and application files will be.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: what about system restore in encrypted drives?
meant and Ed  didn't say on Tuesday on two slides what they were.
A: It works fine. The volume shadow copy infrastructure sits on top of BitLocker, so you can restore a BitLocker volume fine. You just need to unlock it first (WinRE will prompt you).

Patrick E [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: re: 44 what's difference betwen them.  Can you elaborate on them?
A: Windows Preinstallation Environment is Windows Vista running a minimal Win32 subsystem with very limited services

Windows RE is a set of recovery tools for Windows Vista built on top of Windows PE

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
A: System restore uses the Volume Shadow Copy Service which manages the restore points (shadow copies). It will store only a differential copy of the changed blocks in relation to the files on your disk. This makes it very efficient in terms of space allocation. The space allocated initially is set to a max of 15%. Within that space, VSS automatically manages the shadow copies, and delete old restore points when space is needed.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there anything in system restore to provide a Check List of applications installed after the restore point that may still reside on the disk but will probably need to be reinstalled to function properly?
A: No, after system restore, user has to do investigation himself for broken application because of restore.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: The System Restore article in help in Vista does not cover Win RE tools at all and if you search Win RE at www.microsoft.com or Help in Vista or Jill's blog or Technet/MSDN you come up empty.
A: The System Restore team members are available via the newsgroups and would be happy to answer your questions or explain anything you need.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Why there is no fixed maximum age of a restore point ?
A: Because the shadow copy system runs at the disk level. We set aside a chunk of disk space for tracking changes -- so you could have just 1 restore point (if you changed many many files) or you could have 60 restore points (typical usage).

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: When I used System Restore in Windows XP, alot of the time it would fall back saying "The system could not be restored. Your system has not been changed". With Windows Vista, is System Restore more reliable?
A: I've done a lot of testing, trying to break SR. Certainly you can manage that. But it is hard.

If you want to, you can. But when you think of normal usage of an PC it will be reliable and robust.

The only thing you have to take care of: Don't run too low on disk-space...doing so and you will loose Restorepoints.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will there ever be a way to remove root kits from the hidden restore point structured storage?
A: System Restore is not designed to do that. Could you post your query to the newsgroup with more details?

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Why is it that system restore doesn't create restore points at the default places that Ed Lauredo's slides and presentation said it did? I installed Office and One Note the other day and it didn't. It's supposed to be good for every 24 hours, installs,
backups, and a few other events.  I only see one restore point and I've been running 5381 since it became avail.
A: there's a current issue with Office 12 beta where it won't install restore points. This will be solved by RTM. If you don't have the daily restore point, can you please check the event log, application for errors and report back?

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can tyou run system restore from remote location as a net amin this would be great for me?
A: Yes, you can TS (remote) into a system and run System Restore. Of course, it will reboot and drop your connection, so you can then get a cup of water, cross your fingers, and TS back in :)

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can I set a starting restore point that is a working system and ALWAYS be able to go back to that state nomatter what gets installed after that.... I.e. the restor point will ALWAYS be available take me back to that original state and never dissapear?
A: In Vista there is no way to force a RP to never get deleted.  However, there is a feature called Complete PC backup that will allow you to make a permanent complete image of everything on your disk, not just system and application files & settings.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
For those just joining us, today’s chat is about the System Restore.  To post a question, please type your question, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.” That way, we can track which questions we still need to answer.



Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: how do i register files to ensure system restore does not track them just as sql server databases are not tracked.
A: That's probably something that malware authors want to know :)  But seriously -- if you have an application and you don't want its data to be restored or backed up, you should be integrating with VSS. SQL Server, Exchange, Oracle, etc. all have VSS integration such that they are made "backup/restore-safe". You can search on MSDN or ask on the newsgroup for more info.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are there any plans to give Vista a "Magic Bullet" restore point that will always be a locked-in, safe restore point, no matter what, for users?
A: Not for Vista, sorry. The best solution is to use the CompletePC Backup feature to roll back your entire system. In the future, it would be nice to have that backup be a "permanent restore point" to roll back to, even if your on-disk restore points are nuked.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How much does system restore affect overall system performance in Windows Vista?
A: System Restore is now implemented on top of other infrastruture (VSS) so there is no performance hit directly related to System Restore. Other features will have to also be disabled also to regain some of the performance hit related to System Restore.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: Wendy, the live meeting on tuesday did not allow ust to ask more than 1 question. once you answered my question it did not allow me to submit another. perhaps the problem is you ran the meeting in 1600 X? resolution which most people cant display
A: No, you can ask more than one question but the interface is not intuitive.  You have to delete your question and then type your new one.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: On corporate networks will there be a capability to store and retreive a restore point on a server?
A: No, we have not thought about that kind of feature...but now it is a documented wish ;-).

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What is reason for System Restore if most of time Vista expected to be run in limited user mode and no such a critical system changes can happen ?
A: It is still needed because applications can be installed and settings changed by administrators, even if non-administrators can't. 

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will we see an option that lets the user create a SR point only to save current system settings? allowing the user to easily restore settings without loosing applications and/or files.
A: No -- SR will restore system files, app files, and settings -- but not user data. Of course, if you name your document "winword.exe" and place it under C:\program files, then it will get rolled back :)

Patrick E [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: This is not a Question but something that I would like to tell you.You have my thanks and appreciation for what you have done to system restore. It has helped me many times and has saved me many hours of time.I cannot thank you enough for this Utility.
A: Thanks!! We're glad you like system restore :)

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: are there any performace improvements in system recovery since XP?
A: If you have modified a large file, the performance of the Vista system restore is better than XP. SR is now using VSS as its foundation so there a possibility of sharing the overhead. Generally the performance should be similar.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: On system restore I don't see the checkbox in Ed's presentation for "show five restore points." Why?
A: I think the checkbox you are thinking of is about Restore Points older than 5 days. so you don't have any old restore points yet, would be my guess

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: We are always told by MSKBs and Antivirus application/company KBs like Norton to turn off system restore when deleting a virus.  Some spyware makers say this and with respect to spyware I think that's overkill.  So in the new Vista system restore should on
turn off system restore to delete a virus?  What about if you put a virus, worm, blended threat, ect. in quarantine?  I saw Eduardo allude to SR dhadow copies aka I guess restore points being somehow immune from viruses in your new incarnation of SR using VSS.
A: If your turn off SR, you lose all restore points, both infected and non-infected. It is not recommended that you disable SR, and the guidance from the AV companies is wrong for Vista.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Amit- can you explain about WinRE?
A: WinRE is the Windows Recovery Environment, which can be accessed through the installation media.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How do you distinguish among the Win RE options on Ed's 2nd Win RE slide that was tiny--what do these options do--when should one or the other be used--where is information on this anywhere on www.microsoft.com or Jill's blog or links to blogs on Jill's
blog.  How can we use and test these tools if we don't know what in the world they are?
A: Windows Recovery Environment documentation isn't available yet to Beta testers, the WinRE team is actively working on it.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there any API for third-parties to integrate own custom solutions inside ?  Like defrag API, filesystem miniports etc ..
A: We still have the same API's for SR like in XP (downward-compat).

You can also use WMI to interact with SR.

But there are no new or additional API's.

(we speak only about SR at the moment, in case of defrag, miniports: stay tuned, there might be upcoming chats....)



Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is the "startup repair tool" now named Win RE?
A: Not quite. Here's the nomenclature:

 

Windows PE aka WinPE: a basic, mini version of Windows with only a few services, licensed to ISVs for various recovery tools

Windows RE aka WinRE: based on WinPE, adds manual and automatic recovery tools

 

Startup Repair: the main automatic recovery tool in WinRE

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: In XP you could access system restore by typing restore into the run box and clicking on "restrui" 3rd item down in folder that popped up. When I do it in Vista I guet a GUID folder--why is this?
A: The rstrui.exe program is no longer stored in the %windir%\system32\restore directory, it is now in %windir%\system32 (along with most other .exes).  You can run it directly by typing "rstrui" into to the run box.



Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: Hello Eduardo, i downloaded the last vista beta build but the last product key doin´t work, i can i found this product key for the last build?
A: Product keys are the the same for builds 5342 and up.  The package name is "5342 and Up Ultimate Keys"



Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: The Win Recovery Environment team expects Beta testers to get the information through mental telepathy.  We have nothing.  That documentation is really superficial.  It had 3 paragraphs on your tools. The Vista product guide much of it is a cheerleading
manual it's not clinical technical information at all.
A: This will be coming soon. You can try asking specifics and we'll try answering it here

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: When creating a restore point on the system, the files are stored on the hard drive, therefore reducing the amount of availalbe space. Will there ever be an option to write restore points to external media such as a DVD disc?
A: No. You can use CompletePC Backup to image the entire volume to a DVD disk and do a complete restore if needed.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Q: well wendy - I did delete the question and then typed a new one - but you never answered it - then 5 minutes later the meeting ended with no more questions - So I suggest it does not work well.
A: Actually, we just ran out of time.  This is not a functional issue with the Live Meeting.  Unfortunately, that happens with both our chats and Live Meetings.  However, you can always get your question answered by posting in the II7 newsgroup.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I can't tell because there is nearly zero documentation provided by your team or MSFT but is there overlap between Win RE, Win PE and moves you can make with BCEDIT?/BCD?
A: sorry I'm a little confused with your question, can you please clarify? thx

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: On XP's System Restore, For some reason when I try to restore it, it fails. Is there better logging capabilities with Vista's System Restore?
A: Yes, Failed restores send error reports via Windows Error Reporting upon reboot after the restore.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
For those just joining us, today’s chat is about the System Restore.  To post a question, please type your question, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.” That way, we can track which questions we still need to answer.



Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Dan I have looked harder for information on your teams tools than Tom Hanks and his babe ever thought of in Da Vinci.  Information on them is no where and Eduardo alluded to a lot of things on three slides that are a mystery as to other tools.  You all
really need to give us a hefty comprehensive bunch of info on Connect. We want to help make these tools so much better than the narrow outlook for fixing in XP.  Remember most people won't have media in the next six years and MSFT never wants to face that.  It blows my mind that MSFT appears to ignore that you don't get media to most of your non-enterprise customers.
A: Haven't seen the movie yet -- maybe this weekend. I think our documentation is hidden inside that twisty box code thing that Ian McKellen tries to catch. But seriously -- we have asked the WinRE folks to provide some more MSDN-style documentation and they will do it soon, they told us. Can you post your "wish list" table of contents to the newsgroup, and we'll go from there?

 

As to the question about recovery media -- that's an OEM decision. The OEMs will provide a recovery partition (most of them will) and some will provide recovery media. We know that this is an incomplete solution and have some ideas for the future.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will System Restore save disk space by mapping common blocks in different files to one ? i.e. if tho files are somethat or completely similar - will I get 50% disk space savings in result ?
A: You reference is to single instancing. We don't share common blocks across files. Instead the Volume Shadow copy Service (VSS) saves off differential copies at a block level.

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I see the responses of what restore is not design to do, but it would be a great service if we were able to delete files which were virus infected or remove root kits from the restore file. Our only other option is to kill the restore and reinitiate it.
A: Yes, this is a very good suggestion.  We are looking at better integration with AV and other security products for future releases.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there documents-only backup features (i.e. excluding 4Gb of vista/office files for example) or incremental (over last backup or agains one currently in DVD tray) ?
A: Abso-freakin-lutely. We have a great file backup feautre in Vista that is designed for user data backup for "real people". Check it out under the Backup and Restore Center control panel. It does incrementals, and backs up to CD, DVD, hard disk, or file share.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: We have provided AV vendors with instructions on how to scan the restore points and delete them if they detect a virus.. but all AV software they will be ready for vista lunch?
A: We don't really know the progress of individual OEMs for Vista launch. But users will be safe as the file system filter will catch any infected restore that might happen by System Restore, Previous Versions, or any other Volume Shadow copy Service client.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: what happens if i want to restore the system after some hw changes? (ie: hw repair or upgrade)
A: SR will rollback drivers and then the hardware detection wizard would attempt to reinstall upon reboot (after the usual administrator interaction)

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: If we delete the $....... directories wil RE still work?
A: I did some tests in that direction, trying SR to fail.

Actually that was possible on older builds - after some fixes, we'll have to test it again.

To be honest: In the first place we are trying to face faulty drivers and misbehaving installations. Those kind of stuff is only done by malware or maybe admins ;-)

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will we be able to disable user level System Restore and still create restore points transparent to the user and then be able to restore a system from a console as needed?
A: I beleive you are asking if SR can be disabled for non-admin user. A non-admin user currently cannot initiate SR. A non-admin user cannot even see list of available restore points. Enterprise wide Group Policy settings can further control SR functionality for admin users on a machine.

Patrick E [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will there ever come a day when http://oca.microsoft.com has any relevant use?
A: This actually has a very valuable use to us for analyzing crash trends and issues

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is CompletePC Backup equivalent to StorageCrafts ShadowProtect or Ghost 10.0, in that you can do a bare metal retore to a brand new disc if needed?
A: You can think of CompletePC as being conceptually similar to Ghost -- our primary scenario is a bare metal restore to same or new hardware. I demo it my backing up, taking my hard disk out, smashing it, putting in a new hard disk, and restoring. It's a near-perfect block-level restore.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is Complete PC included in Vista or will be it packaged separately?
A: It's in Vista -- in the Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate SKUs.

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can we expect a finer level of control over what we restore back to so if we knew of a particular fine-point, say a registry entry that we knew was used by specific trojans/viri/hijackers that we could auto/manual fine-grained control restoring it or not?
A: Right now there is no way to do this, but it is a good suggestion for a future feature.  We are looking at better ways to integrated with AV and other security products.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Volume Shadow Copy Service will be the same also for longhorn server or is different?
A: Yes. There are no hardware provider features in client. Therefore VSS can serve more scenarios in Server.

Patrick E [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will you take a look at http://oca.microsoft.com  For years it's been next to worthless.
A: Please refer to the previous answer on this :)

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will HotFixes / ServicePacks stop complaining about System Restore turned off ?  In XP/WindowsUpdate they always complain - this is annoying.
A: We already discussed this. Yes it might be annoying, but from our point of view that is an important to have SR up and running when doing the install. That might save your installation. What would be the main reason for you to turn SR off?

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will programmatically revert to a previous specific VSS snapshot break the internal structure maintained by system restore?
A: As long as the process does not destory the existing restore points (VSS snapshots) it should be OK.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: SECONDED on storing restore points on a server, please.  Very good thing for business-type PCs.
A: Great suggestion. This would be similar to making a CompletePC Backup to a remote location, but doing a "system state" restore from it (using System Restore). Definitely something to think about for the future.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: can i use the system restore with o.s. running with virtual pc?
A: Yes, that should work fine.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How efficient is system restore in Vista when it comes to how much drive space it consumes by "monitoring" the hd's?
A: resending. VSS manages the space used by shadow copies used by System Restore. It initially allocates 15% of your disk where you have the service enabled. Within that space VSS will manage usage and drop restore point as space becomes needed. Also shadow copies only store differential copies at a block level, instead of entire files, being much more efficient.

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Anoter good suggestion is to create system points according to group policy (in domain)...Please have it added to your document wish ;)
A: Thanks, good suggestion. 

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will CompletePC Backup support DVD Spanning (2 single layer disks) or only DL disks?
A: It will span as many disks as are needed. If you can fit on one disk, that's great, but we'll span if we need to.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Do SR affect  event logs / security audit ? Does it restore them ?  For example in situation if security log filled and there is policy to not boot if security log is filled.
A: SR doesn't restore event logs.

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Software updates, restore points and many other things create recovery data generally on the system volume which can get massive. Is there a way to redirect the recovery data, and all the $Uninstall hidden folders and junk to a different drive?
A: Sorry, there is no way to do this currently. 

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: @Dan re 47. Is there a way of dual-booting WXP without having it write to the Vista Partiton, thus preventing invalidation? Does booting Vista after WXP destory WXP SVI integrity?
A: We had a spirited discussion about this, including with the architect of the volume shadow copy system. About the only thing you can do is unplug the disk before booting XP. XP automounts every disk it sees, and NTFS will push a write to the disk when it is mounted.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I'm sorry, but what is VSS? :)
A: Volume Shadowcopy Service:

Some good documentation out there on MSDN.



Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
For those just joining us, today’s chat is about the System Restore.  To post a question, please type your question, select the “Ask the experts” check box, and click “Send.” That way, we can track which questions we still need to answer.



Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is anyone (e.g. ISV) impleneting a viasble, inexpensive Tape Backup for Vista for small/home user?
A: None that I know of specifically, but I'm sure some will. But will say I think there's a conflict between "home user" and "tape backup" :)

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I'm sorry, but what is VSS? :)
A: the volume shadow copy service which manages shadow copies (aka restore points) which keeps differential copies at a block level. It relies on a OS driver called, volsnap, which will take care of doing copy on write to save off the blocks as write to the volume are made, in a very efficient way.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: [60] However will the user knows why the restore failed? Or it will be loggedin Event Viewer too?
A: If it is an engineering problem you'd have to go through problem tracking for Windows Error Reporting. An error code is reported but the detailed reasons can only be determined on examining the traces.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: is there group policy to limit the size of system resotre points ?
A: No, we don't have that ....

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How can we contact the Windows Recovery Environment team--who are they?  Eduardo do you all understand and Wendy that the names of teams at Redmond are completely non-intuitive to most people even close MSFT watchers and Beta testers unless they happen to
know these team members?  Maybe TAP and MVPs and Redmond trippers know them but we don't know the names of these teams.  Or how to contact them.
A: As noted - we will talk to them and try to get some better docs posted. Please post a desired table-of-contents to the newsgroup so we can pass it along.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will there ever come a day when there are precise BSOD stop errors that have specificity that could be user friendly that could be correlated with your panopoly of tools in Win RE and other places?
A: BSOD errors are likely not to be user friendly. WINRE, and other tools restore complete system state, and cannot be correlated to any specfic BSOD error.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is it possible to backup system restore points?
A: the short answer is no. the solution for this kind of scenario is to create a CompletePC backup of your entire system, and later on use System Restore to rollback your system from a backup (stored on a DVD or external disk). But this is somethign we'll consider for the next version of the OS.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What can be done about this situation.  An average user who is not ensconsed in a few thousand KBs for years like some of us gets this message on a BSOD stop:  "A kernel stack driver has caused your pc to be shut down for your protection."  If you go to
cmd and type "driverquery" lose quotes you will see about 150-200 kernel stack drivers and you will see about 35-50 non kernel stack drivers.  It would be sureal to expect that a user can empirically start testing drivers one by one.  I'm saying the largest percentage of BSOD stops right now are not very helpful to users.  I fix them every day on groups and chats and I just use a repair install (in XP) or F8 options first.  Will there ever come a day when there are precise meaningful BSOD stop errors that
A: Please post your query to the appropriate newsgroup.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will MRT.exe (Malware software Removal Tool) improve in Vista - remove malware from restorer points? ? Why not make it a ClickOnce/SmartClient so we are only prompted when we run, and allow it to work hand in hand with restore points...
A: good question -- I'm pretty sure they don't scan RPs. It would be really really hard to edit an older restore point, since the changes are cumulative. I think a better solution is to have the AV/malware engines scan the RPs and warn you if you are rolling back to a bad state -- this is something we're considering for the future, but will require work from the AV/malware software as well.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there any one place where logs that are relevant to your recovery area are stored?  I think Darryl mentioned two to me. Woudln't it make sense to put logs in one central place for errors that are crashes that cause no boots at least?  Temp error logs
are ectopically scattered all over the place in XP and Vista.  Event Viewer should have a separate meaningful category where logs for stop no boot vista errors are kept.
A: The logs are not user readable as they require some trace format files to decode.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: It would be greater than great if you and SysInternals would help make the RootKit Revealer able to tinker with the malware files in the restore point structured storage. Any hope of Vista and Sys coordinating an open source development project? 8-|
A: We don't really know the kind of integration that is happening there. Can you please post this question on the newsgroup? thx

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: If SR is turned off in XP, will XP still delete the shadow copy from Vista?
A: Unfortunately yes, this will happen even if XP SR is turned off.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are DVD prefered over HD or network PCs for storage medium?
A: It really depends on how much data you have, how you store your backup media, how much money you want to spend, how portable your computer is, etc. Hard disk is better for the CompletePC feature (you can do incrementals, but you can't with DVD). The file backup feature works great with anything.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: If someone purchases Vista Home, can CompletePC Backup be an addon, or pruchasable?
A: You'll have to buy a product key for a higher SKU and do an upgrade.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Folkert Bosl [MSFT] (Expert): Then user or administrator intentionaly turned off SR - he already made this decision - no needs to ask him this 10 more times in one day then he is installing hotfixes from WindowsUpdate.  Main reason is becouse enviroment is
already managed and other restore means used (like reimaging). SR unable to address viruses threats and does not guarantee that system will working after restore - once you will address thouse - this can be reconsidered - otherwise it's waste of disk space and CPU cycles.
A: I see your point: But if you turn of SR you also turn of the "Previous Version" feature...certainly if that is also not used....

...that would have to be addressed by our update-engine. Thanks for the input.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: can we add a group policy then to manager this important feature ?
A: there is a group policy to enable/disable System Restore. Does it answer your question?

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: It makes sense to me Dan and the others to make the relevant chapters and they are already around in Redmond on your tools of the Resource kit to us on Connect so we can dig into these tools.  Ed Lauredo mentioned several tools and we don't know what he
meant and Ed  didn't say on Tuesday on two slides what they were.
A: we hear you loud and clear, T16 -- we'll take this up and see what can be done. If I had something to give you right now,  I would.

 

btw, Ed is better referred to as "Eduardo" :)

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
We will need to wrap up this chat in about 20 minutes. Please post any other questions (select the “Ask the experts” check box) that you would like us to answer. Thanks!



Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Will there be anything in MONAD (what's it called now?) for fine-point system restore? (|)
A: I'm not at Monad expert (I don't think anyone here today is), but my understanding is that Monad will work with WMI and SR exports WMI-classes so it should work.

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Still about $.... directories. If I have PATA I with some other operating system and PATA II with Vista is it safe to remove the $... in drive I
A: Assuming you are not going to boot off the other volume, you should be OK. But this question is beyond the scope of system restore  :)

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Before you leave the chat, don’t forget to let us know how we’re doing!  To the right of your emoticon pull-down box is a “Chat Feedback” option.  If you don’t feel the chat was helpful, please ensure that you provide verbose comments on why you didn’t feel it was helpful and what we can do to improve the experience for you!!  If you would like to provide more feedback than the 1000 characters will allow, feel free to eMail us at LHBeta@microsoft.com.



Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: The last VISTA CTP require a double density DVD. With the expected number of security patches, service packs etc. what should be be planning on for the size of a system partition that might be in heavy use for the next 5 years?
A: I can't really predict that. But I can tell you for me, I would keep at least 20 GB if I were keeping my OS+apps separate from data. Some apps can be pretty big --- like mapping software, etc.

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Is there any means to see diff beetwean current system and restore point ?
A: No, sorry there is no way to do this currently.  It is a good suggestion for future releases though, thanks.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: note 15% of all disks - which on modern 300gb disks is 45gb - thats a lot of space. When one uses the disk space to improve performance (10gb of 200gb disk means faster disk) 15% is too high
A: There is no relationship between runtime performance and the size of the diff area. A smaller system restore diff area will simply limit how many restore points you can store.

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Don't know if that was answered already, but do you already have plans for the next version of System Restore? (No, you don't have to give details about those ;)
A: Lots of ideas, quite of few good suggestions were made here as well, so now we have even more work.   :-)

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Any documents/whitepapers or anything at all about your team's work for Vista System Restore and Win RE for beta testers and why in the world can't you put this stwuff lying on Redmond campus desks on Connect from day one. We all know it's evolving but we
aren't Carnack the Magician. We cannot use and test the list of Win RE tools if you all refuse to tell us what they are and give us MS Pressesque chapters we can use to learn about them.
A: T16, can you please ask specific questions on Windows RE and interaction with System Restore. We'll really try and answer to the best of our knowledge. thx

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: the main reason on XP to turn off system restore is mitigated by the ability to limit its size to 200mb. you removed a friendly slider UI to do this in vista and left a cryptic tool. please add back the slider.
A: The space used by the diff area will be relinquished when there is need for it. I.e. if you are out of disk space, there will be no snapshots. We will consider a control for a later release.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What about SR API for third-party itegrations ?
A: The same API that you used in XP.

That was kept due to downward-compatibilty reasons.

But there are no new additional API's introduced.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Congratualations to RMA01 for being a Best Question winner for asking "note 15% of all disks - which on modern 300gb disks is 45gb - thats a lot of space. When one uses the disk space to improve performance (10gb of 200gb disk means faster disk) 15% is too high"!!!

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Could the new backup features including incrementals or bakcup to differente media/ shares be controlled by Group policies?
A: No, GP for windows backup doesn't control media or shares.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What exactly does WIM do and does it have any relevance towards repair?
A: WIM is the windows image format used by Setup to capture the output of our build process. WIM is great for deployment -- you can put multiple deployments in one WIM file (different SKUs, different configs).

 

WinRE on the setup media is a WIM file so that it can be copied to a RAM disk. That way you can eject the DVD and put in your CompletePC Backup disk (if you're restoring a backup).

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Any documents/whitepapers about System Restore for public?
A: We have inbox and online help files with information on SR for Beta2 and improved by RTM. We'll also be working on KB articles. Also we have documention available to beta testers on the Windows Vista Product Guide. Further documentation on my slides on connect and a testing guide as well. Hope that all helps

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How does "non-destructive imaging" relate to recovery/repair in Vista?
A: If you mean external snapshots (not known to windows), we don't have an in-box plan for them (because by definition, we do not know about them)

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Sorry for being ignorant of the complexities, but integration with AV is an essential need to effective restore now, not just the future.
A: You're right -- and the right integration is for AV to scan RPs and delete any that are infected. That is possible today. Also, since we stage files before doing the restore (and the AV app is running at that time), we will never restore a virus.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Any chance of MSFT rolling out a SP with the wonderful new SR capabilities b4 XMas for legacy - not yet - systems? ^o)
A: Sorry, no plans to backport this to XP. The key missing feature here is the new VSS (volume shadow copy service) infrastructure, plus WinRE.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Any chance of MSFT rolling out a SP with the wonderful new SR capabilities b4 XMas for legacy - not yet - systems? ^o)
A: It'd be very hard to port the new system restore back to XP. The underlying technologies don't exist in XP, e.g. VSS. So it isn't something we're looking at this moment.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: What is the tool called that tries to tell you why you crashed and picked out a driver for me to use instead of the older sound driver that crashed me.  It was impressive even though the driver it linked me to at Santa Cruze TB was a Win ME driver that
refused to install. It was wrong but at least it tried hard.  I'm bugging it but where can I read about this diagnostic tool you all or some team has whipped up?  What is it called?
A: I believe that is (OCA) Online Crash Analysis

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: MSFT engineers are fond of saying (Richard Dominguez MSFT  from the device team said recently on newsgroups) that drivers cause almost all BSOD stop errors. It is not that simple--Driver Verifier, deadlock detection, and software antivirus driver inspectio
inspection contribute significantly I believe and if I'm right you should include the way to configure Driver Verifier and disable deadlock detection and software AV drivers for inspection not for AV running to help prevent BSOD no boots.
A: I'm not sure what the question is here -- but SR can be used from WinRE to fix a non-booting system, and bad driver is a key cause of a non-booting system.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: security speaking how is improved from the xp version?
A: The main goal of SR is not to raise security of the system.

There we have other good approaches (Firewall/Defender).

It's about being able to recover from bad installs/drivers and so on.



Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I'd like to suggest that some measure of control of SR points be available via GPO for us business folks - perhaps setting timing, max space, etc. I don't expect to be able to restore from my DC ... but wouldn't it be fun ...   (pi)
A: System Restore is a client only option, hence no DC :)

The only GP we currently support is option 1 - NONE, 2 - Ability to disable SR, 3 - Ability to enable but prevent the user from changing the configuration. We'll consider more GP setting in future releases.

Andy Sweet [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: We are told the often ineffective (95% I believe) Recovery Console--a good idea for repair outside Windows whose 13 original dos commands rarely work is scrapped and now there is Win PE--that's a  "P" not an "R"--does this figure as some of the repair/
recovery tools and if so how does it complement or fit into the set of tools for fixing Vista no boots?
A: Startup Repair is a feature available in WinRE. on install disk, under system recovery options, you can access startup repair, designed to automatically fix boot problems.  OEMs will likely include it on hidden partition avail via F8 or via recovery media they include. Beta help should include "beta" content on Startup Repair.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: When I used Win RE I was presented with a log.  One of the messages said reg corruption and the others were not intelligible.
A: Can you please send information on this issue, including repro steps and screenshots, to the newsgroup? thanks

Paul Trunley [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: was able to use Win RE and it's first option worked well but I am totally confused as to how to differentiate the other options/when should you use Win RE or System Restore--do they have equal shots at getting back on line--is it that you try one
randomly and it doesn't work you try the other?  I believe definitely you all need to include an explanation in your UI or somewhere in the Win RE setup of all the choices and tools so the person trying to recover will have the option of using the best tool and have the best odds to recover.  There isn't anything like this now.
A: That's good feedback. We will take a look at your documentation requests as we do our planning.

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: We are told the often ineffective (95% I believe) Recovery Console--a good idea for repair outside Windows whose 13 original dos commands rarely work is scrapped and now there is Win PE--that's a  "P" not an "R"--does this figure as some of the repair/
recovery tools and if so how does it complement or fit into the set of tools for fixing Vista no boots?
A: T16 -- as noted earlier. WinPE is the platform -- small version of Windows, licensed to ISVs. WinRE is recovery tools on top of WinPE, shipped by OEMs on a recovery partition and on install media.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: I'm new on the beta program. What are the major changes from XP to Vista for System Restore? Any new options for backup?
A: System Restore has been totally changed underneath the hood, but it appears to have the same functionality. NTbackup has been replaced with a much better File backup, that is much more user friendly

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Congratualations to Bby for being a Best Question winner for asking "in domain environment is there is a cause to roll back to a previous state it might happen that a computer account locked out from the domain. What else can the administrator do to to avoid this situation?"

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Are ther repair tools that can be deployed on the fly to fix set up--I've seen Ko Ze refer to doing things with BCEDIT or other tools?
A: If I got it right. You could pop in a Windows RE media in to get to the recovery environment and use cmp prompt from there. You would have bcedit available to repair/change your boot options

Amit [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How do you turn off automount in XP so it doesn't effect system restore in Vista?
A: The volume automount setting was introduced post XP so this was may not be possible do this in XP

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: in domain environment is there is a cause to roll back to a previous state it might happen that a computer account locked out from the domain. What else can the administrator do to to avoid this situation?
A: Great question. After the restore, the machine thinks it doesn't need to re-register with the domain for N days, but in fact it should be sooner. We tried hard to figure out a workaround, but couldn't get it for Vista. A good best practice is to refresh the credentials after doing a restore (gpupdate, I think).

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Before you leave the chat, don’t forget to let us know how we’re doing!  To the right of your emoticon pull-down box is a “Chat Feedback” option.  If you don’t feel the chat was helpful, please ensure that you provide verbose comments on why you didn’t feel it was helpful and what we can do to improve the experience for you!!  If you would like to provide more feedback than the 1000 characters will allow, feel free to eMail us at LHBeta@microsoft.com.



Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Can you tell us which AV companies work to integrate with System Restore so that they can scan restore points? Or is that information you can't share?
A: Sorry, we can't tell you. Please ask your AV vendor :)

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: When Eduardo referred to "registry editor" and "other tools " to get people back on line what did he mean?
A: in Windows RE you have system restore, which is used automatically, if that doesn't work, say because you don't have any restore points, it will try to use registry recovery to repair your system. Let's say your local system hive is gone, it will repair that from a copy it takes daily.

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: no we need a group policy to stop system restore using 60gb of a 300gb disk - and limite to a more reasonable 300mb
A: That is the maximum amount that will be used. It does not mean it will use it.

If space gets low, old SR's will be deleted, so space is given back.

 

AND: You can use vssadmin to tweak the amount that will be used. That is not that confortable, but it will work.

Remember: As soon as you disable/enable SR, the original values will be back.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Before you leave the chat, don’t forget to let us know how we’re doing!  To the right of your emoticon pull-down box is a “Chat Feedback” option.  If you don’t feel the chat was helpful, please ensure that you provide verbose comments on why you didn’t feel it was helpful and what we can do to improve the experience for you!!  If you would like to provide more feedback than the 1000 characters will allow, feel free to eMail us at LHBeta@microsoft.com.



Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: Re 32 - not mounting WXP when booting Vista and visa versa - could this be done through BIOS?
A: Yes, that might work. But I think you'd have to tweak it each time.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: re q[112] you mised the point. filling up 60b of a disk - cause shte disk to become slower due to increased seek time due to sorage of useless data. limiting hte retore to 1gb - when you have only 10gb data causes seek time to reduce significantly
A: The Diff area is stored in the middle of the disk so it shouldn't cause signifigant slow down of the system. The VSSadmin command line tool can change the size of the disk area if you want to.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: running out of disk space is not a good reason to limit a slider. i dont want to run out- else defrag will not run - it needs free space. the whole point is to lmit the useless growth of system resotre to avoid other issues. 60gb on a 300gb disk is large
A: That's why we provide vssadmin so users can manage that. Additionally we have an integration with Disk Cleanup to temporarilly reclaim restore points, deleting all but the most recent one.

Wendy [MSFT] (Moderator):
Before you leave the chat, don’t forget to let us know how we’re doing!  To the right of your emoticon pull-down box is a “Chat Feedback” option.  If you don’t feel the chat was helpful, please ensure that you provide verbose comments on why you didn’t feel it was helpful and what we can do to improve the experience for you!!  If you would like to provide more feedback than the 1000 characters will allow, feel free to eMail us at LHBeta@microsoft.com.



Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
Q: How are your team and MSFT confronting the fact that most of the users of Vista in the world will have limited or no access to your recovery tools because MSFT makes no effor for them to get media when they make sizable OEM purchases of hdw that Vista will
drive
A: T16 -- most OEMs will put it on the recovery partition. OEMs may also ship a recovery CD with WinRE.

SR testers  [MSFT] (Expert):
Thanks for coming, This is Joe and Sandeep

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
thanks a lot guys! The questions were great. I really hope we had clarifynig answers that help you understand how System Restore works in Vista. Please post additional questions on the newsgroup. And we'll get to it. Thanks again! 

Folkert Bosl  [MSFT] (Expert):
Thanks, we always can learn from our customer....

Dan Stevenson [MSFT] (Expert):
JL -- defrag will try very hard not to impact the shadow copy storage. It swaps blocks of the same size so there is minimal bloat.

Eduardo [MSFT] (Expert):
T16: by now, you'll only have the Vista install DVD option, as a beta testers. OEMs can create a partiion with WinRE, in that case you'd be able to use F8.


Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment