System Restore

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PurpleGurl
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System Restore

Post by PurpleGurl »

Do we have plans for System Restore functionality? I hope if we do that we can make it more efficient and avoid the MS mistakes.

For instance, Windows requires that you have SR enabled on drive C for *any* other volume to be protected. Also, what I hate about SR is that it always enables it for new drives and non-system drives. When I use it, I only want it for my system drive. As for my own data, I have backups and all. I only want the System Restore protection in case it won't boot or something is seriously wrong in Windows itself. My personal files have nothing to do with it booting or not. Yet, if you enable it from it being disabled, it is turned on for every drive in your system, and if you plug in an external drive for the first time in a while, it is protected too. There are no registry keys for most of this behavior. No, this is all hidden in files inside a rootkit in an alternate data stream on the C-volume (that is why Windows requires the C-drive to have it enabled for any drive to work, since it all is hidden in the hidden SR files which are in with what is being protected). They basically set it up as a master-slave sort of configuration.

Murmur
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Re: System Restore

Post by Murmur »

What I would really love to have is a function that make a snapshop of the OS so you can revert EVERYTHING back it a point in time, like how VMware could revert back to an old snapshot. My reasoning behind this is that I deal with customers on a daily basis who infect their computer with viruses or mess shit up. If they were sitting on a VM they could just revert the changes but what if the OS could do it in a better fashion.

Z98
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Re: System Restore

Post by Z98 »

This presumes the virus or whatever hasn't already hosed those snapshots.

PurpleGurl
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Re: System Restore

Post by PurpleGurl »

Z98 wrote:This presumes the virus or whatever hasn't already hosed those snapshots.
True. That happens enough with System Restore. But you are never to tamper with the hidden SR files. Really, all you can do in that case is disinfect, then disable and restart System Restore to delete any backed up infected files and to repair SR if any of the backed up files are deleted. The problem with how SR works is that it is incremental, so to get back to whatever date, any changes since then have to also be undone. If any backed up files are missing, System Restore might hose Windows.

Yes, I learned the above lesson the hard way. A friend had a virus and it was even in her SR backups. I performed some overrides to get into the "System Volume Information" folder and deleted the infected backups. But then I realized she had other problems and tried to restore sometime before the virus. I finally did a clean install for her. Now, if I had known all that, I would have turned off System Restore to let Windows purge it and then re-enable it.

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betaluva
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Re: System Restore

Post by betaluva »

what annoys me the most is the fact that restore points expire, the irony is that the longer you use your windows install the more you could really use your day1/week1 system restore point!

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Black_Fox
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Re: System Restore

Post by Black_Fox »

day1/week1 restore point is IMHO a wrong way to do stuff, instead you could create image of the system:
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how ... windows-7/

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betaluva
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Re: System Restore

Post by betaluva »

i was talking about the average pc user who does not know how to create a system inage, of course,the best course of action is to back up personal data and do a rresh install of windows.

Murmur
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Re: System Restore

Post by Murmur »

why need to do a fresh install of windows when you can revert to an image of the system? Why spend extra time installing OS, installing drivers, setting up the system and updating programs when you could just do an image of the system and get back to that point in time after install?

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Black_Fox
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Re: System Restore

Post by Black_Fox »

Well, there's a question of whether we mean average ReactOS user, who can google for making system image and learn it in a few minutes, or whether we mean average computer user as such, who has processor "Windows Seven" and graphics "GeForce", I'm sure you can imagine :mrgreen:

MadWolf
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Re: System Restore

Post by MadWolf »

hi
i have tried to use System Restore and have found it to be useless imho the whay System Restore should work it creates an image of the system that is stored on a read only media and on a hidden drive and when the system creates a new image the master image on the hidden drive is scand then the system is scand to find the new / modified files and then generates a new image whithe the new / modified files and when the system is Restored the System Restore downloads a checksum file from the reactos server that contains a list of checksum for all the most uptodate system files then the master image and the smaller images are scand for file integrity check of the System files and if the checksum are a match then the system is restord but if the are files that do not pass the checksum during the restore the files that do not pass the checksum are downloaded from the reactos server and when the system is started for the first time after restore you have the option to make a new master image and the option to Restore any none reactos files whithe a warning

PurpleGurl
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Re: System Restore

Post by PurpleGurl »

I do see the need to keep the MS behavior, at least outwardly, since quite a few applications use the System Restore APIs. We don't need to do it the same way, since applications are blind to how the sets are stored. The applications only need the service there, and with compatible APIs, from what I understand.

I believe we are also free to expand the SR concept. I mean, why can't SR and SFC be more coordinated? Others expressed the desire to have a fixed backup set to a specific time in the way past like week 1 (as opposed to a relative set). If ROS keeps a small footprint, then a full backup image specific to the OS itself would be feasible.

I also like the checksum list on the server idea. Then corrupted files can be replaced from a known safe source (and this mechanism could be used later on for updates). It wouldn't hurt to have a separate layer of protection in case the ROS site list gets compromised. That could mean keeping copies of the list from an older time (during the same revision period for all the files) on the ROS server and/or the individual PCs. I mean, if it was one version last week and the file list was one way, and it is the same version this week, but the CRCs are different, then could the ROS site list be trusted? I guess what I'm saying is to have the CRC list in multiple places which are updated at different times within the same revision levels. Any one place can be compromised, either by hackers/disgruntleds or by a ROS-specific virus.

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