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I usually only enable system restore on OS drive. But even so, I rarely use it. Usually when got infected, system restore can't help resolving the issue. Besides got infected, I can't think of any case that requires system restore. So, is it recommend to enable it? Thanks.

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In Windows Vista and Windows 7 (yes, I know the title says Windows XP), System Restore also handles Previous Versions, basically Time Machine but for Windows. –  Hello71 Jul 15 '10 at 19:33
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7 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Usually when got infected, system restore can't help resolving the issue.

That's right. If you get infected with malware, you really should backup your data, reformat your drive, and generally just start over on that system. This is a malicious problem.

System Restore is for when there is an accidental failure - the power goes out during windows updates, there's a bug in your new software program, or you accidentally deleted an important system file. In those cases, which can happen quite often, System Restore is a godsend. I used it just yesterday to fix a computer here that could no longer talk to our domain controller.

What you have to ask yourself now is whether it's worth the performance penalty. Five years ago I would have said, "no", because it made a very noticable impact on performance. But newer systems, including most anything still actively used, should be able to handle the load without issue.

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Just my view on it all...

If you're running low on hard drive space, then buy some more disable it.

I don't see a problem with enabling it though. You can change the disk space allowance (Less space = Less saved restore points).

I also rarely use the feature and had the same question. Eventually, I decided to keep it enabled. Since then, it's helped me once when my computer died through no fault of my own, but because of Windows updates. For this reason alone, I prefer to keep mine enabled.

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Yeah, it's saved my butt from a bad driver more than once. :) –  GalacticCowboy Jun 10 '10 at 13:22
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Actually having a failed windows update, or power failure during an install of anything, windows insisting on a driver update you didn't realize you didn't want, etc. are other reasons to have system restore. I had a machine that would crash on registry writes and until i figured out the cause restore at least let me work it out.

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If you're never going to use it even if you do enable it then it seems pointless to enable it. You'll save some hard disk space.

Personally, I'd keep it enabled.

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If your someone whose machine becomes infected with malware from time to time, then definitely YES. We use system restore frequently to clean up from rogueware and the likes. It makes the cleanup much faster and efficient as you can move back before the malware has trashed the registry.

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I always leave System Restore enabled, and give it enough drive space for 2-4 weeks of recovery. It's far from a magic solution (try Comodo Time Machine for that), but it can save your bacon when it comes to malware infections (if discovered quickly) and failed/damaging application installs.

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System Restore has been the single most useful way to recover for user saying "oops". I suggest it to all the windows users I support and inevitably they will click something, install a driver, interrupt an update, etc. Returning to the prior system restore has helped dozens of times.

It's a great first step and costs you nothing except drive space. Drive space is super cheap these days.

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