System Restore Points

This is one for the home users…

A while back, I was unfortunate enough to be affected by the Windows 10 build 1803 issue that caused systems with certain SSDs to crash during the update and become unbootable.  Frustratingly, I realized that system restore points are not enabled by default on Windows 10 when I tried to recover.  After a few maddening hours in the recovery console, I decided to reinstall Windows, which is probably not a bad thing to do periodically.

One I was back up and running though, I did enable system restore points – instructions are here, if you aren’t sure how.   I later realized that, most unhelpfully, Windows wasn’t actually creating system restore points automatically.  Fortunately, some helpful people wrote this guide on setting up a scheduled task to create system restore points every day.

Be aware that system restore points ARE NOT BACKUPS.  Restore points will help in some instances, such as when MS forgets to QA a Windows release (or whatever happened with 1803) and you’re left with an unbootable system or introduced some other instability.  Be aware that most destructive malware will disable/delete restore points and they won’t save you from drive failures, stolen devices, or defenestration.  I personally use iDrive for backups since CrashPlan pulled out of the consumer market.  It was really cheap – I think I got a year for about $6 – but that was during “National Back Up Your Crap Month” (or whatever that holiday is called) – and it lets you set an encryption key that prevents (allegedly) iDrive the company from being able to recover your data without the key only you have.

 

*** Edit ***

Well, I got too excited…  Apparently Windows feature upgrades (such as the one that laid waste to my computer) intentionally disables and deletes system restore points as part of the upgrade process.  Details here.  Dammit Microsoft… (Thanks to @galaxis@mastodon.infra.de for pointing this out)

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