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Thread: System Restore? I Want To Restore Only Selected Applications

  1. #1
    Arun Kumar's Avatar
    Arun Kumar is offline MVP Alumni
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    Aug 2012

    Default System Restore? I Want To Restore Only Selected Applications

    There is the option of system restore in case you need to revert to some point before current time. It works on volume shadow copy service. Takes a snap of the entire drive and stores it somewhere on the system drive. There is no other way Windows or any other operating system can store so many copies of the different drives on a computer. That is, the number of restore points you can see after opening system restore is the number of backups of all the drives on your computer - as a volume snapshot. That won't include drives for which you turned off system restore. I doubt if it helps any drives other than the ones where Windows is installed.

    That is, if you have a dual boot for Windows and Ubuntu, can you use system restore to change the contents of the drive where Ubuntu is installed, using system restore? Did not get any chance to try this out.

    Anyway, if you wish to restore selectively, you have that option too. It works on the same "volume snapshot process". I think each folder and file too has its previous versions stored as a separate snapshot. Data files and folders can also be stored as part of Windows Backup. In either case, you can get to the previous versions.

    When you right click any icon - folder or application, you get a tab labeled 'previous versions'. When you highlight it, you will see the previous versions available based on the volume snapshots (system restore points) and Windows Backup. You can see the date and time of the previous versions. Select a version and click on Restore... to restore it.

    If the previous version belongs to volume snapshot (though I am not sure how Windows can extract a single file/folder from volume snapshot but it says "restore points" in documentation), the file will automatically be replaced by its previous version. If the previous version belongs to Windows Backup, you will get the Restore wizard to guide you through the restoration. In the latter case, you can choose to keep both current and previous versions of the file/folder being restored.

    The best thing about "Previous Version" is that you can restore data files that cannot be restored using system restore. But then, this can be usable only if you have Windows Backup turned on. That is, if you are not using Windows Backup, Windows will not be able to show you previous versions of data files (but can sure give you previous versions of application files).

    The point to consider is: Does Windows take snapshot of each and every application folder separately or is there a method that allows it to extract a single file/folder from a volume snap (a system restore point)?

  2. #2
    whs's Avatar
    whs is offline Gold Member
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    Oct 2008


    Another convenient way to recover any parts of a restore point is the Shadow Explorer

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