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Full Defrag Wipes All Restore Points


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I ran a full defrag with the latest free Defraggler v. 2.18.945 on my 32-bit Vista system yesterday and just as the defrag reached completion I noticed the used space on my 220 GB hard drive suddenly dropped from 110 GB to 82 GB.  I checked my system restore points in CCleaner (Tools | System Restore) and discovered that every single restore point had been wiped, including my latest (most recent) restore point.  I had checked my restore points before starting the full defrag and had cleaned out all but the last 5 restore points dating back to 29-Sep-2014.  Approx 50% of my hard drive (110 GB) was free space prior to starting the full defrag so lack free space should not have been an issue.  The Analyze Drive also reported that I had approx 3% fragmentation (excluding restore points) prior to the defrag.

Please note that I use the default settings for defragging on the Options | Defrag and Options | Quick Defrag tabs.  The following settings at Options | Advanced | Use custom fragmentation settings | Define are also enabled by default:

  • Exclude restore point (enabled)
  • Exclude hibernation file (enabled)

I found a similar bug reported in Pat-2's thread Restore Points from 2010 regarding Defraggler v. 2.00.230 where several users reported loosing every single restore point after running a full defrag.

I normally run Quick Defrags with Defraggler and have never had restore points wiped during a Quick Defrag.
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MS Windows 32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox 33.0 * IE 9.0 * NIS 2013 v. 20.5.0.28 * Defraggler v. 2.18.945
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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  • 3 weeks later...

- Did you select "Wipe Free Space" as well ? Because that triggers something in Windows that makes Windows delete one or more System Restore Points. Windows sees that the amount of free disk space becomes too low and then it starts wiping those System Restore Points.

- Defraggler has an option called "Disable VSS". Tick that box and I would assume those System Restore Points won't disappear anymore.

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc

 

A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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- Did you select "Wipe Free Space" as well ? Because that triggers something in Windows that makes Windows delete one or more System Restore Points. Windows sees that the amount of free disk space becomes too low and then it starts wiping those System Restore Points.

- Defraggler has an option called "Disable VSS". Tick that box and I would assume those System Restore Points won't disappear anymore.

 

Hi Willy2:

 

Thank you for your feedback.  Sorry, but I'm not sure where the setting is for "Wipe Free Space".  If I highlight my C: drive after running the disk analysis to build my file list and then choose Action | Advanced from the main menu, I can see options for choosing "Defrag Freespace" or "Defrag Freespace (allow fragmentation)", but as far as I know Defraggler does not defrag my free disk space if I perform a standard full disk defrag.

 

Over 50% of my C: drive is currrently free space.  I could understand the logic of wiping my older restore points and leaving just my latest restore if I were short on drive space, but I've never heard of a defrag wiping every single restore point off a system.  That sounds like an incredibly dangerous thing to do.

 

The online Piriform documentation for the Advanced options tab states that the Stop VSS when defragmenting NTFS volume option "disables Volume Shadow Copy Service and Volume Snapshot Service whilst defragmentation is running. After defragmentation is complete, VSS is restarted."  If leaving this option disabled deliberately wipes every single restore point off a system then users should be warned about this.

 

I also have the free edition of CCleaner on my system and if I want to clean up my old restore points at Tools | System Restore, the latest restore point is always disabled for system safety so that I can't accidentally delete it.

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MS Windows 32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox 33.0 * IE 9.0 * NIS 2013 v. 20.5.0.28 * Defraggler v. 2.18.945

HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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- Ouch, my mistake. The option "Wipe Free Space" doesn't exist in Defraggler but it does in CCleaner. But over there's it's a "pain in the a**" as well. As I have described above.

- Agree. The users should be warned about the VSS and I am convinced this option should be enabled by default. More over, I think, DF should ALWAYS disable the VSS Service whenever Defraggler is busy doing anything, and re-enabled afterwards (if/when appropriate). Then the program can get rid of that option as well. No need to bother the innocent non-geek with this confusing behaviour.

- In that regard, it was good to bring this to the attention of the "Piriform crowd".

 

@Developers of Defraggler: Are you reading this ? To be implemented IMO !!!

 

 

- I have seen that in certain circumstances Windows itself wipes all the System Restore Points as well on my Win 7 system.

- The feature System Restore Point itself can be a "Pain in the a**" as well. If it works it's a wonderful feature but when/if it doesn't work then it's a nightmare. I therefore recommend to install (Warning: Shameless Plug) Tweaking's Registry Backup. It makes a copy of the registry upon every start up. Some 90 to 95% of the errors are registry related.

Edited by Willy2

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc

 

A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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  • 3 months later...

I'm sorry, but after reading previous replies in this thread I'm still not clear if a full defrag by Defraggler v. 2.18.945 deliberately wipes every single restore point, including the user's latest (most recent) restore point when Settings | Options | Advanced | Stop VSS when defragmenting NTFS volume is disabled, as Willy2 has suggested.

 

I tried another full defrag today with v. 2.18.945 and lost every single restore point again.  This still sounds like a serious bug to me.

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MS Windows 32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox 36.0 * IE 9.0 * NIS 2014 v. 21.6.0.32 * Defraggler v. 2.18.945
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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- I can't imagine Defraggler deliberately wipes System Restore Points (SRPs). But I don't have intimate knowledge of the program. What I do know is that Windows will start to delete SRPs and other temporary files when it detects there's too little free disk space.

- Defraggler needs to read & write A LOT OF files and that could lead to the file cache growing to a GIANT size. When the amount of "Free" memory space (See Windows' "Resource Monitor") goes down to zero (and even before that) then Windows starts to move data from the memory to the pagefile. And when that pagefile keeps growing then I could imagine that at some point Windows starts to delete one or more SRPs.

- Was Firefox running when you did a full defrag ? Firefox occupies LOTS of memory and then I wouldn't surprised to see the pagefile grow like mad.

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc

 

A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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Was Firefox running when you did a full defrag ? Firefox occupies LOTS of memory and then I wouldn't surprised to see the pagefile grow like mad.

Hi Willy2:

 

Firefox was closed when I ran the defrag.  Idletime background tasks for my Norton AV were disabled. As noted in my original post, I have a 220 GB HD and approx. 130 GB is currently free so lack of free disk space should not be an issue.  I used CCleaner to clean up my hard drive and deleted all but my last four restore points prior to the defrag.

 

EDIT:

 

I've submitted a request to Piriform Support, although I'm not sure if they will provide support for the free version of Defraggler.  I'll report back if they have any suggestions.

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MS Windows 32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox 36.0 * IE 9.0 * NIS 2014 v. 21.6.0.32 * Defraggler v. 2.18.945

HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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Imacri,

 

I have completed some testing trying to replicate the issue but haven't had any luck so far.  Please check this KB article and see if any of these could have applied to you, it seems on Vista (and possibly other versions of Windows) there are quite a few scenarios that will trigger deletes of your system restore points.  It may be one of these that caused the issue, for example running out of space on a non system drive.

 

Additional Info:

 

 

 

System Restore uses the FIFO process on restore points consistently across drives and always deletes full restore points. System Restore keeps restore point information about all drives. So when one drive causes System Restore to use the FIFO process on restore points because of low disk space, the restore point information is deleted on all drives. For additional information, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:
299904 System Restore suspended on system drive although enough disk space
300044 System Restore and hard disk space

 

Let me know how you get on and if you think of any other relevant information.

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For additional information, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:
299904 System Restore suspended on system drive although enough disk space
300044 System Restore and hard disk spac

 

Hi MrK:

 

Thanks for your response,  Just to clarify, all my restore points are only wiped by a full Defrag by Defraggler.  This does not happen with a full defrag with my native Vista Windows Disk Defragmenter.

 

If I monitor my Defraggler full Defrags, I can see the Status of the defrag slowly increasing from 0% to approx. 70% over a period of around 5 hours.  Once the Status reaches approx. 70%, it rapidly jumps to 100% and I can see the blocks of disk space occupied by my restore points wiped and changed to free disk space.  The Status then changes to Calculating Disk Performance and the Defrag finishes.  If I then check with CCleaner (Tools | System Restore) I can confirm that all restore points, including the latest restore point that is normally greyed out and prevented from being deleted, have been wiped.

 

I should also note that I've noticed a second bug on my system that occurs each time I update Defraggler.  Specifically, Defraggler incorrectly reports that my disk is approx. 30% fragmented and all my restore points appear in the fragmented files list, despite the fact that the option to Exclude restore point files (Settings | Options | Advanced | Use custom fragmentation settings | Define) is enabled.  Other users have reported this bug - see my posts in switch's thread System Volume Information "Exclude" Problem.  I discovered a workaround for this problem that I must perform after every Defragger update - enable the option to Replace Windows Disk Defragmenter, close Defraggler, and disable the option again -  and Defraggler will once again correctly report that I'm back to 1% fragmentation.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if the two issues are somehow related, although the problem with restore points being wiped is new to v. 2.18.945.  The KB299904 you referenced mentions circumstances where System Restore can be suspended even if the user has sufficient disk space but I've never heard of any instance where all restore points (especially the latest restore point) were deleted when more than 50% of the hard drive was free space.

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MS Windows 32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox 36.0.1 * IE 9.0 * NIS 2014 v. 21.6.0.32 * Defraggler v. 2.18.945

HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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Defraggler has an option called "Disable VSS". Tick that box and I would assume those System Restore Points won't disappear anymore.

 

Here's an update on my progress with Piriform Support.  Just FYI, enabling the "Stop VSS when defragmenting NTFS volume" option was also Piriform's first suggestion, so Willy2 was on the right rack even though I haven't found a solution yet.

 

A.  Vista Shadow Copies

 

Running "vssadmin list shadowstorage" from an elevated command prompt shows that Vista has allocated a max. 30 GB for restore points on my 220 GB C:\ drive (see http://bertk.mvps.org/html/diskspacev.html for an explanation of how disk space is allocated by Vista).  Each of my restore points occupies  about 1.5 GB, and once I accrue around 20 restore points and max out my allocated space Vista will automatically delete the oldest restore point before it creates a new one.  Here's a screenshot of my current disk allocation (6 restore points, 10 GB of 30 GB used):

post-28709-0-84721200-1426188617_thumb.png

 

B.  Full Disk Defrag with Defraggler - Volsnap Error 36 and All Restore Points Deleted (07-Mar-2015)

 

When I run a full disk defrag with Defraggler with the Advanced option "Stop VSS when defragmenting NTFS volume" enabled (or disabled) I see a large drop in used disk space at the end of the defrag.  At the same time a Volsnap error is logged in the Event Viewer under Windows Logs | System  (Event ID 36 - The shadow copies of volume C: were aborted because the shadow copy storage could not grow due to a user imposed limit).  Here are screenshots for a Defraggler Defrag on 07-Mar-2014 showing 3 restore points before the defrag (4 GB of 30 GB used) and 0 restore points after the defrag.

 

post-28709-0-86017000-1426188738_thumb.png

post-28709-0-59881400-1426188786_thumb.png

 

C.  Full Disk Defrag with Windows Disk Defragmenter - No Volsnap Error, No Restore Points Deleted (11-Mar-2015)

 

When I run a full disk defrag with Windows Disk Defragmenter (WDD) I typically see no change or a small increase in used disk space at the end of the defrag.  There are no Volsnap errors logged in the Event Viewer and no restore points are deleted.  Here are screenshots of a WDD defrag on 11-Mar-2014 showing 6 restore points before and after the defrag (7 GB of 30 GB used).

 

post-28709-0-07577900-1426188960_thumb.png

post-28709-0-23476700-1426189006_thumb.png

 

Piriform Support have also been running test defrags with Vista.  Their results show Used Shadow Copy disk space increasing over the course of a Defraggler full disk defrag even when VSS is disabled, and that the number of restore points deleted at the end of the defrag depends in part on the max. space allocated for restore points (which can be adjusted with a command similar to "vssadmin resize shadowstorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=40GB"). Test results have been passed on to the developers and Piriform Support's last e-mail stated that "hopefully we will be able to have this fixed in a future version".  In the mean time, I have serious concerns that Defraggler is wiping ALL restore points, including my latest restore point that might be needed if I had to do an emergency recovery, so I have decided to uninstall Defraggler from my Vista system and use Windows Disk Defragmenter for my disk defrags for now.

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MS Windows 32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox 36.0.1 * IE 9.0 * NIS 2014 v. 21.6.0.32 * Defraggler v. 2.18.945

HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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