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Lost all my restore points


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When and what version of Ccleaner started erasing restore points.  I did not want to erase my restore points.  Ccleaner must be set to erase retore points by default and I did not know it.  Please tell me how to stop this.  I cannot find it in any settings.  I have version 5.63.7540 free and this just came without warning.

I was setting up a new Windows 10 computer and carfully setting retore points and they are all gone.  I went to my old Windows  7 PC and it has been happening there also.  I did not know it.

I am not talking about the System restore tool.  I am talking about running Ccleaner and it is removing restore points somehow on both my machines.  What is going on?

Please help.Thank you.

 

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The only way I know of that this could happen is if you have wipe freespace checked off in the advanced section of the windows tab.

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Thank you for your reply.  First of all in my panic I just saw restore points missing when I tested my Win7 computer and forgot to check show more points box.  They were there.  Also there is no box next to wipe free space on Ccleaner on my Win 7 computer.

I see it is checked now on my Win 10 computer which is a fresh install on a new machine.  It must have been checked by default and I am sick about it. I want to be clear and do the right thing.  If I uncheck the box next to wipe free space, I can run Ccleaner and my restore points will not be erased.  Honestly I do not know how it happened unless this is some sort of default setting I was not aware of.  I have had and used Ccleaner for years.  I did not check that box.  Wiping free space would take too long anyway as I understand it.  I never did it.  BTW when I unchecked the box it went away  and the interface on my Win10 machine looks the same as the Win7 computer.

Am  I safe now?  Shouldn't people be warned of this?

Thank you.  I know the restore points are gone for good but I hope this will not happen again.

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Whenever its been queried before it's usually turned out to be Windows itself that is removing the restore points. Wipe Free space just cleans up the entries afterwards (because Windows have got rid of them and the space is now free).

There are various reasons why Windows will do that and the fact you say you were 'setting up' Windows 10 may well have triggered Windows to do it.

There have also been a few problems in the last few years where Windows has not actually made RPs even when it says it has, or deleted them shortly after creation.

I've also seen problems with Win10 saying there is a restore point, but when they try to use it Windows reports it's doesn't exist.

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It's not default checked, maybe you checked on accident.  Wipe free space first fills the empty space; windows takes the as a need to free up space and nukes restore points to regain space.

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That's a very good explanation of why WFS will make Windows (not CCleaner) delete restore points in that situation.

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Well you have both been kind and understanding.  I feel so bad I did it to myself.  I still don’t understand why there was even a box to check when there was none on my Win7 Ccleaner.  I am glad it is now also gone on my Win10 Ccleaner.  Honestly don’t remember checking it or why I would have thought I wanted to clean free space on a new computer.

Well the deed is done.  Now that the box is gone and there  will be no more wipe free space actions, are my restore points safe?  Or will Win10 have to keep taking restore points because Ccleaner wrote in all the free space?

I think I understand the explanation but I don’t understand when Win10 will stop taking free space from System Restore.

Thanks for your patience.

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Restore points are deleted by Windows regularly when the allocated space is full. However Windows certainly should not be deleting the current one unless you've changed the default pagefile setting to off.  I would check that.

There is a default amount of restore point space but you can manually set it to use whatever you want. More space means more restore points are kept for longer rather than Windows deleting them to make space for new ones. On modern systems each 'key' restore point can easily be 1GB but they range from about 600MB upwards.

For Win 7:-

Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Advanced system setting >System Properties > System Protection tab > Available Drives > Configure button.

The allocated restore point volume may have free space but I can not believe that accidentally enabling that CCleaner Advanced setting could have happened let alone do what as described. If you enabled it there should be a warning message about the extra time the cleaning will take and that the recommendation is not to use it. Similarly the CCleaner System Restore management tool can not be used accidentally to delete all restore points.

The only thing that I've come across that will unintendedly remove all restore points is on dual boot system, specifically, WinXP and Win7. When WinXP is launched it will see the Win7 restore points as being corrupt and takes it upon itself to delete them all. :(

Despite several methods described in various articles online supposedly stopping that happening the only solution that works is to have the two OS on separate drives and disable the other drive either physically or via the BIOS/UEFI SATA port controls. Utter pain and one reason I gave up on the dual boot and installed XPMode on a VM instead. Used that way it does not delete any restore points.

Backing up restore points is possible, in theory. They're stored in the System Volume Information folder which is a system folder usually hidden by default. A backup imaging program like EAsUS Todo can copy system files but whilst I've done that I've never had the need or guts to test restore a restore point using the backup. It would probably require all sorts of permission changes to do it.

I'd be looking for a culprit somewhere other than CCleaner. Anti-virus software would be high up on my alternative suspects list.............hmmmmmmm.

Edited by ArchAngle
Wrong info corrected (see later post)
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It can/will also happen that Restore Points will be removed with a Windows 10 Feature Update, (eg. from 1809 to 1903), but not always.

This is because a  Win10 Feature Update is actually a change to the operating system, and so Restore Points from the old version will not (always) work with the new version.

In the past there were some complaints from users who had tried to do just that after a feature update and use an old restore point to go back, which of course crashed their machine and they had to reinstall from scratch.
(Think of it a bit like trying to use an XP restore point in Win7, it just wouldn't work).
So to prevent that, during a Feature Update Win10 will now remove the old Restore Points if they would not be compatible with the updated OS.

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So Windows updates sometimes do that now? That is bad, particularly as Windows itself should, automatically, put in a Restore Point before updating. If it is rendered useless by the update why would they do that and delete all the Restore Points including the one they have just created?

That explanation does not seem to really fit the facts unless this is unintended Windows 10 behaviour ie. bug of some sort.

Whenever Restore Points and AVAST are linked in some way, like this through CCleaner, I always get a bit suspicious. They have a history of interfering with Restore Point use, something I've regularly objected too over the years. No evidence has been provided it is anything like that but something deleted all the OP's Restore Points and they said the same thing is happening on a Win7 PC as well.

What type of software might they have on both machines that is being updated on a daily basis and has high enough permissions to be able to do this accidentally or deliberately?  

 

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1 hour ago, ArchAngle said:

So Windows updates sometimes do that now? That is bad, particularly as Windows itself should, automatically, put in a Restore Point before updating. If it is rendered useless by the update why would they do that and delete all the Restore Points including the one they have just created?

That explanation does not seem to really fit the facts unless this is unintended Windows 10 behaviour ie. bug of some sort.

It's not a bug, and is intended. You have to get your head around the fact that Win10 works differently from previous Windows versions.

You have to remember that each Feature Update is effectively changing the OS, the version number, so keeping old restore points is useless.
Just like updating from XP to 7 would not keep XP restore points, it would be useless to do so.
The big difference with Win10 is that this now happens automatically every six months, without you having to buy the new version and install it yourself.

There is a different method of 'rolling back' to the previous version following a Win10 Feature Update if you are not happy with that update, because Restore Points do not, can not, work to roll back in such a situation.
Windows keeps the needed files for the old version for a month. What used to be called 'Windows.old' but because things work differently with 10 is now 'WinSXS'. (SXS = Side-by-Side).
The update roll back is only available for that month, after which Windows deletes the unneeded SXS files.
I'm not sure if 'rolling back' to a previous version would also restore the RP's that you had saved with that version? (I've never had to try it).

https://www.howtogeek.com/235474/how-to-roll-back-builds-and-uninstall-updates-on-windows-10/

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Also Win 10 Sys Restore is off by default, and I seem to remember reading that a Win update reverts the setting to off if it has been altered to on.

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Although I have very little trust in System Restore (I trust verifiable disk images instead) I did enable it last year in Win10 v1803, and now that I'm on v1909 it's still enabled. Win10 has never disabled it from what I see for my C:\ drive and it reports the space it's using which grows slightly daily.

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I agree that RPs have very limited use these days and a mirror image with something like Macrium Reflect is preferable.

TBH I can't remember ever using an RP that actually solved anything.

But I suppose it still gives people a sense of security, even if it's missplaced. (And imagine the shouting if MS dropped them).

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16 hours ago, ArchAngle said:

Restore points are deleted by Windows regularly when the allocated space is full. However Windows certainly should not be deleting the current one unless you've changed the default pagefile setting to off.  I would check that.

The default is system management of the pagefile but you can manually set it to use the recommended minimum which is roughly 50% more than your RAM.  With 4GB of RAM that would be 6GB - enough for 5 -10 restore points. On modern systems each 'key' restore point can easily be 1GB but they range from about 600MB upwards.

To view your pagefile settings (Win7) Control Panel > System and Security > System > Advanced system settings (in the left side menu) > Performance - Settings button > Advanced tab > Virtual memory Change button. Its fairly self-explanatory.

The pagefile may have free space but I can not believe that accidentally enabling that CCleaner Advanced setting could have happened let alone do what as described. If you enabled it there should be a warning message about the extra time the cleaning will take and that the recommendation is not to use it. Similarly the System Restore management tool can not be used accidentally to delete all restore points.

 

what has the pagefile to do with windows restore points?

 

and yes -> you can use the windows system restore management to delete alle restore points...

 

 

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4 minutes ago, trium said:

If you enabled it there should be a warning message about the extra time the cleaning will take and that the recommendation is not to use it.

 

do you mean this?

2057223767_ccleaner-warnungbeiwipefreespace.JPG.85cad8d70685b7554a2b01e99ba2f8d3.JPG

 

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12 minutes ago, trium said:

what has the pagefile to do with windows restore points?

Maybe have a read of this, see point 6.  (not the best looking webpage but..)
https://www.ubackup.com/windows-10/system-restore-points-gone-windows-10.html

Like I said above it all comes down to what you are expecting to see from RP's - and that has changed from used to be the case with older Windows OS's.

If you expect to see what used to happen in the past then you shouldn't, things change.

 

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7 hours ago, trium said:

 

what has the pagefile to do with windows restore points?

 

and yes -> you can use the windows system restore management to delete alle restore points...

 

Oops, apologies for that I was getting the pagefile (virtual memory) mixed up with the reserved space allocated to restore points which is adjustable in much the same way.

Path (Win 7) to what I was talking about to check is:-

Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Advanced system setting >System Properties > System Protection tab >Available Drives > Configure button.

I have to point out, again, that the OP reports this problem on both a Win10 and Win7 machine.

On the use of RPs all I can say is that I had to use one only last week. After the last Windows update I discovered that a program I use regularly on one PC was not working as intended. Rolling it back using the RP Windows had put in itself cured the problem but pretty much proved it was the cause.  Quick, simple and most sensible solution I'd suggest.

Thankfully carefully re-updating Windows one 'Important' item at a time rebooting after each rather than doing them all at once avoided whatever the problem was repeating.

    

 

 

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Well it happened again.  No drive wiping this time.  I have been manually creating RP’s (3) and then running normal file deletion, that’s all. The RP’s were fine.  I created an RP before installing Microsoft Office 2019.  So far so good.  Went to bed.  Checked system restore this morning and all the restore points are gone.  I have Windows update on pause so it wasn’t an update.  I have no idea how this is happening.

Earlier I had asked if Windows would think my C: drive was full forever and keep wiping RP’s away every time it needed space.  That does not appear to be the case.

816024390_2020-02-03drivespace.thumb.jpg.6f1e09d80a2163d1c687b04d3325f82f.jpg

Also, I have set System Restore’s allocation of drive space at 20% which is 47.54 GB.  I have today made three more RP’s throughout the day and the total space they take up is 282.29 MB.

I do not understand why Windows keeps taking RP’s.

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If using any non-Microsoft disk defrag software that automatically defrags disks that might cause it - if that isn't the issue please ignore this.

If your OS drive is an SSD and by looking at your screenshot you're using minimal space why not regularly (daily or weekly) use a disk imaging software that can make smaller incremental backups of only the changes taking place since a full disk image instead of relying upon System Restore which is obviously failing you for whatever reason.

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My advice is that mpw101 tries significantly reducing the amount of space allocated to RPs and see if that helps.

10% of a 237GB HDD should be way more than enough but whether that will stop the problem alone I'm not convinced. 

This weekend I suddenly remembered this problem is not new to me and there was a not so old thread I posted in here about such matters.

Just found it.

Have you checked your actual Restore Points and are not just relying on CCleaner's RP tool?

If they're really all still there see this thread I think it might be relevant.

Guess who was a major contributor and help then? Andavari

The suggestion was that there is a corrupt RP somewhere and that is the problem. Trouble is you can not know which it is so you actually have to do the very thing that appears to be happening but probably is not: delete everything. This is most simply done by turning OFF Windows RP, rebooting then turning it ON again.

 

 

 

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Update for all.  Thank you for your interest and suggestions.  Here are my responses and where things stand now.

In my second post (see above) I corrected the first to say that I made a mistake.  The RP’s on my Win7 computer were not being erased.

I have accepted the solution that it was my fault because somehow wipe free space drives on a new install of Cc got checked in settings and should not have been.  When I unchecked the box, the box actually went away.  I really don’t remember checking it, but this whole transition from Win7 to Win10 has this old lady so frazzled I just don’t know.

I never checked or used the drive wiper in tools.  I at least know never to do that.

The space for SR is on my C drive which is an SSD drive.  I have never used Win10 defrag tool or any other defrag tool. I don’t think you defrag SSD drives. My D drive is an HDD drive and I have not used defrag on that either.  According to Win10 the program Optimizes the SSD and Defrags the HHD automatically weekly. (Built in Defrag and Optimize App)

I did reduce the allocated space for SR to 15% or 35 GB.  If it happens again, I will reduce it further.

I really have come to the conclusion that the problem is not Ccleaner because since this started and I removed the check mark from wipe free space, I have run Cc and checked SR and all the restore points would be there.  What ever happens does not seem to happen when I run Cc.

I discovered a couple things to do on line.  First in Configure System Restore I clicked to disable it.  The RP’s were gone anyway.  Then I restarted the computer.  Then I checked to turn on system restore.  Then I restarted the computer again.

One online site suggested there could be corrupt files and Win10 may be erasing corrupt files from SR and that would be a good thing.  So, I ran sfc /scannow and sure enough there were corrupt files on my computer and every time I made a restore point, I guess there were corrupt files in the RP.

The corrupt files had something to do with One Drive which I do not want.  I have only one device, my desktop.  I don’t want anything in the cloud, I want my stuff in my house.  I cannot interpret the sfc log but I recognized the words “one drive” in it a lot.

I had uninstalled One Drive from Control Panel>Programs and Features.  But it does not go away.  When the Microsoft Office Team tech set up Office 2019 on my computer, One Drive was in Office too. I told him I did not want it, he said not to worry because nothing would go there until I sign in to it or something, but he went ahead and removed it anyway the same way I had before. Still it is on my C drive and is in Office Outlook and Office Word.  It has no files in it but it won’t go away.

Well back to sfc. The report was that all corrupt files had been successfully repaired and I am ignoring One Drive which is somehow a part of Win10 and Office 2019 and it will be in my face whether I want it or not.

Finally, in the past I backed up my files and folders and a system image on an external hard drive once a month on the first of the month using the Windows Backup Program.  I have no idea what I would have done if I needed to restore any of it.  I did this for seven years and never needed it or used it but I had it and I guess I would have gotten someone who knew how to use it to restore my computer.

I lack the technical knowledge to restore whole or partial images or use other backup programs.  

I prefer System Restore because it is easy.  And I did occasionally use it. 

Well I think that’s it.  Thanks again to all.

PS I have tried to edit this because emojis popped up instead of the letters of my drives.  I don't know why but now I just typed the letter without the : so maybe that will stop it.  Just a guess.

 

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1 hour ago, mpw101 said:

I did reduce the allocated space for SR to 15% or 35 GB.  If it happens again, I will reduce it further.

 

i dont know how it works in w10 and how many space it needs...

in w8.1 there was a default setting of 3% -> on my os are this round 10 GB = 3 restore points

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