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Welcome to The Lotus Position, an intermittent collection of extempore navel gazings, ponderings, whinges, whines, pontifications and diatribes.

Everything is based on a Sample of One: these are my views, my experiences... caveat lector... read the Disclaimer

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter
Ponder, Scribble, Ponder (Photo Erdotahi Aron)

Guest Nutter/Kindred Soul: Bill Bailey

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Friday, 29 February 2008

Part II of The Case of the Disappearing System Restore Points in Vista Home Premium

The Scene: a variety of rooms around the globe. People are gathered at the PC's reading "The Lotus Position".

The Story So Far: Vista Home Premium is throwing away restore points; this led to a messed up PC becoming unrecoverable except by the good fortune of an external Acronis backup. It seems that Vista's Shadow Storage system is taking copies of everything not just System Restore points; as a result the storage space is quickly consumed and old restore points are lost... The question is, is it a bug?

Enter: Inspector I-Do-Stuff....

You may be wondering why I have asked you here... the answer is that this is the denoument - all is about to be revealed...

[A subtle piece of code injection locks the electronic doors...]

One of you works for Microsoft. One of you - you know who you are - is responsible. One of you is going down...

Yes, I have the answer. It is not a "bug", it is not something that has recently changed so as to render my System Restore functionality totally and absolutely bloody useless, it was a cold, calculated decision by Microsoft to remove the "Restore Previous Versions" feature from Vista Home Premium and Vista Home Basic.

I don't mind that there are backups I can't access; if I had really wanted that I could have upgraded to Ultimate. What I do mind, what I do mind very, very much is that I am left with no control over this system... Vista is deliberately - wasting time, space and resources - taking shadow copies of everything that changes on my C drive and putting them in ShadowStorage where

a) I can't get at them, but so what
b) So rather a lot, they are taking up the space that I want for System Restore Points.

Apparently this "feature" is not quite as obscure as I had thought - it was written about some time ago (see The Vista backups You Can't Have, and The Illusions of Vista, or here for example, to give but a few examples once I knew what I was looking for).

I am however absolutely furious about this.

System Restore is a major feature - under XP I used to have a restore point history going back weeks, now I am lucky if I have 5 or 6 restore points spanning less than a week.

This is catastrophically useless. But what are the chances of Microsoft doing anything about it?

Negligible I expect.

However, I remain on my high horse until hell freezes over if necessary to get this fixed.

We have ways you know...

Stuff moves in mysteriousways...

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