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Windows Live Onecare overriding User's settings within XP pro RRS feed

  • Question

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    I use XP pro SP2. I have onecare ver. 2.0.  No matter how many times I turn off 'system restore' within XP onecare turns it back on behind my back. I do not like nor want XP's system restore feature running. I've even tried disabling the service in services, incredibly, onecare simply changed it back to automatic and started it running, without ever asking the user. I do not like system restore because it is a resource hog running in the background. Secondly I use Norton Ghost by choice. I only use onecare for antivirus and spyware detection/removal. Thirdly, it should be my choice as a user to use a window's feature or not! I am apparently not being given a choice. this is really bad programming. lets take away the choice from the 'poor dumb user'. I really , truly am tiring of having to go in and turn off system restore manually. Its like a bloody cat and mouse game driving me bonkers. Microsoft please give users at least an advanced option to make our own choices ok??? I think I may have to look for another solution for antivirus/spyware if someone cannot help me fix this. Anyone? please help?

    Jon Acord

    Jon@theacords.biz

    Saturday, March 1, 2008 5:22 AM

Answers

  • This is one of the items that OneCare monitors and changes to maintain the PC. Thanks for the feedback - I agree that we should have a choice for these items, though I can't say that I agree that System Restore is a resource hog. That's certainly your right to feel this way based on your experience, though.

    -steve

     

    Monday, March 10, 2008 12:12 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • This is one of the items that OneCare monitors and changes to maintain the PC. Thanks for the feedback - I agree that we should have a choice for these items, though I can't say that I agree that System Restore is a resource hog. That's certainly your right to feel this way based on your experience, though.

    -steve

     

    Monday, March 10, 2008 12:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Well hopefully whoever designs the software will realize an advanced set of program controls is needed to empower the user.

    Number One: System Restore and Indexing Services

    This is valid for Windows XP Home and Pro.

    If you are experiencing "random" slowdowns and "high" CPU usage for no reason, these two services are the most likely cause of the problem. These services are also a major cause of "missing" disk space. System Restore Service could be taking up 3 GB of space, just on it's own. This is from my own experiance. To each their own.

     

    Monday, March 10, 2008 1:58 AM
  • I'm afraid I have to disagree in this case, since System Restore is a fundamental protection within the Windows Operating System and it's absolutely foolish to disable it. If a PC is unable to perform these small backups in an effective manner then there is something drastically wrong with that PC, most likely within the disk sub-system design or operation.

     

    It's also extremely easy to control how much disk space is used by System Restore on each drive by simply changing the setting in My Computer, System Properties. This will default to 12% of the System volume which can easily be several GB or more, which is a bit large in most cases. I really don't see any good argument for disabling System Restore though and I'd be surprised if anyone at Microsoft did either.

     

    OneCareBear

    Monday, March 10, 2008 5:24 AM
    Moderator
  • So it is foolish that I have chosen another method to backup my OS is it? How arrogant a statement is that? I've noticed it works in the background slowing down things. System Restore is CPU- and disk-intensive when it runs, which is fairly often: At first boot , Every 24 hours of real-world time, Every time Windows Update installs something, every time you install any software using an installer program that System Restore recognizes (such as InstallShield 6.1 or higher)

    It has also been my observation that system restore does not back up all critical files, for instance it doesn't back up your user files and documents. System Restore focuses on system-level files and services; it doesn't back up most files you create. If you munge or permanently delete an important document or spreadsheet, or want to go back to an earlier version of such a document, System Restore can't help you. System Restore isn't a true "roll back" tool. For example, if you install new software that crashes badly, System Restore may be able to get Windows running again, but may not erase the errant program as a whole; may not delete leftover vestiges of the program that failed to uninstall properly; and may not clean up any messes the troublesome program made outside of the system file areas.

     

     System Restore doesn't take the place of full, normal backups within XP.  therefore it is useless to me.

     

    Monday, March 10, 2008 5:50 AM
  • It's not foolish to backup, but System Restore isn't a complete backup, it's a quick roll-back of the registry and system files only exactly as you've stated. This is a much more valuable type of emergency backout for 99% of the people out there since they won't perform even partial backups of system data more than once a week, let alone complete system backups. I've also never noticed any significant effect on any PC of the hundreds I've managed relating to the System Restore checkpoint creation process, it generally takes only a few seconds on even the oldest system.

     

    Non-technical users are the kind of people that OneCare is specifically designed for and they are also likely to make the mistake of listening to someone like you, while completely mis-understanding that you are doing something completely different. I'm much more concerned about seeing the protection provided that these people need than allowing the addition of advanced features that will simply add to their confusion.

     

    I do have some agreement with Steve and others that some of the handling of these settings needs to be improved. For example, I believe that some settings are not being examined in enough detail so OneCare is changing them to defaults that may actually be less secure, though some of this may already have been changed. I'm also quite concerned that the settings changes are made with no warning, since it would be much more appropriate to use the opportunity to help educate the user why their setting(s) are insecure.

     

    The trade-off here comes with the choice between protecting the less technical user, which is OneCare's primary purpose and still providing for the technical user if possible. System Restore is not an appropriate setting to allow a reduction of security from the default of 'on' though, and no 'Advanced' settings system I've ever seen has worked without adding complexity and confusion for the less technical user.

     

    The only possibly effective way I can see to handle this particular issue is to treat the entire group of settings as a single checkbox option that might display a warning in every Tune-up indicating the risk being taken if they are disabled. However, the trend that's been taken towards avoiding any additional settings whenever possible doesn't bode well towards this ever happening.

     

    OneCareBear

    Monday, March 10, 2008 6:36 AM
    Moderator
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    Well this stinks, like system restore works, what a joke. It's been a joke since the day XP came out, and it's still a joke. Good luck getting it to work, and I mean that as in your system running well after you use it. It will screw your system up worse then it already was. Besides by the time you would need something to get XP running again you need something better because chances are XP won't boot far enough to use it.

     

    I don't use onecare for backups or for restore options, other products do that much better. I mirror 4 1Tb drives everyday at 3am, and now that onecare thinks system cantrestore needs to run i get errors because it detects file changes in the system restore files. Which is the reason i turn that *** off. And for the main drives Ghost 10 works better then system restore could ever dream of being.

     

    With this new information, and the fact that onecare couldn't remove a virus from one of our boxes i'm thinking onecare works as well as system restore.

     

    I found this forum from google looking into why onecare is retarded now, and after reading the mods posts in here i decided to drop my 2 cents in. It's fine you're trying to defend your product, but give it a rest, system restore is a joke, and if you really think it's not, then take your PC back to dell and tell them you're too stupid to have it. ViceVersa PRO & Ghost 10, and my new replacement to onecare is Untangle, try to keep up tools, you're looking a little winded back their.

    Saturday, March 29, 2008 7:34 PM
  • A few comments in reply to your post, Richdaddy....

     

    1. We moderators are not specifically defending OneCare. Speaking for myself, I will back anyone up with a legitimate beef about OneCare as I know it is not perfect. In fact, I have complained to the OneCare team on many occasions about functionality in OneCare and defects.

     

    2. System Restore works perfectly well in many, perhaps most cases. I have used it successfully many times for the purpose that it was designed to help - a bad install of a driver, program or update. There are certainly cases where a System Restore will not help and may cause more problems, but they are not as common as you are indicating. In fact, OneCare itself used to suffer from a problem with System Restore in that the signatures would not roll back, so when checking for updates after a System Restore, it was seriously confused by the file date and last update time stamp relative to the server data. I believe that this has been fixed in 2.0

     

    3. If you are expecting any antivirus program to protect a PC from malware (and a user's own actions that cause many of the infections to take hold) 100% of the time, good luck. As I indicated before, OneCare is not perfect, but then neither are any other antivirus solutions. Security vendors are in a constant battle with the malware writers to prevent the malware from infecting PCs.

     

    -steve

    Sunday, March 30, 2008 2:35 PM
    Moderator