Backing up registry vs creating restore point

carrierPigeon

Limp Gawd
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Sep 22, 2017
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162
In Windows 10, it seems to me that backing up your registry has very limited use. I guess if you are backing up a *small* part of your registry for changes that you are making where you wont know for a while if the changes had some kind of adverse effect?

My question is, has restore point mostly antiquated backing up the registry?
 

PliotronX

2[H]4U
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2,070
System restore seems to fail quite often in 10 whereas I had luck with it many a time on client machines in XP, Vista, 7, and 8/8.1 so I am with DrLobotomy. Images or bust for 10.
 

NoOther

Supreme [H]ardness
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The difference between a restore point and backing up a registry is night and day. Backing up the registry is to provide a last known good configuration of the registry that you can revert to in case a program or some kind of malware changes important registry entries. The restore point creates a snapshot of your entire system, with the purpose of returning the entire system to that point. This is used when you know something has been installed that you don't want. It is also helpful when you install an incorrect version of a program and/or a conflicting program. The point is if you are not typically installing more programs, then keeping a backup of your registry may be all you need and it won't take up space. Whereas if you continually keep restore points, you are using a bit of space to save those snapshots.

Personally I create and keep my own images on an external drive. I used to also maintain specific registry backups as well. I can't tell you how many times registry backups alone saved customers of mine in the past.
 

carrierPigeon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
162
The difference between a restore point and backing up a registry is night and day. Backing up the registry is to provide a last known good configuration of the registry that you can revert to in case a program or some kind of malware changes important registry entries. The restore point creates a snapshot of your entire system, with the purpose of returning the entire system to that point. This is used when you know something has been installed that you don't want. It is also helpful when you install an incorrect version of a program and/or a conflicting program. The point is if you are not typically installing more programs, then keeping a backup of your registry may be all you need and it won't take up space. Whereas if you continually keep restore points, you are using a bit of space to save those snapshots.

Personally I create and keep my own images on an external drive. I used to also maintain specific registry backups as well. I can't tell you how many times registry backups alone saved customers of mine in the past.

It seems like the two are somewhat centered around grabbing data before installing something, in order to have the option of reversing the process later..

But, point taken about the malware changing the registry and the registry backup possibly being useful in this instance. So, let's run through the situation -- you have some malware that starts messing with the registry. Let's say the malware doesn't do anything that's major enough to motivate the user to do anything about it right away (or there were no visible symptoms). In other words, the malware doesn't get dealt with until a little further down the road. So, in the mean time, the user installs 3 other programs. Now at this point, you (as the tech support person) set out to fix the malware problem. At this point, you use the backup registry to overwrite the current registry. Am I right in assuming that the 3 new programs that were installed often wont work properly anymore? But, it's a reasonably simple reinstall process to get them working again? And your argument here is that you haven't lost all of the file edits that the user had done between when the registry was backed up and when you reinstalled the registry?
 

NoOther

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It seems like the two are somewhat centered around grabbing data before installing something, in order to have the option of reversing the process later..

But, point taken about the malware changing the registry and the registry backup possibly being useful in this instance. So, let's run through the situation -- you have some malware that starts messing with the registry. Let's say the malware doesn't do anything that's major enough to motivate the user to do anything about it right away (or there were no visible symptoms). In other words, the malware doesn't get dealt with until a little further down the road. So, in the mean time, the user installs 3 other programs. Now at this point, you (as the tech support person) set out to fix the malware problem. At this point, you use the backup registry to overwrite the current registry. Am I right in assuming that the 3 new programs that were installed often wont work properly anymore? But, it's a reasonably simple reinstall process to get them working again? And your argument here is that you haven't lost all of the file edits that the user had done between when the registry was backed up and when you reinstalled the registry?

Most likely there will be problems with the new programs. But why would you just roll back the registry after installing new programs? What you would likely do is a diff on the registries and find what the malware changed. The point of using a registry backup is keeping versions of the registry, you would likely have to roll back and re-install the programs, or check the versions to see when the malware made a change and manually fix the registry. The registry backup is typically used on systems that you won't be installing new software on.

Now if you extrapolated this further and tested it out against the restore point, you would still have to re-install those programs because you would have to choose a restore point before that software was installed. Hopefully you have a restore point going back that far.
 

carrierPigeon

Limp Gawd
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Sep 22, 2017
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162
Most likely there will be problems with the new programs. But why would you just roll back the registry after installing new programs? What you would likely do is a diff on the registries and find what the malware changed. The point of using a registry backup is keeping versions of the registry, you would likely have to roll back and re-install the programs, or check the versions to see when the malware made a change and manually fix the registry. The registry backup is typically used on systems that you won't be installing new software on.

Now if you extrapolated this further and tested it out against the restore point, you would still have to re-install those programs because you would have to choose a restore point before that software was installed. Hopefully you have a restore point going back that far.
thank you. I didn't know about editing the registry to change parts of it back. That seems like a handy tool. I suppose that's also useful when you install new, non-malware programs, if it's a program that you might later choose to uninstall.
 
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