Restore points allow users to roll back changes made to the Windows operating system to previous system states. This includes system files, registry keys and installed programs. Windows automatically creates restore points before key changes are made to the system, such as installation of Windows updates, drivers, software and un-installation of software. Windows wouldn’t create a restore point unless you give them a reason to.
System Restore: Windows XP vs Windows Vista vs Windows 7
Windows XP and Windows Vista, is designed to create a restore point every 24 hours irrespective of whether any system changes occurred during this period. System Restore in Windows Vista creates a checkpoint every 24 hours if no other restore points were created that day. System Restore in Windows XP creates a checkpoint every 24 hours of absolute time. These auto-restore points ensures that you have at least one snapshot of the system for each day. This vital feature, like a few others, was removed in Windows 7.
System Restore in Windows 7 creates a scheduled restore point only if no other restore points have been created in the last 7 days. This means you have 7 long days without a restore point. If your computer gets attacked by malware and becomes unstable you will have to roll back the changes to a point 7 days earlier. Depending on the amount of space you have allocated to system restore, you might get a couple of restore points spaced 7 days apart, provided there were no in-between restore points created during software/update install.
Make Windows 7 create restore points at logon-on
This behavior of Windows 7 is easy to rectify. There are several ways to make Windows 7 automatically create one restore point every time you boot into Windows.
The first method involves using a Visual Basic script that will check if there are any System Restore points already created for the current day. If no System Restore point exists for the current day, the script creates a System Restore point. All you have to do is place the script in the Startup folder so that it runs during logon.
The startup folder in Windows 7 is located at: C:\users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\ Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
The script creates a restore point by the name of “Daily Restore Point” without prompting you. If you wish to change the name to something else, open the script in a text editor and change sDesc = "Daily Restore Point" (line No#22) to a name of your choice.
If you want the script to prompt you for a name every time it runs, then uncomment the next line, line No#23. Just delete the apostrophe (‘) at the beginning of the line.
Credits: Ramesh Srinivasan
The second method involves using a one-click System Restore point creator software. Download SCRP (Single Click Restore Point) and copy the executable file to Windows 7’s startup folder like in the previous method. Every time this program runs it will create a restore point with the name “Created with SCRP”.
The VBS method is still better as you are able to customize the name of the restore point. Apart from name customization, the script doesn’t create restore points if one is already available for the current day, ensuring effective use of allocated disk space.
Another way to automate the system restore creation process is to use Windows Task Scheduler. With Task Scheduler you get the flexibility of choosing the exact time when you want the restore point to be created. You can create it every day at a set time, or every time Windows boot or when you login.
To create a new scheduled task,
- Click on Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools and click on Task Scheduler.
- Click on the Action menu and choose Create Basic Task.
- Name the task.
- Choose a trigger and the time
- In action choose ‘Start a Program’ and finally locate the VBS script or SCRP to run.
- Click Finish to end.