Restore Points keep disappearing

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  1. Posts : 282
    Win 10 21H2 LTSC

    Hi guys, recently discovered this issue.

    So basically I have added a task to run 3 times a week to make new system restore points, the reason for these is not to restore from a system restore point on breakage (for that I use macrium images) but instead for the volume shadow copy feature.

    Lets say e.g. I edit a document, I make a mistake, its often conveniant to load up shadow explorer and restore from snapshot, snapshots have incredibly low overheads.

    I dont think macrium is to blame here for a variety of reasons.

    1 - Same setup on windows 8 did not have this problem.
    2 - If i check the logs for volsnap in eventviewer the timestamps dont match up to when macrium runs.

    However I believe I have found the cause of the issue. It seems the behaviour got changed in windows 10 on how snapshots get deleted.

    So in system restore settings you have a slider to allocate a % of disk capacity for the volume snapshots, on some drives, this will be used heavily primarily the c: drive due to logs, updates etc. Other drives it may be practically nothing e.g. my d: drive which is holding some of my games, it has 6.68GB allocated but only 87.97MB used. Yet its deleting old snapshots.

    The problem seems to be in Windows 10 all volume snapshots are tied to each other, whilst in Windows 8 they not, so e.g. in Windows 8 if C: hit capacity it would delete old snapshots on the C: drive but not on the D: drive. Whilst in windows 10 if "any" drive hits its limit, "all" other drives will also have their snapshots deleted. This problem is compounded by the fact in Windows 10 there is a "lot" more file modifications on the system drive. My C: drive for comparison has 7.52GB allocated for volume snapshots but 6.28GB in use. In the space of 6 days (2 snapshots) it has modified 6 gigabytes of data (without any updates, so mostly logs, browser files etc.).

    Luckily I significantly expanded my C: drive when I updated windows as I wasnt happy how little free space I had, so I for sure have room to increase the capacity. But ultimately the solution is probably a combination of increasing capacity on the most write active drive (in my case C:), reducing writes on the most active drive, or even disabling volume snapshots on the most active drive. I probably dont actually need snapshots on my C: drive so may disable it because as I mentioned earlier if something breaks on my system drive thats important I will probably be restoring a previous macrium image.

    If you see this in the logs.

    The oldest shadow copy of volume F: was deleted to allow shadow copies created afterward and marked for delete to be deleted.
    Then I believe this is because another drive hit its limit and this was queued for later deletion. Probably when the system restore task is next ran in scheduler.

    But for my C: drive however I see this.

    The oldest shadow copy of volume C: was deleted to keep disk space usage for shadow copies of volume C: below the user defined limit.
    Which of course confirms what I said above.

    Writing circa 2 gig a day to logs is a lot, so I expect is room for improvement by tinkering with things, potentially also logs could be symlinked elsewhere although not a good idea for stability as unsure how windows would react if the symlinks became invalid.


    There is another potential fix, it seems when a drive hits capacity its older SR points are deleted on the spot to make room for the new one, this is unavoidable without the actions I stated above, however for other drives, the older SR instead are simply marked for deletion, I expect if you disable a specific task, then they would survive until those drives actually hit their quota, however I dont know which task this is, but I believe it is a task as they are always at 5 mins past midnight the day after C: hits its limit.
    Last edited by Chrysalis; 03 Apr 2021 at 10:07.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 4
    Windows 10

    I have had problem with Windows 10 periodically (perhaps weekly or every second week) deleting all Restore Points except one. I have set up a custom task for creating a Restore Point daily. Recently I discovered the built-in task \Microsoft\Windows\SystemRestore\SR probably is to blame for deleting Restore Points. I have now disabled this task and will see if it is indeed a solution to this problem.
      My Computer


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