Microsoft explains the lack of Registry backups in Windows 10

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  1. TairikuOkami's Avatar
    Posts : 3,793
    Home 1903 x64 10.0.18362.239
       #1

    Microsoft explains the lack of Registry backups in Windows 10


    We noticed back in October 2018 that Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system was not creating Registry backups anymore.

    The scheduled task to create the backups was still running and the run result indicated that the operation completed successfully, but Registry backups were not created anymore.

    Microsoft published a new support page recently that brings light into the darkness. The company notes that the change is by-design and thus not a bug. The change was implemented in Windows 10 version 1803 and all newer versions of Windows 10 are affected by it.

    Microsoft made the change to reduce the size of Windows on the system.


    Summary

    Starting in Windows 10, version 1803, Windows no longer automatically backs up the system registry to the RegBack folder. If you browse to to the \Windows\System32\config\RegBack folder in Windows Explorer, you will still see each registry hive, but each file is 0kb in size.



    More information

    This change is by design, and is intended to help reduce the overall disk footprint size of Windows. To recover a system with a corrupt registry hive, Microsoft recommends that you use a system restore point.

    If you have to use the legacy backup behavior, you can re-enable it by configuring the following registry entry, and then restarting the computer:

    HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Configuration Manager\EnablePeriodicBackup
    Type: REG_DWORD
    Value: 1

    Windows backs up the registry to the RegBack folder when the computer restarts, and creates a RegIdleBackup task to manage subsequent backups. Windows stores the task information in the Scheduled Task Library, in the Microsoft\Windows\Registry folder. The task has the following properties:




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    Last edited by Brink; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:12. Reason: fixed format and icon
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  2. TairikuOkami's Avatar
    Posts : 3,793
    Home 1903 x64 10.0.18362.239
       #1

    Well that explains problem restoring registry backups, since there were none.

    Windows 10 crashed after update and is now unbootable

    So why has Microsoft done this? In the company’s own words: “to help reduce the overall disk footprint size of Windows”.

    To recover a system with a corrupt registry hive, Microsoft recommends that you use a system restore point.

    System restore is automatically disabled on computers with a low disk footprint!
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  3. ThrashZone's Avatar
    Posts : 4,919
    3-Win-7Prox64 2-Win10Prox64
       #2

    Hi,
    Last I looked 10 is getting as large as win-7 is on clean install is that considered a small foot print now
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  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,605
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #3

    Thanks, @dalchina and I have been investigating the (lack of) registry backups for about a year now. So MS finally comes clean and admits we've been flogging a dead horse? Would have been nice if they'd admitted that a year ago
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  5.    #4

    Does this mean that famous Last known good configuration option has been rendered effectively useless?

    (It's been quite a while since I used it though! Does it even exist anywhere in Windows 10 boot menus?)

    And yes, hilarious, obviously!
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  6. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 8,147
    Windows 10 Pro X64 1903 189362.439
       #5

    I checked the Regback folder and mine was empty, no 0 length files in it. I added the registry entry and rebooted and the 0 length files were now there.

    I then opened Task Scheduler and ran the RegIdleBackup task and now the files are populated. So it looks like the files have to exist, even as 0 length files before the scheduled task will actually backup the registry.

    Now that it has worked once I expect it will continue to work, probably until the next Feature Update when I'll have to fix this again.
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  7.    #6

    Many thanks - have done the same and the size I ended up with is ~160MB.

    This change is by design, and is intended to help reduce the overall disk footprint size of Windows.
    Quite. Mind boggles.

    (I wonder how did this glorious moment of realisation ' have we not included' etc. really looked like!)
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  8. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 8,147
    Windows 10 Pro X64 1903 189362.439
       #7

    Repeated this process on my main PC, same results. Regback occupies 114MB so it's a bunch of BS about MS wanting to save space in the Windows 10 footprint. There is no valid reason I can think of for MS doing this other than whimsy or plain stupidity.

    Hanlon's razor is a saying that reads: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
    Should be able to automate this with a simple registry hack and either command prompt or powershell command to runt eh scheduled task.
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  9. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 11,605
    10 Home x64 (1903) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #8

    Ztruker said: View Post
    ...it's a bunch of BS about MS wanting to save space in the Windows 10 footprint. There is no valid reason I can think of for MS doing this other than whimsy or plain stupidity....

    My theory is that they broke it in 1803 and can't work out how to fix what they broke, so just called it a 'feature' instead.
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  10. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 8,147
    Windows 10 Pro X64 1903 189362.439
       #9

    Not so easy to automate a fix, rats. Has to be a two part before and after reboot hack. Oh well.

    Code:
    From Elevated Command Prompt or Powershell window:
    REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Configuration Manager" /V EnablePeriodicBackup /T REG_DWORD /D 1
    
    Reboot
    
    From Elevated Command Prompt or Powershell window:
    SCHTASKS /RUN /I /TN RegIdleBackup
    Edit: That doesn't work:

    SCHTASKS /RUN /TN RegIdleBackup
    ERROR: The system cannot find the file specified.


    The task exists and schtasks can see it:

    Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Registry HostName TaskName Next Run Time Status Logon Mode ================ ======================================== ====================== =============== =======================DESKTOP RegIdleBackup N/A Ready Interactive/Background
    Last edited by Ztruker; 2 Weeks Ago at 14:21.
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