Question Is it possible to do snapshot system in Windows?

avg9956

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Apr 7, 2019
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I was wondering if there is a program in Windows that can do a total snapshot of a system (if it's even possible) much like how VMWare's snapshot feature is/Virtual Box. With this feature, you can go back to the exact state of how your PC was (inclusive of all files) unlike system restore.

With system restore as i understand it, it only affects system files and nothing else. I somehow find it counter intuitive because you can sometimes still have problems after you roll back to a previous restore point in case you mess up with something (i.e. cases where System restore does not help fix your problem).

I also found that you can include certain files and file types to be included in the system restore "The list of file types and directories to be included or excluded from monitoring by System Restore can be customized on Windows Me and Windows XP by editing %windir%\system32\restore\Filelist.xml." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Restore)

However the problem with that is - What if you installed a new program but do not know what files it adds to the system (moreover if it adds a file that is not included within the scope of system restore - then rolling back to a previous system restore point will retain that file and it will become leftover junk/clutter/artifact)

If there is no other program or feature available yet, then i guess my only choice is to test stuff in a virtual machine first before installing it in my real system
 

avg9956

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Apr 7, 2019
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Hmm i guess this is going into the disk cloning/disk imaging methods

I would like to ask from your experience, does it work without any problems ( BSOD, no boot problems, etc.)? I've never tried disk cloning/disk imaging before if I want to go back to a previous state. I'm the type of user that just reformats the PC if it becomes sluggish.

Also, are there any hardware compatibility issues if you disk clone/disk image to a new drive (or heard of any if you're aware)? or do they always seamlessly work perfectly

But i will consider giving it a go, hopefully it goes smoothly
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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I use Imaging in Macrium as the core of my daily backup routine.
Every system, every physical drive...gets an Incremental every night.

It works quite well. Of course, nothing is ever 100% perfect all the time.
And I have had to use it to recover the data from a dead 960GB SSD.
Put in a new drive, click click...all 605GB data recovered exactly as it was at 4AM when it ran its nightly Incremental.

ANd also, Macrium lets you mount an Image as a drive letter. You can poke around inside and retrieve individual files if needed.
 

avg9956

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Apr 7, 2019
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Interesting, i will consider your routine
But i guess i'll start small first. I'll try to do it on my virtual machine first just so i can get the hang of it. After which, i will do it on my real system. I've used Acronis true image before but only to do routine backup of certain office files which are edited on a daily basis.


Also is it malware/ransomware fool proof (like wannacry which encrypts your data) ? I've heard there are some that can persist even after a reformat, but not sure if it would persist after restoring from a disk image backup.
 

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